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