Wayne Taylor Records
Yes, I agree. It was indeed about time that bassist/songwriter Wayne Taylor of the wonderful band Blue Highway stepped forward into the spotlight on his own. The result is a hard-hitting album by some real musical heavy hitters, Taylor prominent among them.
Wayne Taylor is one impressive package of a performer. Beside the quality of his lead singing, songwriting, and bass rhythm throughout the album, he is quite a bandleader. Taylor has assembled a stellar supporting cast for this enjoyable breakout project. The main vocal trio, with Taylor joined by Brooke and Darin Aldridge, couldn’t be much better. And then you also have the now-legendary Whites (Buck, Cheryl, and Sharon) providing the harmonies for the wry and truthful “Who Do You Think Your [as written] Foolin’” to which Buck also contributes his masterful Texas-style piano playing.
The punch of the uptempo songs—starting right out of the gate with “Gone Long Gone”—gives by contrast even more poignancy to material such as “With You Still On My Mind.” Eight of the dozen tracks here are wholly Taylor originals, and there’s not a weak one in the bunch. The contributions of the other tunesmiths are just as strong. “Walked Away,” co-authored with Taylor by talented guest lead vocalist and fiddler Rachael Johnson Boyd, has the feel of a real country classic. “Chips And Salsa,” a Latin-flavored instrumental by guitarist Tom Adams is just a delight, as tasty a snack as its title. And the pickin’, oh my! Ron Stewart on banjo and Jesse Brock on mandolin just tear it up through the entire album. Guest banjo picker Tony Brown, who fires up “Little Maggie” while Stewart moves to fiddle, is certainly no slouch either.
Additional creative resources have been invested in an attractive CD package. I wonder if Mr. Taylor has a follow up project in the works. Hey, it’s about time. (Wayne Taylor Records, 11 Valley View Rd., Bristol, VA 24202, www.waynetaylorbluegrass.com.)RDS