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Music
4/15/07
 
 
Southern Comfort
The Soulful Maria Taylor Discusses Life as a Solo Artist

By Autumn Thatcher
 
 
Post-Concert Interview:
Maria Taylor
 
Thursday, April 5
Kilby Court
Salt Lake City
   
 

On the warm night of Thursday, April 5 , fans were crowded together in the converted garage that is Kilby Court to listen to the soft vocal talents of Maria Taylor. The room was lit with soft white Christmas lights that hung above the heads of the many Taylor admirers who seemed unphased by the stifling heat inevitable collisions with people walking in and out. Nothing mattered but the petite brunette strumming her guitar on stage and enchanting everyone with her musical stories.

After finishing the show and making a quick change of clothing, Taylor took the time to sit down with Salt Shaker Magazine and, with acup of wine in hand, talked about the history of her music and where she hopes to go with it.

It is pretty much guaranteed that when you listen to her newest album, Lynn Teeter Flower, you will fall in love with Maria Taylor. However, just when you think it is impossible to love her anymore, you meet her, and find out that the Alabama native with a soft southern accent is even more amazing in person. Sitting on a bench outside of Kilby Court, Taylor takes time to smile and pose with eager fans who bashfully request a photograph. It is clear that she enjoys every aspect of being a musician, including interacting with fans after the show. Though most musicians tend to prefer selling out to larger crowds and stadium venues, Taylor admits that playing in small venues is what drives her to continue creating music. "You can really feel the energy when playing in smaller venues. It's like a house party, and it's nice because you know everyone is there to see you", Taylor explained.

The daughter of a musician father, Taylor grew up surrounded by music. "We had a studio in our house, so I have pretty much spent my whole life recording" says Taylor, who after spending years dancing on stage with fellow ballerinas, decided to forfeit her career in dance and focus solely on music. "The first band I began playing with was called Little Red Rocket," says Taylor, as she points to a small tattoo of a red rocket on the inside of her forearm. After Little Red Rocket broke up, Taylor formed Azure Ray with fellow female musician, Orenda Fink. The two built quite the following together, making a name for themselves within the world of Indie music. After releasing a couple of albums with Fink, Taylor decided to go solo and really focus on her lyrics. This decision led to the completion of her first album, 11:11.

"11:11 was shimmery, and more produced. It seemed to have a haze over it" explains Taylor. She admits that though she was pleased with her first solo album, she wanted to put more of herself into her sophomore release. "I really wanted to find a way to put where I am in my life into my music. Into the melody and chord progression, and that was a challenge because it is hard to articulate emotion," says Taylor. She goes on to explain that for "Lynn Teeter Flower", she wanted the album to feel more like a live show, which required less production and more focus on raw material. "I had the best time ever recording this album. It reflects more of me as a person. It's me, and I like it a lot" Taylor says softly with a proud smile on her face. In reflecting upon her musical performance just moments ago, it becomes obvious that her goal to sound the same live as she does on her album was most certainly met, and she knows that.

After taking a two-week break from the road, Taylor will head off to Europe to continue to tour and stay in touch with fans. "I like touring because it is important to see people at each show. I know that I have to keep playing, even when I'm bummed" says Taylor. Though older albums may suggest a hint of sadness, "Lynn Teeter Flower" emanates confidence and maturity and Taylor embraces that. "We have a really enthusiastic band with amazing energy" Taylor says. Her backup instrumentalists include both her brother and sister, and a good friend on drums. Taylor, who has graced the album presence of such artists as Bright Eyes and Moby, says that she is not working on any side projects right now, and is instead, devoting this time to her own music. "I want to keep touring with my solo project. And of course, keep playing the drums, which I am naturally drawn to" laughs the guitarist.

If you missed Maria Taylor's show at Kilby Court, then you can keep up with current news on the artist at www.saddle-creek.com , and hope that the beautiful storyteller returns to Salt Lake City soon to cleanse the soul with her intimate lyrics and captivating voice.

autumn[at]saltshakermagazine.com

 

 
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