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Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Friday Review: Taylor Carson’s “With Innocence”

Local DC Musical Release

WithInnocenceTaylorCarson1

Album Debut Performance 

Saturday May 4th, 2013 IOTA CLUB AND CAFE Arlington, VA

Some Background

First time I heard Taylor Carson was in Purceville, VA at “The 9 Songwriters Series” concert.  Right away both my wife, Nora and myself were quite impressed.  The 9 series gives the concert goer an opportunity to experience the music of 9 different local artists in one show.  (See my review) Not too much but just enough of each artist to whet the musical appetite.

Taylor played three songs he had written (all of which are on the above album) and each one was very good. I especially liked the song “Steady Down” which has a really nice guitar part.  But all three were memorable. 

Taylor Carson has a natural charisma and stage presence and is an accomplished acoustic guitar player.  His voice stands out as both distinctive and pleasing.  A complete package as far as modern minstrel troubadours go.

We immediately bought a collection of his songs (though sadly none of the songs from that night were on the CD).  What struck me on first hearing was that his voice sounded gruffer than in concert and that the song quality both in performance and production were uneven. His backup band at times was brilliant but more than not they were only adequate to the task. 

So I was very happy to hear that he was releasing a new album and that he was thrilled to see it doing well on iTunes.  I snatched a fresh copy of the MP3’s for “With Innocence” from Amazon and off I was pumping out a collection of catchy balladeer grooves on my car stereo as I drove on down the highway!

“With Innocence”

I have very little history with Taylor Carson’s music.  In doing a little research I saw that this was his fifth compilation of original tunes.  His previous CD called Defending the Name”  had gained praise from various local reviewers.  Most notable was that Taylor had won the INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD for Concept Album of the Year. 

I’m listening to the songs on it while I am writing this review.  Probably buy this album too.  I like what I’ve heard so far!  He’s handling this concept album idea quite nicely.

Back to “With Innocence”I have had it for a few days.  I don’t usually do a review until I’ve put a few more hours of listening into an album.  However I am encouraging you to

Go hear Taylor Carson on this Saturday, May 4th, 2013

at the IOTA CLUB AND CAFE in Arlington, VA.

You’ll hear some really nice original songs performed with energy and excellence.  Hearing Taylor in person is a really nice way to spend an evening.  I only regret I will be out-of-town and will not be able to catch the premiere.

What stands out on the album is the instrumentation on the very first song.  Quality musicianship and arrangement.  Immediately I am happy to listen.  The first song does not disappoint. 

Right now I am enjoying hearing the songs I heard in concert, “Steady Down” and the love song “As You See It” and “Waiting for Me”.  The new song that has me coming back is “Final Bow”.  Great lead guitar compliments the theme and Taylor’s vocals. The first verse of the song is a gem.  Love it! 

Throughout the album you’ll find some very tasty accompaniment.  Quality songs. There are spots where the keyboard work makes me want to stop and rewind to hear it again.  The various organ sections are played in the right places complimenting the other instrumentation. And recording of Taylor Carson’s voice captures for me what I so enjoyed when I heard him live.

If you like acoustic based folk pop country rock type music you should give Taylor Carson a listen, live or on recording. There are shades of Garth Brooks in his sound.  But without any twang.  Electric guitar fills and leads are tasty and for the most part country style riffs.

If anything Taylor’s vocals will hook you.  Easy to listen to the boy sing!

I’ll be listening to him on my trip south on Saturday… wishing I was at the IOTA CLUB.  So go support some great local talent and you can say you knew Taylor Carson when he wasn’t a national star.

Listen to the albums

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