Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taylor Hicks Measures The Distance

Regular readers know that we occasionally like to take a break from justice issues and write about "rock and/or roll" (to borrow a phrase from Reverend Lovejoy, of The Simpsons).

Perhaps in another life, we will come back as a writer for Rolling Stone.

In this life, our taste and knowledge of popular music is limited to artists who made their names in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Our musical heroes include John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Don Henley and the Eagles, and Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac.

As for modern rock acts, well, I'm pretty much clueless. I do know a little about John Mayer and Matchbox Twenty. I like some stuff I've heard from Sister Hazel. And I heard a great tune one time by Barenaked Ladies, but I don't remember the name of it.

We do, however, "get" one modern artist--and maybe that's because he's a throwback to another era. It might also be because he's from right here in Birmingham, and Mrs. Schnauzer thinks he's cute.

We're talking, of course, about Taylor Hicks, a 1995 graduate of Hoover High School. Hicks is best known as the 2006 American Idol, but we have anointed him the "official musician of Legal Schnauzer," a title we are sure he will treasure always. (Actually, Hicks--or perhaps his publicist--sent us a nice note after one of our posts about him. The artist known as "Gray Charles" still has a hometown touch.)

We've covered some interesting territory with our guy Taylor. We noted that he was a pretty fair high school basketball player in his day and deserves a spot among the best known "sports stars of Hoover." We gave a "shout out to the Soul Patrol," Hicks' devoted fan base. We noted the debt Hicks owes to the rootsy music of Otis Redding. We predicted a possible "Idol" future for another Birmingham musician with a sports background.

We even concocted an imaginary conversation between two of Hoover's finest--Hicks and infamous former football coach Rush Propst.

For good measure, Hicks helped inspire us to write about the many things we like about Birmingham and Alabama--in spite of all the legal crap we've had to put up with.

So it's with great pleasure--and a big dose of hometown pride--that we announce to Schnauzer readers that Taylor Hicks is set to release his second post-Idol album. The CD, titled "The Distance," is due in stores today.

Those of us who have heard Hicks' two independent, pre-Idol recordings know that he has serious writing chops. And those are on display on The Distance, with Hicks sharing writing credits on seven cuts. Mary Colurso, of The Birmingham News, has a nice overview of the new CD.

The first single, "What's Right is Right," is a soulful number that is right in Hicks' wheelhouse. And the video has a bluesy feel, shot in the clubs and on the streets of Chicago. Enjoy.

What's Right Is Right


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this report. Taylor is truly unique.
The CD is fantastic and Taylor's vision and voice have come together to make this a memorable work of art.

Thanks legalschnauzer.

Louise in NJ

Sierra Lita said...

Thanks for such a great write up about one of my favorite artists! I enjoyed reading your blog very much. :)

juliegr said...

Cool! Nice to read about the "hometown" boy made good by a blogger from Birmingham.

I've listened to the tracks from The Distance as I eagerly awaited the release of the album and now I have it in my hot little hands to enjoy at my leasure. Thanks for the blog and cute article.

Anonymous said...

Please don't forget about the different exclusive songs on the Target, Walmart and iTunes copies. And please do yourself the biggest favor and download "Yes We Can", iTunes exclusive. It's absolutely the coolest, funkiest song I've ever heard. It has vocal and instrumental backing by the likes of Ivan Neville, Delbert McClinton, Steve Cropper and John Hiatt! YOU MUST HEAR THIS SONG!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks legalschnauzer and it's good to "see" you again. I am so thrilled with this album. A little Rock. A little Blues. A little Gospel and a WHOLE ltaa Soul! It is a musical journey for sure and I am lovin' every minute of it!

So happy you and your Soul Patrol wife are enjoying Taylor's music. Thanks for your support and thanks for getting up every morning and just doing what you do!

Anonymous said...

Like that video of Taylor. Alabama grows them both handsome and talented. It is a vert pretty song thatt I find myself huming. Thanks for the story.


moondance said...

Imagine my surprise when I read today's Soul Connection and saw a quote from one of my favorite DailyKos diarists!


legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for writing. The missus and I are both big Soul Patrollers. Maybe we need to figure out a way to write about Taylor at DKos.

moondance said...

My husband and I have been to a couple of concerts, and he really enjoyed them. I'm hoping for a shadow concert in Atlanta this year.

Because it was appropriate for a specific diary at DKos, I did post a link to Nineteen (when it was on Rocket Science). Unfortunately, the song was removed shortly thereafter.