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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Alabama Idol Makes It Home for the Holidays

Reuben Studdard and Taylor Hicks

You might say that we have adopted Taylor Hicks as the "official musician of Legal Schnauzer." As a Birmingham-based blog, it seems natural that Hicks would be one of our musical favorites. He grew up in Hoover, just a few miles from where we live, and we have come to appreciate his "rootsy" music, his "up-by-the-bootstraps" back story, and his appreciation for those who came before him.

Mrs. Schnauzer and I had heard of Hicks before he won American Idol in 2006, but we had never seen him perform until the rest of the world--including Simon, Paula, and Randy--had discovered him. From listening to Hicks' two independent, pre-Idol CDs, we know he has the kind of writing chops that should serve him well over what we hope is a long and prosperous career.

We were pleased to see that Hicks made it back to his hometown for a holiday concert last week at WorkPlay. Mrs. Schnauzer and I were on hand for Hicks' post-Idol performance at Birmingham's now-defunct City Stages festival, and we were there for one of two sold-out shows at the Alabama Theatre on his first national tour.

Unfortunately, we have so many legal irons in the fire at the moment that we had to miss the WorkPlay show. But thanks to the miracle of YouTube, we can feel like we were there. And we hope Legal Schnauzer readers will want to share that feeling, appreciating a local boy who has shown that our community can turn out more than just football players and right-wing politicians.

Hicks opened the WorkPlay show with a rousing performance of the Stephen Stills classic, "Love the One You're With":



Reuben Studdard, Birmingham's original American Idol, joined Hicks for a cover of Bobby Womack's "Woman's Gotta Have it":




Carson James, an up and coming Birmingham artist, was the opening act, and Hicks joined him for a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition":




Finally, we have "Nineteen," a song from The Distance, Hicks' second post-Idol studio album. Hicks wrote the tune with Nashville-based songwriters Gary Nicholson and Jeffrey Steele. It tells the story of a high-school football star who joins the Marines after the attacks of 9/11. To our untrained ears, the song had the potential to be a major hit, but somehow it has floated under the radar. Hicks provides a vocal performance worth savoring:

13 comments:

RagsQueen said...

Great blog! Sorry you missed such a fantastic show, but glad you were able to enjoy all the videos from Workplay. And a special thanks for featuring my videos - always a pleasure to share with the many Taylor Hicks' fans!

tishlp said...

Enjoyed the blog. I missed out this time also, but made Taylor's 2 concerts there in 2009. He always give his audience 110%.

Tammy Krebs said...

great story...thank you very much!

juliegr said...

Taylor Hicks at Work Play (a 2010 version) was a WONDERFUL concert! The air was electric before Taylor hit the stage with Carson James for the a due to close out the opening segment. The voltage accelerated with each song once his the concert started and as the case with Taylor - he fed off the energy from the audience.

Thanks for a great blog. Hope you can see Taylor Hicks in concert in 2011. Like a fine wine - he improves with age! :D

hickifino said...

Thrilled that Taylor has so much local Birmingham support. It does my heart good to know that his friends, family, and fans from Alabama have his back. Fans travel from all over North America to see Taylor in Birmingham. We spend money on airfare, rental cars, hotels and restaurants that contribute to the local economy. It feels good that you are a long time Taylor fan and continue to appreciate him.

Soul Reporter said...

I'm from the Midwest and am a huge fan of your Birmingham boy. I've traveled to your fine city quite a few times for his music. Appreciate very much the write-up on your blog. I've bookmarked it and plan on coming back to peruse your writings, as I also work in the legal profession. (Court reporter)

Thanks again! :-)

jerseyirish said...

Great write up, I also had to rely on the great videos that showed up on youtube, the closest thing to being there. He is a great musician/entertainer and its wonderful to see his hometown folks think the same!

JI

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Taylor Hicks is doing well and putting on great shows. However, Taylor did not co-write the song Nineteen. The song was written by Jeffrey Steele, Gary Nicholson, and Tom Hambridge.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

Thanks for the correction. Excellent song.

Anonymous said...

The group Waycross recorded the song and did a video for it. It can be found on CMTs web-site. Just search for the group Waycross.

Wade Kwon said...

Thanks for the link to our Magic City Post story on Carson James. Taylor hand-picked him to be his opening act, and you can see why.

medolark said...

Enjoyed ur blog about Taylor. I too had to rely on YT but did get to attend his concert in WA in Sept and am looking forward to the upcoming show in May in Or. We in the NW love this Southern guy as well. Ü

Judy said...

Love the blog and all the positive comments about Taylor. He is a fantastic performer and the Workplay show looked to be a great one. Being the the state of WA, it is super to have the YouTube vids to watch. Love the guy and can't wait to see him in May in OR.