Monday, January 26, 2015

George Taylor – Rain or Shine | Album Review

George Taylor – Rain or Shine

Self Release

10 tracks / 41:16

After experiencing wave after wave of mushy pop music that came out of the same mold, it is refreshing to hear a complete album of Americana that is full of great stories and distinct music. That is exactly what George Taylor delivers with his sophomore disc, Rain or Shine.

George is a Virginian blues musician that took a three year trip to Austin Texas and a tour through the Mississippi River Delta to discover his own blues sound, and it turns out that there is a lot of country music in him that is looking for a way to get out. The ten original tracks (all written by Taylor) are definitely blues based, but his rock, roots and country influences give these songs a vibe that is all his own.

Taylor recorded this album at Shine Music in Austin, and he took on the vocals, harmonica, and much of the guitar work. He was joined by Blake Lange on drums, Cody Ground behind the keyboards, and Jerry Reynolds on fiddle. Justin Douglas co-produced this project with George, and handled the engineering, mixing and mastering chores, as well as playing the bass, lap steel and dobro, and laying down the backing vocals. He is a busy guy!

Rain or Shine kicks off with “Goodnight” and the fiddle and harmonica combine with his tenor twang and spoken word interludes to give it a fun acoustic country feel. This song sets the listeners’ expectations high as the lyrics are very well crafted, and Taylor keeps up this standard for the next nine tracks with some excellent songs of love, loss and hitting the road.

”What am I Gonna Say” is George’s take on a murder ballad, this time with the theme of a weekend fling in Mexico gone horribly wrong -- hopefully this is not a true story. This is the most raw track on the album, with just Taylor, his acoustic guitar and gritty lyrics galore.

There are plenty of genres to be found here, including the jaunty electric piece, “Breakin’ in Boots,” which has a catchy chorus and almost enough fuzzy guitar to make any rocker happy. But the standout track from this set is “Only Blue” which has a unique Deltq/country/zydeco feel with just the right amount sweet pedal steel and raunchy harmonica lines.

All too soon, the album draws to a close with “Seat with Your Name,” a subtle ballad with sweet harmonica and tastefully restrained guitar picking. Cody Ground’s lovely piano work completes the picture as Taylor shares a bit of his personal faith: “I know a place we all need to go,
where there’s pearly gates and roads paved with gold,
and getting there’s easy and it frees you of shame.”

George Taylor’s Rain or Shine is a solid album of original American music with ten tracks that all deliver the goods. It is worth your time to give it a listen on his website at , and then do a quick search on Amazon, iTunes or CDbaby if you are interested in picking up a copy (vinyl available!) for yourself.

Thank you!

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