Taylor Scott bringing ‘full outfit’ to Steve’s Guitars tonight
When blues icon Otis Taylor asked a 19-year-old Taylor Scott to tour Europe with him as his lead guitarist, Scott freaked out.
“I was like ‘I don’t even know, how is all that even going to work?’” Scott said in a recent phone interview. “But everybody around me was like ‘Dude! Do it! Do it now!’”
Scott, who is from Cheyenne, Wyoming, was already something of a prodigy, having played gigs around Denver and Colorado’s Front Range starting at the age of 16. But the offer from Taylor, who grew up in Denver, still came as a shock.
“I got plucked out of Cheyenne as a 19-year-old and plopped into Paris,” Scott said laughing. “I was in his band for three or four years and we were doing five or six tours a year, so I got to go all over the Western world, and it was such a great experience.
“It was cool playing with somebody who’s the real thing,” he continued. “He really made his own style in that genre, and really, nobody else sounds like him. So, it was an honor getting to be a part of that for a few years. I learned so much, too, especially being on the road at that level, at that age.”
The Taylor Scott band, which is Scott on guitar, Jon Wirtz on keyboards, Larry Compton on drums, and Bob Songster on bass, will play at Steve’s Guitars starting at 8:30 p.m. tonight. It will be Scott’s first time playing anywhere in Carbondale.
“I heard it’s an intimate little room, but we’re going to get rockin’ in there anyway,” he said. “It will be the full outfit.”
Scott said the band will play a number of songs off their new album, “All We Have,” which was released last March.
“We like to break it down and do some mellow, singer-songwriter tunes, and also get funky and improvise a lot as well,” Scott said. “So we kinda do all that through the lens of our original music. We play a little bit of cover stuff too — soul, funk and a little blues.”
“All We Have” is the first collaboration between the Taylor Scott Band and producer Steve Berlin, who is a member of the band Los Lobos. Scott said that the way the collaboration came about was oddly simple, which he said is rare in the music business.
“We were at a Los Lobos show, and my manager at the time gave some of those guys our record,” Scott said. “Steve loved it, so he gave me a call and we started talking about working together right away.
“He was into the style and all the themes, so as soon as we got in touch I sent him pretty much everything I had written up to that point, and we whittled down to about a dozen songs for the album and recorded it just a few months later.”
Scott said the band’s music melds elements of funk, soul, rock and R&B, and his primary influences include the Allman Brothers Band, early New Orleans funk like The Meters, singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, and classic bluesmen like B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Freddie King.
“All those things and more come out,” he said. “So I feel like there’s something for everybody.
“We improvise a lot, and each live show is a little different.”
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