I was on my way to photograph a show half way out on Long Island when I go a text telling me I had to make sure I caught the opening act tonight. No problems there for me since I normally use the opening acts to get familiar with the layout of the photo pit and get a feel for the lighting. When I got to the venue A friend of mine told me that Taylor Carson was the opening act this evening and asked if I had heard of him since we both had lived in Arlington, VA at the same time. I hadn't, But soon that was going to change.
Taylor took the stage that evening to a pretty packed crowed for an opener. Partially because he had recently gained a whole new group of loyal followers from touring with OAR the past 4 nights throughout the NY/NJ area. He took the stage humble and ready to perform. He had a simple yet demanding stage presence from the beginning. Just him and his producer/friend Mark Williams of Sucker Punch Recording Co. supporting him with back up vocals and guitar. One thing I have learned in my career as a music photographer is to not get your hopes up when you get that text stating “You have to hear this person”. Tonight however, that text was spot on!
Taylor Carson is a songwriter that draws on personal experience to tell stories through music and he does it with ease! His voice is soothing but has a grit to it that adds legitimacy to the story telling. You cannot help but to be drawn in to listening to him because from the start you feel connected. No overly complicated music or guitar riffs to hide behind; he makes himself vulnerable on stage and this adds to the experience and amplifies his talents as a songwriter and performer. If I had to compare him to somebody, the closest I could come is Pat Mcgee. They are both stripped down and simple performers that rely on talent to draw fans into the moment.
This evening ended a little different than most for me. After the set, I got tapped on the shoulder and invited out to a privet performance by Taylor and Mark for a very small intimate crowd. It is not often you get this type of invite so I figured "why the hell not, its only sleep I will be missing out on". This is where you truly get to know the passion Taylor has for music. Ten people packed a small room and Taylor told the stories behind the songs as he performed. When the song was filled with joy you could see the smile on his face and when the song told a story of struggle you felt it and saw it not only on his face but in his voice. If you are into acoustic story telling through music jump onto iTunes now and check out his work. You will not be disappointed.
Article by Nubbs