The Abilene audio scene has shifted in excess of the many years.
Bands, players and designs increase up and fade absent.
But just one continual has been Kevin Taylor.
The 1980 Cooper Higher grad carries on to play, navigating the audio freeway significantly like a automobile switching lanes, accelerating or slowing, traveling considerably or just downtown for a gig.
K.T. and the Blues Experts, a band he began in 2010, is back on stage Saturday at the once-a-year Garageband Woodstock. It truly is Taylor’s hottest band, one particular that undoubtedly doesn’t go back to the 1960s, when the Chevelle 5, The Continentals, The Magnificent Furies and other bands ended up domestically well known. But they will blend in and retain the group at the Taylor County Coliseum rockin’.
A lot more:Garageband Woodstock returns in 2021 immediately after missing a summer season
Soon after transferring the summer season get-with each other downtown, the occasion is back again at the Expo Centre.
Taylor has each led bands and performed with musicians who were being or continue to are regarded at the major of their style. The latter displays his range as drummer, which is his part when he is a person of the men in the band. For a number of many years, he toured with late blues musician Extended John Hunter, a Texas player who was rediscovered in the 1990s by nearby promoter Steve Jeter.
Then, Taylor went in a totally various path, landing a gig as drummer for Pink Steagall. He will be the initial to admit that he actually isn’t really much of a Bunkhouse Boy but Steagall preferred what he heard 25 a long time back and Taylor joined the outfit.
A showman, equally as a drummer, guitarist and entrance gentleman, Taylor uncovered that lessons No. 1 and 2 in cowboy songs are to preserve the defeat and continue to keep the quantity just correct.
It is really when the Blues Experts, or his back again-in-the-day band Harry Perry and the Pickups, are on stage that he can let unfastened. He’s fast with a punch line and dead-on impersonation. No two introductions of the band are the exact same.
It can be his life absent from the day work with Legal Protect. He’s up at 4 a.m. and soon after espresso, he performs his guitar. He listens to other artists on YouTube and attempts to imitate their licks.
It truly is a fantastic way to relieve into the day, nevertheless Taylor doesn’t acquire daily life much too severely.
“If someone starts taking it much too critically, I get humored up,” he explained, laughing.
“Which is just the way it is man.”
Getting started in the biz
Born in Tyler but relocating to Abilene when he was 6, Taylor has manufactured Abilene at least his house foundation. He went as a result of the nearby faculty process, and then on to Abilene Christian University.
He travels in all instructions – east to Dallas and south to Fredericksburg, in which he signed a three-calendar year, 600-demonstrate agreement at the Rockbox Theater. Not long ago, it has been west to Odessa, where by the band has lined up a awesome-having to pay frequent a few-piece gig at a club termed Flair Taverna. The drummer alterations out for that 1, but bass participant Randy Morris, who Taylor has been playing with since 1988, can make the journey.
His first “sit-down” gig was at Abilene’s Gardski’s Loft, now Don Luis. That was a massive deal for a significant faculty student whose father experienced explained to him he experienced to perform sports to get the girls. He failed to (participate in sports, way too small for soccer, he claimed.) but he soared into the well-liked column at Madison Junior Superior as a seventh-grader soon after arranging a drum battle for a faculty talent demonstrate.
“That set us up in the well known column. Going for walks down the corridor, it was nearly like you were being the quarterback,” he claimed of all the drummers who participated. “I even now have a cassette of it someplace.
“That’s the drug that nonetheless goes on currently. Which is never, at any time absent away.”
He inevitably obtained the woman, as well, now married pretty much 40 decades to Kelly.
Like a lot of musicians, he was in the marching band. He performed the drums.
Taylor’s one particular of these all-natural musicians who can listen to audio and then play it. But, he was recommended early on, if he was likely to get gigs, he’d have to browse songs. The late Michael Henry Martin, a mentor to quite a few regional musicians, advised him so.
“I resisted that plan,” he stated. “I considered if I uncovered to study, it would have an effect on my ear, my advert-lib abilities.”
In substantial college, he’d have a portion played for him and he’d memorize it for band tryouts.
“I’d place the tunes in front of me and just act like I was examining it,” he explained, laughing.
But he uncovered to go through and that talent was needed when he bought the Rockbox career in 2012. Tribute bands or solo performers would occur through and he acquired his drumming the 7 days leading up to the demonstrate. He’d pay attention, then generate it for the live performance.
Arrived in helpful when there would be a medley with tempo modifications.
“You can’t mess up,” Taylor explained. “That is when I turned the best drummer I’ve ever been.”
Getting a guitar male
At 11, he began messing about with the guitar, buying one particular and an amp.
But it was only all through the Harry Perry days that he very seriously started to master. From guitarist Richard Gonzales he obtained a 1962 Telecaster, which he however has. Harry Perry performed 1988-92, with Taylor joining Hunter for six several years immediately after that.
Right after that, Taylor for the 1st time booked himself as a guitarist and singer was with K.T. and the Someday Band.
He learned from each Gonzales and Martin, when Taylor was in the band SLO Movement Monkey. Taylor had a deal that Martin would train him a lick every single week through a frequent show at the Contact of Course Lounge. If Taylor obtained it down, Martin would train him one more the upcoming week.
“That’s what we did for a extensive time,” Taylor mentioned.
As a reward, Martin and Taylor would switch sites for one song a show.
He and Gonzales would jam in the course of lunch breaks.
“He’d display me the deal,” Taylor stated. “I just got all fired up, man.”
Then along arrived Hunter, and Taylor mentioned he all of a sudden had three guitar mentors.
“Extended John would say, ‘Hey, you might be sounding great. Acquiring superior,'” Taylor recalled.
At the Rockbox, the demonstrate producers would permit him crawl out from the powering the drums to do one track on guitar. It was staged, with Taylor asking to do a tune on guitar.
“Tune on a guitar?” the artist would talk to the drummer.
Taylor, of course, would wow the group with his skill to participate in B.B. King.
These times, he stated his participating in is “a small bit a lot more refined” with the Blues Researchers, who are Morris on bass and Ashley Robinson on drums.
Taylor collects guitars, and makes use of certain kinds to make an authentic go over of a blues traditional by, say, Freddie King.
Harry Perry early on backed Hunter when he’d engage in in Abilene. Hunter preferred the band and they did some other Texas demonstrates.
But when Hunter actually went on the road, only bassist Dave Keown and Taylor ended up ready to go. And so individuals two continent-hopped and played on Hunter albums that won plenty of acclaim to be nominated for W.C. Useful Awards.
“Not having rich but receiving a style of actual road lifetime,” Taylor said.
They didn’t have a tour bus, with the greatest decision who’s getting the captain’s chair in the van.
“I wouldn’t trade it,” Taylor explained of those people times.
The Steagall gig is way different.
The Bunkhouse Boys lineup hardly changes and is stuffed with award-successful musicians, such as fiddler Jason Roberts.
“I’m the only one particular who won’t wear a cowboy hat, and in all probability the only one who has not ridden a horse,” Taylor claimed. But he matches in like a foot into a worn boot.
There wasn’t an audition but he was hired to do a clearly show. If he passed muster, he’d remain on.
It was at a Authorized Defend convention in Dallas that Taylor satisfied James Wooden, the steel player for Steagall. Wooden explained to him the boss necessary a drummer. He’d look at into it. A couple of months afterwards, Wood identified as Taylor.
“If you is not going to permit me down, I’ll get you a show,” Wood explained.
Guaranteed ample, Taylor was despatched audio and had a date in Skiatook, Okla., with Steagall.
“I’m coming from blues to western swing … it was very daunting,” he said. “But my chops were being heat.”
Steagall appreciated what he read, but advised Taylor to bring his sound down. On the other hand, he explained, “I like your jazz aptitude. You might be allowed to push me.
“If you maintain your quantity down and give me some pushes, I’ll reserve you in the band. And he has.”
It is not about the revenue (but obtaining paid out is Ok, as well)
What drives K.T.?
Perfectly, it is great to get compensated. Will not get recognised as “the reward man” in town, he claimed.
Musicians are famous for currently being terrible with revenue. That could be why they have the blues.
“I want to make something,” he said. “It truly is really hard to get forward but the reality is, if he can get a thrill and get a single additional rep in on his instrument, that does outweigh the revenue.”
His information for young musicians?
Be eclectic, understand extra than a single instrument and “be simple to get along with.”
And present up on time.
“You can constantly operate,” Taylor claimed.
Greg Jaklewicz is editor of the Abilene Reporter-Information and general columnist. If you value locally pushed news, you can aid neighborhood journalists with a electronic membership to ReporterNews.com.
If You Go
What: 12th yearly Garageband Woodstock
When: Doorways opens at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and songs begins at 6:30
In which: Taylor County Expo Centre
Tickets: $30 each individual in advance (1517 Petroleum Drive) or $35 at the door. Tables $250 for 10 tickets.