|Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report|
Taylor Atkinson performs at the Wormy Dog in Nov. 2011.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: July 13, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – It was in 2009 when Red Dirt Report first became familiar with Midwest City-raised, Edmond-based singer-songwriter Taylor Atkinson.
Back then, Atkinson was still getting his feet wet on the acoustic, open-mic-night circuit in central Oklahoma. He had a soulful, Midwestern sound with a country attitude. Naturally, his songs and direction placed him comfortably in the Red Dirt music scene. And after some nights opening for bands at Bricktown’s Wormy Dog Saloon, Atkinson – and ultimately the Taylor Atkinson Band – gained a pretty solid following. All the while, Atkinson’s songs got better and better the more shows he gave.
With his solo album Beautiful Disaster, followed by his Too Much Whiskey EP, the TAB was soon opening for bands like the nationally-known Texas group the Eli Young Band.
Speaking of the EYB, Atkinson – who headlines at the Wormy Dog tomorrow night – recently opened up for them at the Musocgee Creek Nation Festival in Okmulgee last month.
With thousands of people in the audience, Atkinson told Red Dirt Report performing in front of that big a crowd “was just awesome!” He added that all the work he has put into developing his music has paid off.
“I’m finally at the point in my life where I am firefighting full time and making music while being able to support myself,” he said. “It’s awesome to be able to do it.”
Atkinson has mentioned EYB’s lead singer Mike Eli as a bit of a mentor. Someone he can talk to about music and the business.
The Taylor Atkinson Band has had a few personnel changes in the past year or so – the new drummer is Isham Overbey – but the sound remains distinctive.
“It’s really cool to see what direction our music is going,” Atkinson said. “People still give us the title “red dirt” but the biggest compliment we get is when they recognize that we have our own sounds. A kind of mix of Neil Young and Ryan Adams that is enhanced by all the things (TAB member) Mike Mayes is able to do on guitar and pedal steel.”
Atkinson said he and the band are now represented by Texas-based Edge Events (Charla Corn, Steve Helms Band, Austin Allsup, Tommy Alverson, etc.) which is helping the band get more gigs and more exposure.
And while Shiner beer had been sponsoring the band, he has since switched to Oklahoma-based Mustang beer. He said it has proven to be a positive change.
The Taylor Atkinson Band is preparing to record another EP – approximately six songs – for a release expected in the fall. Among them are “Your Song,” a tune he describes as “the catchiest song I’ve ever written.” He says every time he plays it, folks in the crowd are tapping their toes and trying to sing along.
Another new song Atkinson was excited about is called “Bring It On Home.” Asked to describe the song, he said “there’s no way to describe the song, you’ll have to listen to it yourself.”
Additionally, during the recording sessions, the songmaking process will be videotaped. He said it will be at a studio in Norman, Okla. where the Turnpike Troubadours and John Fullbright have recorded.
In the meantime, the TAB is continuing to put on live shows wherever they can. They are heading to the Southwest Music Fest in Ashland, Kansas where he will join Lee Brice, Stoney LaRue, Casey Donahew Band, Whiskey Myers and the Chris Aarons Band for a country/red dirt/Southern rock show unlike any other in the region. That’ll be August 25th, he said. Red Dirt Report hopes to be there for it.
And while they get their website put together, Atkinson told us folks can follow them on Twitter @Atkinson_Band.
For more information about Saturday night’s show at the Wormy Dog featuring Taylor Atkinson Band, go to www.wormydog.com.
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report