Although I have had the chance to say a few words to Sean Taylor, although between his sets, I wish I’d had more time to do so. As here is man with a conviction of the heart and soul of us all, with such music writing skills, only a few can, and wish to have, who uses it in such a wonderful way, I need to learn more. I hope to ask him at some point, if he’d like to pop into the FAB Radio International studio and chat about both “Flood and Burn”, and other stuff, but as he’s so busy touring, it may be a little while as yet, but………..? In the meantime, I’ve managed to grab a copy of the album, so reviewing it here, has been a pleasure, for many reasons, which, hopefully will become apparent shortly.
I first came across Sean Taylor at a live gig he gave in my new hometown, as part of his 2016 tour. A good friend of mine and fellow muso, had already said, that ‘ if ever you have a chance to see him, you must, as he’s your kind of musician and sees the world a little like you’. Anyway, low, and behold, not long after moving into our new house, there he was, appearing ‘live’. So, I jumped at the opportunity of checking out this man and his music. Well, what a night, one of those you can’t believe, where time went, and you don’t want the performance to stop. I was totally hooked. Of course, I had to get his then latest album, and if it had been vinyl, it would have been worn out and the stylus too.
His new album “Flood and Burn” brings us right up to date, and again, he’s very busy touring and playing his songs live around Europe, as I type this!
The album was recorded in Texas, where working with producer Mark Hallman, he brought together an amazing eclectic band of musicians, including amongst them: Ephraim Owens(Trumpet);Mark Hallman(various instruments);Jaimee Harris(backing vocals);Andre Moran(guitars);Roscoe Beck(bass);Mike Hardwick(pedal steel);Hana Piranha(violin); ElizaGilkyson(backing vocals) and Danny Thomson(bass). Taylor and Hallman weave them into a totally unified and musically coherent band. Between them, they have given us another fantastic recording of songs, from the passionate and creative spirit that is Sean Taylor. The instruments and beautiful vocal harmonies, add such a vibrant colour to the recording, so thus expanding Taylor’s pallet of sound. Developing his style of songwriting over the years, which brings his music to outstanding maturity of thought, this album takes us on a journey of various musical genres, which few musicians could do, with total conviction and perfection.
Difficult to choose from a list of outstanding songs, a selection, but here’s my personal choice, although too tricky to pinpoint favourites really, but had to for conciseness. Also, I don’t want to spoil your aural delight when discovering some of the other songs for yourself either!!
From the first sound of the piano chords, on the opening track ‘Codeine Dreams’, we know, particularly at the end of this song, that we’re in for performance of total musical commitment. Joined by a beautiful Saxophone line, with some fabulous guitar work, as you’d expect, from Sean, on both electric and acoustic guitars, this track sets the perfect mood for the rest of the album.
The blues shuffle track ’The Cruelty of Man’, is a thoughtful and, provoking song, which he questions all of us, and our behaviour, in a true story told in sounds and words – love it!!!
This counterbalanced with the upbeat song ‘Until The End Of Time’, where Taylor puts down the guitar for to be able to focus on the vocal lines, whilst here, leaving the guitar work in the hands of his capable producer.
With ‘Flood And Burn’, well, wow, this certainly is the perfect title track, to a new album. From the gorgeous slide guitar intro, we get the ideal guitarists dream – acoustic guitar, underlying the slide guitar lines, accompanied by a great banjo riff, this, with such expressive vocals, well, as i said wow, a perfect stimulant to the musical ears.
Obviously, this is only a selection of the Taylor tracks which make up the recording, but also included is a really convincing version of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, which is given the Taylor musical treatment. A nice acoustic blues, with, again some nice slide work, lovely backing vocals, with an extra delight, excellent harmonica lines!!
In fact, so much thought and work, has obviously gone into setting all these songs, with their own perfect arrangements, it has truly been a labour of love. On the other hand, if you believe in your musical works/songs, and you’re recording them, you have to get everything just right. Only then, can you say ‘yes, it’s done, and I’m now ready to share this.my creative and musical dreams, into an awakened state, for others to appreciate and enjoy’, ( these, are my words, of course, not his ) thus, sharing their artistic journey. This he has done, in a massive way. So, to sum up. Well, I think I’ve said too much already, maybe, but a must purchase CD, or whatever format is your ideal, as you won’t regret it. The album “Flood and Burn” can be obtained from: www.seantaylorsongs.com