Ben Taylor, son of music icons James Taylor and Carly Simon, recently released his first album in four years, and is embarking on a tour that will make a stop at SOPAC in late February. The new record, Listening, "shows off Taylor's soulful voice – which bears more than a passing similarity to his father's pipes – alongside his trademark mix of blues-tinged guitar, Hammond organ and call-and-response backing vocals." --Rolling Stone.
Ben Taylor's memorable melodies, immaculate acoustic guitar playing and insightful, honest lyrics have been captivating fans since the moment he embarked on this journey ten years ago. Being the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, music has always played a central role in Ben’s life. His wit and skill as a singer-songwriter showcases an artist who is comfortable in both his own skin and with his impressive musical legacy. His acclaimed previous releases comprise his debut album 2003’s Famous Among The Barns, 2005’s Another Run Around The Sun, and 2008’s The Legend of Kung Folk, Part 1 (The Killing Bite). Highlights from his previous albums include appearances on Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, The CBS Early Show, Last Call with Carson Daly and Howard Stern. Ben also made his acting debut with a recurring role on NBC’s American Dreams and has appeared in the pages of People Magazine, Vogue and even on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. His reviews and raves have been steady for over a decade now with more to come. Ben Taylor has previously toured with Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler and Ziggy Marley among others.
Ben’s latest effort, Listening, seamlessly merges the sounds and styles of folk, pop, soul, urban, reggae and country/western, running the gamut from sonically spacious acoustic numbers to multi-layered vocals and fresh beats. The honesty of Ben’s music is led by what is often described as his tuneful and expressive voice, the kind of voice that makes its impact with the smallest turn of a whispered phrase. This is Taylor’s first album of new music in four years, following his critically acclaimed 2008 release The Legend Of Kung Folk - Part 1 (the Killing Bite).
While he enjoys being in the studio, Ben is looking forward to getting out on the road too. “If you take being in the studio over playing live, you lose out. They are both important parts of the same process. You need to write a song, perform it in front of people and have an audience react to it. It helps me with the writing and presentation of the recorded song if I play it live before I record it. To me, you don’t really hear your song for the first time until you share it.”
Taylor is also a strong advocate for sustainable agriculture, lending his talents to the non-profit Island Grown Initiative in his hometown of Martha’s Vineyard. His passion for locally grown food and for educating youth about gardening and agriculture is evident. Taylor cites his dedication to green initiatives and education as a source of inspiration both personally and artistically.