Beautifully blended soulful blues, rhythmic R&B, modern rock riffs and rootsy folk make the Toronto based, Julian Taylor Band (JTB) experience something worth putting your busy life on hold for; even if it is just for a few moments.
Julian Taylor is one of those creative artists that seems to be surrounded by a community of ideas, with feeling and life’s wisdom soaked into every verse and note. As an example, the evening started off with Julian performing a short solo set including a very personal and thoughtful song: Roll Away the Tears. This intimate song, performed on the piano, was more of a eulogy to those friends that had passed along the way.
At the midway point of the performance, 5 of the band’s roster had hit the stage. Post intermission, that stage was filled with all 8 members covering guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and sax; with Julian’s vocals making those little hairs stand on end, JTB is a multi talented band built from the soul out.
The latter half of the performance was filled with upbeat, fun and some very dance-able grooves, with songs like, “No Guns” and “Take it to the River”. The addition of electric guitar combined with a few feel good gospel lyrics really got the feet moving.
By the end of the performance, nearly the entire audience was up and dancing at the front of the stage, on the stairs and really, anywhere they could swing their hips.
I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying JTB with an appreciation of how Julian masterfully transitions and blends so many styles of music with such seamless ease. At least from the outside it looked easy, but I can’t image what it would be like to coordinate an 8 piece band and still produce such amazing music.
There is definitely something for everyone here. From intimate personal songs where every note has been carefully planned, to the rhythmic instrumentals that play out like an extended jam session, it was an extreme pleasure to spend an evening experiencing the Julian Taylor Band.
By Dale Sinclair – dalesinclair.ca.