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The Friends of Taylor Hicks

By admin Published: March 29, 2007

In today's Beacon Journal I have a contemplation of Taylor Hicks that you can find here.

You can read reactions from Hicks fans, including one that caught me in an error, after the jump ...

First, the error note:

Wow.....your article may have more impact if you would take the time to do some research, instead of just giving us your opinions, based on.....well, your opinions.

BTW...it was a tornado hit Alabama...not a hurricane...back to the drawing boards!

(I both did research and offered opinion. But the tornado/hurricane mistake was a bonehead move and I plan to correct it in tomorrow's Beacon Journal.) On to another letter:

Read your column today on Taylor Hicks. I understand your take on Hicks: it’s the American Idol take on him. And you’re a pop culture guy. But Taylor Hicks is definitely not the guy you saw on Idol. He’s not even the guy you see on much of that new album, of course. About ½ of it is representative of him, and the rest is Clive Davis. This will not come as a surprise, of course.

I sincerely hope you’ll attend Taylor’s show and see for yourself. I challenge you to come out of that show and see how many of your preconceived notions hold up! To quote Bucky Covington, “If you haven’t seen Taylor Hicks live, you haven’t seen Taylor Hicks.”

Another letter:

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion but I think you are entirely off the mark as far as Taylor Hicks is concerned. First of all, have you even listened to his self-titled CD, Taylor Hicks? I venture to say the answer is "no". Taylor has so much passion and emotion in his music and when he performs. I don't know how you can say "he is boring". He is truly a unique individual. Yes, he sings many "cover songs" during his show. Every show is uniquely different. He does not sing the same songs night after night. He is very versatile in his song selection and performance. What I like about Taylor is that he is modernizing the old-style music. Yes, he does appeal to the "boomer" generation because of this approach. I have not listened to the radio since the early 90's because what is being produced is "garbage" - in my opinion. Bring back the songs that actually have a tune & you can understand the words. Words that do not promote violence and are not sexually explicit.

Taylor's career is moving slow & steady. His career will endure all the negative press you guys want to dish out. Taylor knows where he is going and yes, the Soul Patrol is following right behind him.

I'm sorry that you do not appreciate good music when you hear it. It's your loss. "Cut the guy some slack" as he says in Heaven Knows
.

(I did listen to the CD. More than once, in fact.) Moving on to other letters:

Another Daughtry fan I see -- It is sad you to not want to experience the magic that is Taylor Hicks in a live concert. Your loss!

And:

It's a shame there can't be anything of value to Hillbilly Americans other than pop idols or country music. Terrible review of an excellent concert!!

(For the record, it wasn't a review. It was an analysis in advance of a local performance.)

I have read your article on Taylor Hicks and my only comment is go see him in concert, stay until the end, and then write your article. It will carry much more credibility and it just may be surprised at what your find. After you see him perform you are still not a fan so be it....It takes many different artists and fans to make the world go round.

Another letter:

The person you describe is not the Taylor Hicks that is selling out venues all over the country to rave reviews (yours notwithstanding).

I saw his concert in Knoxville and at the Ryman in Nashville. He is an unparalleled live performer! Those attending both concerts were mesmerized.

Have you seen Taylor live in concert? If not, you should--he is so much better than you describe. Here's how someone who saw him in Milwaukee last night described him:

"I hate to even mention this, but I couldn't help feeling last night that Taylor was the most legit thing ever to come out of idol and ever will be. He’s just truly in another league…. Somewhere in a musical galaxy far, far away…."

By the way, love his album.

Here's some detail about Hicks's live show:

Taylor Hicks and band set list for Milwaukee - March 28, 2007

(Too bad he doesn't have anything in his bag of tricks)

Soul Thing, tag: Night Life (Willie Nelson)
Give Me Tonight
Hell Of A Day
Wherever I Lay My Hat, tag: Nightshift (The Commodores)
tag: He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones), tag: Chain Gang (Sam Cooke)
Heart and Soul, tag: Can't Trust Your Neighbor (Johnnie Taylor), tag:Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry)
Just To Feel That Way
Gonna Move tag: Harlem/Cold Baloney (Bill Withers),tag: Movin On Up (Ja’net DuBois/Jeff Barry),
The Deal
Going Mobile
Dream Myself Awake
Heaven Knows tag: Ain’t That Peculiar (Marvin Gaye), segue into…
The Maze tag: Rough God Goes Riding (Van Morrison) w/scatting with Brian G., tag: Mystic Church (Van Morrison), tag: Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
The Right Place
The Runaround

Encore:
Badge

*******************************************************************************

Damn! This man needs to learn some music - it is different every venue. At this rate he may run out of things to sing. Man you need to drop your Idol fixation/frustration.

Please do not write about what you do not know - it is extremely aggravating, unfair and just plain, uh, unprofessional.

Another letter:

Why couldn't you say, Taylor's music is not my taste? Why couldn't you say his moving (he calls it dancing) does nothing for me? But, no, you have to degrade and say cruel things to get attention. How about-isn't it great that so many of the finalists from season 5 are doing so well. There's something to be said for all of them and their individual styles.

By the by, I am not a "granny voter" and take umbrage at that term. You seem to feel it is acceptable to malign anyone. I'd feel sorry for you, if you didn't take to much joy in being hurtful.

And more:

Regarding your review of Taylor Hicks I have one question.

Have you EVER been to a TH concert?

TH commands the band - not vice versa - with a hand gesture, a glance, a change of position on the stage. It is part of the "artistry" of seeing this group live. It is called performing (not stand behind a mic and sing or do the "boy band" choreographed dance crap that has sufficed for performing.)

The audience is not "grannies" but a diverse mix of ages from families with 6 - 7 year-olds, tweens, teens, and on up. Sure there are older people there as well. Are they not allowed to find some music they enjoy for a change? I love seeing the older couples at a concert. I love seeing a parent/parents bring their kids to a concert. I love seeing the twelve year-old boys in line at the bus waiting for an autograph on a guitar.

You, sir, do not "get" Taylor Hicks. It is all about the music and the performance for all ages. He never said it was about anything else.

Is music only for the pierced, tattooed, gangsta groups who want to be screamed at? Not any more! Ha! Not any more!

It seems you are reaching for something to write without knowing your subject. You really need some "hands on" observation to write an informed article.

(I haven't seen him in concert. I did see every performance on "American Idol" and,as I said, listened to the CD. I stand by my opinion. But here's one more letter so you know I don't mind letting fans have their say...)

You have to know that if you use the term "granny" votes, you're setting yourself up for tons of mail! (And to be honest, I'm a 54 yr. old granny!)

But, I'm not going to rag on you! It's just that when we read something like "Hicks too often lets the song control him" or "As a singer he has no character", that it's almost impossible not to respond!

You've either got to be kidding - or you have not seen the man perform live! And if you haven't seen Taylor on stage, performing the songs you think control him - then you should! When you do, write another column. If your opinion hasn't changed, and you can honestly say (with a straight face) that Taylor has no character as a singer, then we can just chalk it up to the old "different strokes" cliche.

If you don't see him perform, but continue to write such lame comments about such a passionate, talented artist, then shame on you.

Another letter:

That is the most negative review I've ever seen for Taylor.
Almost every review I have read on his live shows are overwhelmingly
positive. I think you ought to take in one of his shows. I do like his
CD but his arrangements in the live shows are more stripped down and
may be more to your liking. His two independent CD's may be more to
your liking also. Check them out. I really think Taylor is going to be
around for a long time.

(I may post some more letters later; they're still coming in. Since I have had some trouble sending e-mails on my work account, I have telephoned some of the writers and have sent a general thank-you to www.graycharles.com. We may disagree on this, but I appreciate people taking the time to let me know how they feel.)

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