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Julian Taylor inspired by heirlooms

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Toronto based blues/ soul/R and B musician Julian Taylor comes by his love of soul and R and B naturally, but also blends music of his Mohawk and African Canadian influences to his sound.The Julian Taylor band play Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22. Photo submitted
 He kicks off the Ex Stage, Thursday, July 22 at Whoop Days.
 He just released a new CD “Avalanche, which was influenced by a box of heirlooms he was looking through that his mother gave him. He got a taste of music business success with his band Staggered Crossing in 2001 and has been playing professionally ever since.
“ My music is indigenous, Canadiana, rock, Soul and R and B. It‘s a real smorgasbord,” said Taylor, en route to doing his daily radio show on  106.5 ELMNT. which mirrors the playlist on his afternoon drive time show.
“It’s Toronto’s first indigenous owned and operated  station,” he said,
adding he juggles the show with touring and music making.

“I do the best I can and I can do some of it while I’m on the road,” Taylor said.
 He discovered  his smorgasbord of musical tastes through his parents.
“ It’s part of my heritage. My parents listened to a lot of soul, and R and B and folk music,” he said.
He became fascinated  by the  stories in blues  and roots music.

“For me I got a lot of inspiration learning Bruce Cockburn and Bruce Springsteen. ’m inspired by the folklore of the music, like the story of Robert Johnson meeting the Devil at the Crossroads. I’m also inspired by gospel music. I used to sing in the church choir,” he said.
 Avalanche is his most personal album to date. thanks to the box of heirlooms his mother gave him.
“All of my albums are personal. but I was looking through this stuff, like old report cards and photos,” he said.
 But the most inspiring item was a set of training boxing gloves.

“My grandpa gave me those boxing gloves. There’s just an inscription and a date: To Julian from grandpa 1984,” he said.
“ I was looking at them  and  I remembered visiting my grandparents in Maple Ridge, B.C. ,” he said  adding the songs explore a variety of topics including the passage of time,  the deaths of close friends and racial issues and life as an African Canadian/ Mohawk man.

“ Take What You need is about my grandma Berta who was diagnosed with diabetes as a little girl but kept fighting,” he said.
Other songs explore First Nations philosophy of  living in harmony with nature.


“We  would  hunt buffalo  and we used every part of it. Nothing went to waste,“ he said.
“And I’ve had a lot of friends who died before they were 25 , so there’s songs about that too,” he continued.
He noted while the Julian Taylor Band hasn’t played Lethbridge, he has played here with  Staggered Crossing.

“About 15 years ago, we played Lethbridge with big sugar,” he recalled.
“I remember people  there came to party. I hope they still do,” he said.
“The live show is a lot of fun. There is  soul and R and B music, but it is a rock and roll show,” he continued, adding he will be bringing the core band members of  drummer Jeremy Elliott, who also played  with him in Staggered Crossing, keyboardist David Engle, Bassist Jarrod Ross and lead guitarist Derek Perry.

“ Sometimes we tour with a horn section, but we might not be able to afford to this time,” he said.
 After Whoop Up Days, there are going down to Nashville for  Americana Fest, which Corb Lund, who is laying Aug, 20, will also be playing.
“We’re going down there to play with Keb Mo, so that will be a lot of fun,” he said.

“ We’re just excited to play. Music is life and life is music,” he said.
The Julian Taylor band open up the ex stage at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22. They will be followed by Scenic route to Alaska at 8 p.m. and Walk Off The Earth at 9:30 p.m.
Tickets are $38 at the gate, $31 in advance.

—by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 August 2019 10:03 )  
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