Legendary songwriter Chip Taylor, who was inducted into the hallowed Songwriters Hall of Fame (along with Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty, and Elvis Costello) in June of 2016, announces a February 17 release date for his new album, A Song I Can Live With, on his Train Wreck Records imprint. Chip’s latest compilation of songs in his own inimitable style, personal in origin but universal in appeal, follows last year’s release of Little Brothers, which generated universal acclaim and also saw Taylor reuniting with his former duo partner, singer/fiddler Carrie Rodriguez, for a series of shows dubbed “the 10th Anniversary Red Dog Tracks Reunion Tour,” in honor of their album of the same name. Taylor also released a “mini album,” I’ll Carry for You, last year, inspired by Canadian golfing sisters Brooke and Brittany Henderson, who caddy for each other, and whose title track was a song about the power of love.
Prior to the release of A Song I Can Live With, Chip and his long-time guitar player, John Platania, taped an interview and performance with Chicago’s Dave Hoekstra for his acclaimed WGN-AM radio show, “Nocturnal Journal,” that will air Saturday, January 14, at 10:00 PM Central Time. Listeners can stream it live by going to http://wgnradio.com/
Produced by Chip Taylor and Goran Grini, the new album sessions were recorded at Train Wreck Studios in Mamaroneck, New York, and Grini Studios in Norway. The even-dozen songs feature Taylor backed by a band that includes Goran Grini on an assortment of instruments, as well as John Platania on guitar and special guest Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar.
“I had just finished recording and mixing the Little Brothers album with my friend and co-producer, the amazingly soulful Goran Grini from Norway,” Taylor recalls. “I was in New York. There were no tours ahead of me. All of a sudden I started writing again. The songs felt inspired. I sent them to Goran and asked his opinion. He said he loved them.
“Goran flew in from Norway a few weeks later. We recorded the new songs in the same manner as the Little Prayers Trilogy – just Goran on keyboards & me (guitar and vocals) with great friend Tony Mercadante at the controls at our little Train Wreck Studios. Goran added bass, pedal steel horns and other keyboards in Norway. Then my great friend John Platania added his guitar magic on several, and here we are with our new album, A Song I Can Live With.”
Taylor talked about his songwriting style by observing, “As are most of my songs, all the songs in this album are stream-of-consciousness-based. In other words, I didn’t plan on writing about anything particular. In each instance, I picked up my guitar and at some point words and music flowed that gave me some sort of a chill that inspired me to continue – mainly to find out, as a listener, what I was talking about. With many of these songs I didn’t grasp a meaning until late in the writing process. With some, their meaning changes for me from day to day. With the exception of a few, these songs were written during an inspired period several months ago. ‘A Song I Can Live With’ and ‘Little Angel Wings’ were written at the last moment.”
About Chip Taylor
Chip Taylor has been writing and performing for nearly 60 years and shows no sign of slowing down. The New York Times says it best, “If you only know him as the as the guy who wrote ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Angel of the Morning’ — you don’t know him! Chip Taylor is making some of the most distinctive acoustic music around today.” With the release of the Little Brothers album, and the EP, I’ll Carry for You, he continues to engage and delight music fans everywhere.
Creating distinctive music that is also enduring and influential has been Chip Taylor’s métier over the course of what is closing in on five decades as “one of America’s finest songwriters as well as a masterful singer and performer,” says Rolling Stone. His two best-known songs are only some of the many pop, rock, country and R&B chart hits he wrote in the 1960s (Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield and Frank Sinatra all recorded his songs). Taylor was one of the pioneers of the pivotal country-rock movement as a recording artist in the 1970s. His 1973 album, Last Chance, remains a beloved cult classic. But after refusing to play by the Nashville establishment rules, Taylor gave up music for full-time professional gambling in 1980.
Since returning to music in 1996, he has enjoyed elder statesman stature within the Americana, contemporary folk and singer-songwriter scenes as an artist in his own right, as well as in collaboration on albums and in performance with Carrie Rodriguez, John Prine, Kendel Carson and John Platania. In a remarkable and prolific run, Taylor has released nearly an album a year since his return, each rising high on the Americana chart. As England’s The Guardian notes, “Chip Taylor, like Johnny Cash, is well worth rediscovering by a new generation.”
Taylor has been involved in a series of amazing projects in the last several years. Norway’s premier folk singer, Paal Flaata, recorded a full album of Taylor songs, Wait by the Fire, and rode it to the Top 10 and a Norwegian Grammy nomination. His duet with John Prine, 16 Angels Dancing ‘Cross The Moon, was released on a special 10-inch vinyl for Record Store Day in 2015. The Grammy-nominated Yonkers NY (2009) shows his facility with storytelling within songs.
Mojo magazine included a new and exclusive Chip Taylor version of Dylan’s classic “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)” on the cover-mount CD of a 2016 issue. Taylor’s version was also on the Mojo limited pressing of 3,500 LPs, titled Blonde on Blonde Revisited, featuring the complete original Dylan album songs covered in full on two blonde-colored vinyl LPs.
As Chip Taylor’s muse continues to fire on all pistons, musical tastemakers agree that fans and listeners should tune their ears into the continuing creativity of a true musical master. “If names like Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt mean anything to you, you should make a point of discovering Chip Taylor,” urges critic Anthony DeCurtis. “Whether you know it or not, he’s earned his way into that exalted company.”