American Idol, smoky small bar, Broadway, Vegas....it doesn't matter for Taylor Hicks. Just like his song lyric, "Wherever I Lay My Hat, that's my home," whichever venue this gray haired talent finds himself in, he is completely at home. And he definitely makes his audience right at home with him. How does he do it? He travels continually, lives in many different places, and never forgets his Alabama roots. Yet, when you are in the crowd watching his show, you truly believe he is at home and in complete comfort on any stage, in any town.!
Well....for starters...the man is a gigantic energetic bubble of honest talent. He pulls no punches and makes no attempt to glitz up his Vegas shows. It is the real thing....pure energy, passion, soul, and a taste of many types of music but always reflecting his beginnings. Taylor Hicks is a song writer and incorporates some of his best work into the Paris show, formerly at Ballys. He also gives excellent voice to some favorites of other artists and cleverly inserts "tags" or pieces of these songs into his own, making them fit somehow, and then eases back into the original song. And all without anyone missing a beat.!
Another reason that audiences come away with such a smile after seeing a Taylor Hicks show, AND keep coming back for more, can be attributed to the musicians with which he chooses to surround himself. Brian Less, who is his keyboardist and musical director, tour manager, long time friend, and all round great guy, lends his incredible touch on keyboard and organ, and sings with Taylor on many songs. I can't ever imagine a show without his amazing presence. Throughout the years, Taylor has changed his band. But rest assured, he has a knack for including some of the best musicians around in each change. Sometimes he has an incredible sax player, sometimes no sax, but still the music is fabulous. His bass and lead guitarists compliment the show in ways that need to be seen live to appreciate. His drummers and/or percussionists are always right on the money as well.!
But the main factor in the success Taylor Hicks is experiencing during his extended Vegas run at Paris Hotel's Napoleon's Lounge, is his connection with the crowd. It is an intimate venue and every seat is a good view. Sure, it's the same songs with a few changes here and there, the same banter and stories, the same outfits...etc. But, hey...it's VEGAS! And this is a Vegas show in its full glory! And people love hearing the banter, the stories, the jokes, and most of all, THE MUSIC. So, they keep coming and coming. Included in this very entertaining and energizing evening is the story of how he got to Idol and fans, old and new, never tire of delighting in it. There are Taylor Hicks early songs, which he wrote that are outstanding in their unique and "real deal" feel. There are favorite covers, such as: "Taking It To The Streets," with classic Taylor moves and some new tricks as well. "Nineteen," is one which always brings a crowd to its feet and to tears, celebrating our troops, "Back To Louisiana," a personal favorite of mine, gets everyone moving with its bluesy sound and amazing harmonica solos. And "Maybe You Should," a beautiful ballad which Taylor Hicks proudly tells us is reserved for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and the rousing "Seven Mile Breakdown," help round out this rollicking, fun performance. The encore doesn't disappoint. Taylor belts out Viva Las Vegas in true Elvis/Taylor style.
For those who can afford the VIP ticket, you get a private Meet and Greet with Taylor Hicks. He signs pretty much anything and everything that isn't attached to your body, and takes pictures with you. If you choose the non VIP ticket, you can still get to meet him after the show at his merchandise table, which is attended to by a very gracious and knowledgeable lady. Every time I have been to his show, both at Paris and Ballys, this table was full of appreciative fans wanting to buy CDs, t shirts, coozies, and other various treasures to remind them of their great experience. I want to add here that the staff at Napoleon's Lounge is very courteous and helpful to all fans.!
All in all, this is without question the best live music show on the strip! If you find yourself on a plane ANYWHERE near Las Vegas, get yourself a ticket to the liveliest and most entertaining musical experience around the city! In closing, I just have one thing more to add:
TAYLOR HICKS! We loved you before Vegas, we love you during Vegas, and we will continue to love you on the next step of your amazing Journey
Photos of my latest evening at Napoleon's with this talented artist are available in two places:
For full size images, in our TMO Media member section:
Link to Forum:
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Monday, November 5, 2012
Taylor Hicks has returned to Ballys in Vegas. The songs are pretty much the same, the stage is pretty much the same , and the energy level is....well...POUNDING. Is it old hat? Is it just the same ole same ole? Not a CHANCE!
When Taylor Hicks takes the stage with his incredible band full of musical excellence, you never once think, oh I've done this and heard this before. Instead, you are immediately drawn in by his magical presence, his shining silver hair, his intense passion, and.a voice that can raise chills and burn you alive all at the same time.
A Taylor Hicks Ballys set opens with a much loved Idol favorite of " Living For The City," and you are catapulted into a mix of rock and soul that can't be found in too many other places. The always beautiful "Maybe You Should" is offered with raw passion and genuine heart. One of my favorites is "Back To Louisiana," which heated up the Indigo Lounge on this evening to a fever pitch. The harmonica was a little extra good and the charming Taylor banter with the audience was in top form.
The new musical addition was Sinatra's "That's Life," which had the audience swaying along. By the time he and the band had gotten through "Love The One You're With," the crowd was as stoked as Taylor was. Jamie McLean and his band were superb as always, Brian G. On the horn was pure pleasure, and the truly incredible Brian Less on keyboard was beyond description.
At first, Taylor had some mic stand issues, but in true Taylor Hicks form, he managed to joke his way to a new one and entertain us while they made the adjustment. I have to say....once again...."Nineteen" brought me and everyone around me to tears. I brought my family to see the show and they were speechless after hearing this moving tribute to our Troops.
The close of the show was as joyful and exciting as I've ever seen! "Seven Mile Breakdown" had people clapping, foot stomping, singing along, and with great big smiles. By the time the curtains were opened and "Viva Las Vegas" rang out, the audience was cheering and as energetic as Taylor himself.
For a southern boy and his buddies, missing their Alabama football super team on the field, they created their own special brand of "Roll Tide!" And that Tide swept away any question of whether a return trip to Ballys, Las Vegas was worth the effort. The answer is unequivocally YES!!!
For ticket info, go to Ticketmaster and get yourself a pass to THE hottest show on the strip! It's not a repeat, folks. It's a continuation of the most musical fun you can have in the magical, crazy city of Las Vegas. And those of us who attended this show can vouch for that!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Taylor Hicks is at Ballys. This is last Monday night's performance. It's an hour before show time. The line begins to form, the buzz begins to swirl. The excitement is palpable. "Have you seen him before?" "Oh Yea, lots of times and he's great! Have you?" "No, never but I've heard about this and I can't wait to see it!"
So it goes....The excitement continues to climb and swirl, and soon, they are letting us in! Immediately, I knew I'd landed in Taylor Hicks Twilight Zone...this was truly going to be an out of body, out of mind experience. I have a front table. As I glance around me, I see many difference expressions on many faces, but they all spell A.N.T.I.C.I.P.A.T.I.O.N. They've heard about it, they've read about it, they've seen snippets of it....and now they are about to LIVE IT!
The band walks out onto the stage and waits. The Jimmy Fallon "Friday" clip begins to play. Those of us who know what is in store, or think we know, are already shaking with energy. Those who have not seen Taylor Hicks before are waiting, not knowing what they are going to be hit by in just a few moments. And then.....the Soulman is announced by his fabulous keyboardist, Brian Less....and Taylor literally bursts onto the stage. There isn't time to prepare adequately, no time to breathe deeply or call for oxygen....the barrage has begun and IT'S GOOD!
Taylor Hicks in concert at Ballys, Vegas is an experience no one who loves live music should miss, if at all possible to see it. As he takes the stage and the mic, his pure and powerful voice full of soul captures you and enraptures you, and from the first notes and quirky Taylor moves, you are mesmerized.
Tonight is no exception! He begins with "Living For the City," an immediate snap back to his past Idol performances and win. The crowd goes crazy. From there on, it's just great stuff! Saturday night, Taylor sang "Minute by Minute," a nod to Michael McDonald. On this night, he changes that nod to "Taking It To The Streets." Everyone is dancing in their seats and again, as I look around me, the smiles are big enough to light the entire casino. I am smiling and also, tearing up, because I am back watching a young man on American Idol who has captured us like no other due to his odd and often goofy, but so endearing style. And then watching this same musical genius headline his own show in Las Vegas, and my own goofy emotions just take over.
This Taylor Hicks show delivers like all his shows do, but there is just something extra magical about tonight. The band is rocking out, especially Brian Less on keyboards and Jamie McLean on guitar. And Taylor is singing a funky, bluesy, and masterful version of "The Ghetto." When he finishes, the crowd goes crazy! Earlier in the show, he blew us away with "Back To Louisiana," but this performance of that much loved Elvis song is so amazing, it tops it all for me. And the ever poignant "Nineteen" brings its customary and moving standing ovation for Taylor Hicks and his talented band, with Brian Gallagher adding his soulful sax at the end.
We end with "Seven Mile Breakdown," which has the entire audience dancing and screeching and cheering. There is a couple from Mississippi who is familiar with the Florabama, and they are just enthralled with this song. People are dancing in the aisles, people are clapping til their hands ache and singing along, and most of all....there is F.U.N. in abundance! When Taylor leaves the stage, the audience is pulsating with high excitement for his encore. And then, he bursts back onto the stage and gives us what we all feel after seeing him there..."Viva Las Vegas!"
There is no doubt...Taylor Hicks is a FEEL GOOD show! There is also no doubt that he is a consummate professional and probably one of the best live stage musicians around. If you are in Vegas and miss this show, you have missed the coolest musical opportunity on the strip. He is there one more week and then off to Harrah's in Reno, so GET A TICKET to the most amazing and enjoyable musical ride you can find!
Just a personal note....after the show as Taylor Hicks stands among adoring fans, both present and new, to sign items and take pictures, I am filled with pride, albeit a small pride. I am not his family, management, or intimate confidant. I am just a fan of the man and his music....a very PROUD fan.
For more pictures of my Taylor Hicks Experience in Las Vegas, go here: :
For tickets and info on Taylor Hicks in Las Vegas, go here: :
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Most people head to Las Vegas with hopes and expectations of a fun filled trip and possibly a big win at the casinos. Many come away with some of those hopes fulfilled and many come away with empty pockets and a tired few days. But all come away with a unique experience from Las Vegas. There is one person who went to Vegas with a different purpose, with hopes of a different kind of win. There is one person who went to Vegas on a lark and came back a King of the stage. That person is Taylor Hicks....American Idol Winner, Broadway Star, Touring Artist, and even Restaurateur with his classy diner ORE in Birmingham, and is a major all around fantastic entertainer.
From there, Taylor Hicks continued his career as a touring artist, selling out his shows wherever he went, whether it was overseas, in a small bar venue, or the large casinos. It seems this was big preparation for an even bigger Las Vegas Win. And now, Taylor realizes his Jackpot has come in with a huge BANG! He is returning to the scene of the beginning of his Dream which lead him on a Journey he never imagined, but always felt he was destined for. Taylor Hicks has landed himself a residency at Ballys for the summer of 2012! This is a first for any American Idol contestant or winner. Some have appeared there in a single show, including Taylor himself, but none have secured their own headline show for a run before.
I can't think of a better person to start that roulette wheel turning. After years of rehearsal in his early musical life, Taylor Hicks placed a bet during his first trip to Las Vegas that has led him to the best win of all! Make sure to share this win with him....maybe it will bring you luck too :)
TMO got a chance to ask Taylor his thoughts on his new gig. Here is what he had to say. Think he's excited at all? :):)
"I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the folklore of Vegas! This residency is going to be great!!"
For tickets and info on Taylor Hicks in Las Vegas, go here: :
Sunday, January 8, 2012
TaylorMadeOnline has been around since Taylor's first note on Idol, published January 11, 2006. The past six years have been an absolute Joy to experience, helping promote Taylor Hicks, an artist who is the REAL DEAL and a consumate professional in all ways.
Taylor Hicks has gone from our living room TV winning American Idol to a Broadway Show headliner, numerous TV and radio appearances, and several whirlwind tours that will soon pick up again when his new CD drops this year.
TMO_Media has been with him every step of the way, providing as much video, audio, and photos as possible to his fans, and to Taylor, to re-live again and again. But now it's time for TaylormadeOnline to close up shop as far as new media. With the rich availability of YouTube and Vimeo, plus the new communication arenas of Twitter and Facebook, Taylor has a wealth of support and opportunities for fans new and old to see and hear him. And I have need of more time in my outside life now to pursue my other passion, helping with Animal Rescue :)
Our doors will remain open and there are some threads still open for all to enjoy, both member and nonmember. TMO will still post updates about Taylor Hicks on our Twitter page and occasionally reference older media where appropriate. But no new media will be posted.
It is a bittersweet decision. I have so enjoyed getting to know the fans and helping Taylor Hicks promote his career. And media has always been my first love. However, I am also overjoyed that Taylor is doing so well that so many media sites feature him! He is a Joy to behold on and offstage!
Please keep on supporting this great artist and song writer! I know I will :)
Thank you to everyone who has helped make TMO Media the great library that it is today both members and staff, and most of all...Taylor Hicks! TMO could have never done it without the generous contributions of fans and without the man who is the focus...a fantastic talent!
Keep on, Soul Man! You are TOPS!
Saturday, October 8, 2011
So, my friends and I could not wait to get to the Taylor Hicks new restaurant ORE for dinner Friday night and experience what has been named the Best New Restaurant In Birmingham, AL! And we were NOT disappointed!
Let me first say that I had wonderful expectations from all of the descriptions I had read and photos I had seen, but I was still pleasantly surprised to find it even more classy than I anticipated. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, as it's not a large room. For those who have been to The Open Door, you will find much familiar in the physical set up, yet much different in the decor. We sat in the dining room area so we could experience the full treatment before retiring to the bar area.
The wait staff could not have been more friendly and nice, and with a great sense of humor as well! My friend ordered one of their salads and I had the grilled salmon with sweet potato fries and a small salad. The food was superb...cooked and presented in a fresh and artistic manner and done to perfection. The salad was crisp and with a light but tangy dressing which whetted the appetite for more good things to come. My salmon was grilled just right with not too much oil and the chef brought out the full flavor. The sweet potato fries were some of the best I've tasted, again not too greasy and exactly the right texture and taste to the palate.
For my wine, I chose a Sauvignon blanc that was light and very pleasing. Our dessert was also a special treat...a giant chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream. They were out of caramel sauce, but it was so moist we didn't even miss that part. Everything was wonderful and came out right on time...not too fast but not such a wait that we minded at all.
The best part of the experience was that Soul Man Taylor Hicks himself came in to greet his guests, stopping at each table to make sure everyone was enjoying their meal and service. He left and said he'd be back.
We took him at his word, which he definitely kept! After picking up our other friend from her late flight in, we returned to ORE for drinks and music. The featured band was Heath Green, who was truly a delight. After the first set, while we relaxed with our refreshments, Mr. Hicks again made an appearance at his fine establishment. Taylor Hicks entered and with him he brought the Magic that follows him everywhere. After socializing with friends and greeting his bar guests, he took his guitar to the stage area and began singing. It was a quiet approach, no announcements of TAYLOR HICKS, just a man in his own element enjoying some beer and singing his music for whoever wanted to listen. And boy, did everyone want to listen! Heath Green joined him for a few songs as well and he is a great musician.
Taylor sang "Where I'm From" or better known as "Alabama State of Mind" and it got me teary eyed to see and hear this great artist sitting in his own new restaurant and doing what he loves best...singing live to any and all. He also sang "Main Street," which I like to imagine was a nod to us Michigan visitors, although probably not really...LOL. Taylor was playful, soulful, and loose this night and we enjoyed this unexpected treat as much or more than any of his shows!
I chose not to use my camera there, because this was Taylor Hicks and his down time, in his comfortable environment, and I would not dream of intruding on that. I was just very grateful to have been able to be a part of this night and happy with the thumbs up he gave us as he came back to the bar after his set.
I cannot think of a more satisfying dinner I've had anywhere else. The food was amazing, the staff courteous and funny, and Taylor Hicks is the perfect host! He literally wined, dined, and entertained us and we love him for it!!
We returned to ORE on Sunday after the Fayette shows for their jazz brunch. The food was outstanding! I had the Eggs Benedict, one friend had the salmon salad, and another friend had the shrimp and grits Diablo. We all cleaned our plates, because it was delicious. Cleve Eaton and his Alabama All Stars serenaded us with their unique style of music and when we finally left, I know I left more than my tip there...I left a piece of my heart in that wonderful place...ORE DRINK AND DINE :)
Here are some photos I took of my experience at ORE
And THIS photo in the Ladies Room, which describes not only ORE and the city of Birmingham, but also my experience at this classy, upscale, and DELICIOUS epicurean eatery:
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Pictures often reveal much more than words do. I love pictures! And one of my favorite subjects is, of course, Taylor Hicks :) So TaylorMadeOnline Media has created a Feast For The Soul, which offers some closeup photos of our Soul Man from various interviews and appearances in a crisp and clear showcase for those of us who simply cannot get enough of hearing and seeing this talented artist.
This thread is open to all, so wander over to TMO Media and give yourself some afternoon delight or some soothing visuals to enhance your evening :) We know fans will enjoy this collection. It is truly a Feast for the Soul with some old, some new, and all GOOD!
Comments are welcome here or on our Twitter acct. Enjoy!
Link to Feast for the Soul:
Friday, July 1, 2011
As I celebrate this weekend watching fireworks, eating good food with loving family and friends, enjoying the freedoms so many times we take for granted, I am struck with the thoughts of those overseas giving their time and love and hearts to allow us to continue to do these wonderful activities in Peace and Safety.
I wonder about their feelinlgs on this weekend and applaud the courage of these men and women who wake up on this grand Holiday with thoughts of how to stay alive, how to get home one day to their own families, and how to get through each day and each hour with your life at risk daily and your best friend is a weapon or the serviceman or woman next to you?
What must it be like for these brave ones who make the enjoyment of our Lives and Freedoms possible? What must it be like for their families who miss them and wonder if the next Fourth of July will bring their beloved sons, daughters, wives, fathers, and friends home alive and well to celebrate?
So on this Holiday, while I am rejoicing in my own Freedom to spend this time with my Loved Ones who are safe and sound at home with me, I will also light a candle in Thanks and to say YOU ARE APPRECIATED AND LOVED AND MISSED to the brave individuals who stand up for our country that I love so much. And thank you to the artists I love who also give of their hearts to help our Armed Forces and to the various organizations who see that our efforts get carried overseas to our wonderful Service Men and Women. May God Bless You All and Bring you Home safely to all of us!
Please visit our TMO_Media 4th of July thread for some beautiful musical honors by Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice, and others, to our Fourth of July Holiday here:
Monday, May 16, 2011
TMO Media caught up with Taylor Hicks for a quick chat about his upcoming CD and some of his thoughts on writing and producing in Nashville, the music city!
Take a look and feel free to leave your comments here or on the site :)
Thanks, Taylor Hicks, for taking time from your busy schedule to talk to us!
Link to Interview:
Taylor Interview on TMO
Sunday, May 15, 2011
So...I drove 3+ hours in the rain to get to Akron, Ohio. It went fast and the ride was pleasant because it was filled with expectation and excitement. Why, you ask? Why else? I was going to a Taylor Hicks concert again!
I had not been to a Taylor Hicks show since last summer, due to family and travel issues, so this was a special treat. And BOY, was it ever worth it! Musica is situated quite oddly in an alley off a main street. Our hotel was close by but due to weather, we took a taxi to eat at Crave, which was excellent by the way. We then walked over to the entrance to Musica, which was a building with a small doorway entrance through the alley...LOL.
What a surprise once we entered! It appeared to be a converted garage and was just fantastic inside! Classy woody atmosphere with beams and wood built bar. Very nice but small stage and had tables on the floor in front, and then back tables with bar stools and some standing room. Acoustics were great! Venue wasn't full until just before Taylor came on and then it was fully packed!
We chose a table back on the raised part with bar stools and a ledge to rest our things on. This was directly in front of the stage and slightly above the floor, so we had a fantastic view of the entire place and of course, Taylor and his band. The usual introductions took place after the opening act, and then Taylor Hicks entered the stage area.
The rest of the evening just flew by and became a blur and whirl of some of the MOST FANTASTIC performances I've seen from our SoulMan yet! Three standouts for me were:
Maybe You Should, the most tender version ever!
Rough Go Go Ridin, a Van Morrison cover and new addition to the set list.
And the encore song, Ohio which was very well received.
Nineteen also got a huge applause and Jeff played his always poignant sax piece at the end. Taylor did Naked in the Jungle, a song which he hasn't performed for a while and which got the place rockin hard! As I looked around me, I saw a group of young fans who were totally into him and also some new faces from the Akron area. When I spoke to a couple in back of me, the woman shared that they had never seen Taylor Hicks in concert and that this was a 20 yr anniversary present for each other. After the show, I asked how they liked it and they were all but speechless :)
Our SoulMan made Akron's storms small in comparison to the mighty power Taylor Hicks and his fantastic Band raised in the small but well filled venue! If you need a little peek at this wonderful show to inspire you to buy a ticket for a future show, click the video above....and have some tissue handy :)
After the show, people did not want to leave. Taylor signed and took photos, and then the band stayed to hang out with those of us who were still there. All in all, a fabulous evening with Taylor Hicks and his band, and well worth the wet ride up there. I cannot wait for Manistee!
For my all of my videos, you can check Gypsee44 at Youtube to watch. To get downloads and my photos, please visit our member area at TaylorMadeOnline Media in our Tour 2011 section, Musica in Akron.
LOVED THE SHOW, LOVE YOU TAYLOR HICKS, LOVE YOU, BAND!
Musica Set List:
Compared to What
Just To Feel That Way
Back to Louisana
Hold On To Your Love
Maybe You Should
Rough God Go Ridin
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Naked in the Jungle
Seven Mile Breakdown