Maria Taylor Plays DC’s Rock & Roll Hotel
Singer/songwriter Maria Taylor is touring with her brother and sister, but insists they’ve only gotten into one fight so far. “No one gave me the memo that tequila is evil [and] it makes me really mean,” said Taylor while introducing the song “Clean Getaway” to the sold-out crowd at Washington, D.C.’s Rock & Roll Hotel.
Mean wasn’t an adjective that came to mind when I first heard Taylor’s soulfully sweet voice singing harmonies for Bright Eyes on their 2002 album Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground. At the time she was in the band Azure Ray. The group disbanded in 2004 and Taylor released her first solo album, 11:11, a year later. She went on to release the critically acclaimed solo albums Lynn Teeter Flower, Savannah Drive and Ladyluck. Songs from these albums have been featured in various TV shows, like Bones, Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill.
The 35-year-old Taylor does more than sing and write; she plays piano, guitar and drums, and has collaborated with artists like Bright Eyes, Moby and R.E.M’s Michael Stipe. At the age of fifteen she formed her first band (Little Red Rocket) with childhood friend and classmate Orenda Fink. The two created the band Azure Ray and made up two-fourths of Now It’s Overhead.
Taylor is now touring with fellow Alabamian Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in support of her upcoming album, Overlook, out August 16. Her D.C. show was a 45-minute, gracious and intimate, storyteller-esque set which included songs like “Ladyluck,” “The Ballad of Sean Foley,” her newly released single “In a Bad Way” (scroll down to listen), and “Bad Idea?” another new song she described as, “about being 35-years-old and still living life like you’re 20.” She stopped “Bad Idea?” a few words in and asked for, and got, some supporting vocals from the crowd.
Her band that night consisted of her brother Macey Taylor on bass and banjo, sister Kate Taylor on drums and backing vocals, and Browan Lollar from the 400 Unit on guitar. Taylor ended her set with a beautiful, extended edition of “Song Beneath the Song,” undoubtedly one of her most well-known songs. If she’s headed to your town, check her out. For the money, she’s a steal (my ticket was only $18). Her current tour ends June 20 in San Diego.
- MAY 22 TORONTO, ON – HORSEHOE TAVERN
- MAY 24 CINCINNATI, OH – SOUTHGATE HOUSE
- MAY 25 BLOOMINGTON, IL – CASTLE THEATER
- MAY 26 CHICAGO, IL – LINCOLN HALL
- MAY 27 MADISON, WI – HIGH NOON SALOON
- MAY 28 ST. PAUL, MN – TURF CLUB
- MAY 30 WISCONSIN DELLS, WI – SHOWBOAT SALOON
- MAY 31 ST. LOUIS, MO – OLD ROCK HOUSE
- JUNE 2 DALLAS, TX – BAREFOOT AT THE BELMONT
- JUNE 3 SAN ANTONIO, TX – SAM’S BURGER JOINT
- JUNE 4 AUSTIN, TX – THE PARISH
- JUNE 5 HOUSTON, TX – FREE PRESS SUMMERFEST
- JUNE 7 LUBBOCK, TX – THE BLUE LIGHT
- JUNE 9 DENVER, CO – LARIMER LOUNGE
- JUNE 10 SALT LAKE CITY, UT – STATE ROOM
- JUNE 11 BOISE, ID – GEM STATE JAM*
- JUNE 13 VANCOUVER, BC – THE BILTMORE
- JUNE 14 SEATTLE, WA – TRACTOR TAVERN
- JUNE 15 PORTLAND, OR – DOUG FIR LOUNGE
- JUNE 17 SAN FRANCISCO, CA – GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL
- JUNE 19 LOS ANGELES, CA – THE TROUBADOUR
- JUNE 20 SAN DIEGO, CA – CASBAH
*opening all shows for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, except June 11
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