Al Kaufman, Atlanta Music Guide

Taylor may sing of the past, of bar rooms and hay fields and even Johnny Cash, but his characters want the same things we do. They want love and redemption. They want some fun and happiness. They want respect and sometimes even a little vengeance. Taylor’s people are just like us, it’s just that their tales are exquisitely told.

Lyle Lovett

I’m always the opening act when I’m around Eric. I love his voice, and he has a great narrative quality and sense of detail. He sort of takes you out of your own reality and into the reality of his songs. It’s good writing no matter how you cut it.

Steve Earle

He’s the real deal. Eric Taylor was one my heroes and teachers when I started playing around Houston in the early 1970s.

Lucy Bonnington

[Joseph Cross] – That's the song I stopped my car to listen to, and was late to work. Nothing was ever the same after.

Malcolm Holcombe

In a world choking on five ‘n dime stores, Eric savors the alleys

with stories and songs of the rats and queens he knows like the back of his hand. Eric’s on tour – go see him.

Tom Netherland, Bristol Herald Courier

Taylor’s tunes are akin to travelogues that no chamber of commerce would ever publish, slices of life considerably authentic and lacking contrivance. His are the real thing. As scraped bare as his voice, Taylor’s songs summon grit to the point of beauty. He’s like a tuneful son that William Faulkner never knew he had. As if up from the grave, Faulkner has crept into Taylor’s panoramas. Taylor’s songs read like novels snipped to their essence. Often dark and mysterious, they side-step classification and yet compel rapt attention. Likewise, Taylor’s music bears imprints of a style for which no official genre exists.

Nathaniel Kunkel

. . .Thinking about some of the music by musicians I love — Buddy Holly, Arlo Guthrie, James Taylor, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Eric Taylor, Karla Bonoff, Sting, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Nat King Cole, and Frank Zappa. You know, the good stuff. The stuff that could, and still does, enthrall me.

Kim Salls – Houston

"Joseph Cross" isn't 11 minutes long. Time actually stops when Eric is singing it.

Denise Williams, Hillbilly Haiku House Concerts

If you have yet to experience an Eric Taylor concert, if you love the sort of songwriting that changes your perspective while enthralling to the point of making you forget to breathe, if you love storytelling that is never predictable or derivative and akin to the best fiction-writing, if you love guitar work that is never flashy but always brilliant, if you love discovering an artist that is singularly of his own mold, then Eric Taylor is your man.

John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music

Live At The Red Shack puts some of Taylor's best songs in new settings, but, more importantly, it offers them live, which is what he does better than almost anyone. The extraordinary intensity he brings to bear, his idiosyncratic spacing and unexpected stresses, make him unique. You don't just listen to Eric Taylor, you experience him.

Peter Cooper, M Magazine

Live at the Red Shack, an album recorded in front of 20 invited studio audience members, . . . presents Taylor as a singular, remarkable artist. Most of the time, Taylor growls portraits of the dangerous and the endangered: “You can learn to cry in the cradle, you can learn to lie in jail,” he sings. But Taylor always finds a heart in the darkness, as in “Visitors From Indiana,” a song less about the Kennedy assassination than about the slight, sad details of human connection: “I wonder what that girl is gonna do now/ Left her roses in the car, God knows.”

Maverick magazine (UK)

Eric Taylor came on stage at the Maze in Nottingham without any ceremony. He started a little blues riff on his blond acoustic guitar (a beautiful-sounding, handmade 'Ross-Kinscherff'). He played for his audience but never to the crowd. He didn't look for cliched climaxes or manufactured endings. It was always an intimate gig, a reflective affair, an evening for devotees...I went with a couple of players, guys who know the mysteries of DADGAD, who understand a little about the merits of a B string dropped down to A and the quiet craft of a good song well written. They stood either side of me and looked mean if they thought I was going to be critical in any way. They kept pointing out things, making sure I understood; they wanted the man looked after. Eric Taylor seems to inspire that sort of devotion, that sort of affection, that sort of regard; like he is an endangered species -- maybe he is.

Charlie Hunter, Flying Under Radar Productions

Eric Taylor is one of the few artists I’ve ever seen with a greatness that wreathes about him as he takes the stage, no matter what size the venue. An audience instinctively knows to shut up and pay attention. This is a man who takes the art of songwriting – and the art of performance – seriously. And, at the end of the set, the audience will have been transported some place and back again. Eric Taylor doesn’t just make you feel the sun and taste the dust of Texas, he takes you places and puts you inside people’s minds. From prison inmates trying to fathom the jumble of their lives to little kids watching their family implode, Eric Taylor makes it real. Aspiring – and accomplished – songwriters leave Eric Taylor shows shaking their heads in awe. And well they should.

Columbia Free Times

Taylor emerged from the same ’70s Texas folk scene as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark; though his name might not ring as loudly, Taylor’s songs are as genius, melding the distinct blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins with beat-poet starkness. A towering, if quiet, giant among songwriters, Taylor’s tales are haunting and skeletal, and he tells them with conviction, even if they make him, haunted, flinch.

Bailey Jones - Sundilla Acoustic Concerts

Booking Eric Taylor has become a regular, automatic thing. In fact, if I didn’t get to see him perform for us every couple of years, I’d check his schedule and go see him somewhere else. A few chords and a couple of words are all it takes to transport me to the middle of the world where his songs are born.

Bill Morrissey

I think Eric Taylor is one of the best writers working today. He has his own voice and his own vision. His arrangements on Resurrect are beautifully sparse, only what’s needed is there. His lyrics are equally spare and right to the point. He is Texas, but he doesn’t drag the whole state behind him or wave it like a banner. My girlfriend made the mistake of lending me Resurrect and now she know’s she’ll never get it back.

Nanci Griffith

Eric Taylor’s work always garners praise from me. Resurrect is 11 stars for 11 songs of marvelous integrity in timeless storytelling. If you miss an opportunity to hear Eric Taylor in concert you have missed a chance to hear a voice I consider the William Faulkner of songwriting in our current time, and you will miss the rare opportunity to watch the hands of one of America’s most unusual guitarists, with lyrics that will nail your heart to your ear and mind. For me to say that Eric Taylor is one of the finest writers of our time is an understatement.

Joan Baez

Eric Taylor....a very gifted songwriter. It was a high point for me performing "Strong Enough For Two" with him at the Newport Folk Festival. Hope to work more with him.

Michael Perry

Eric Taylor: One of the finest lyricists I’ve ever known. Scuffletown still transfixes me, after all this time. Bottom line: American literature, plus guitar.

Mike Regenstreif, Sing Out!

Eric Taylor has been one of the finest southern songwriters for more than three decades, and Hollywood Pocketknife, marked by plainspoken but authoritative singing, ranks among his finest work. One thing I've always loved about Eric's music is the way his songs are often from a character's perspective, completely, or at least seemingly, outside of himself.

James Hardesty, Green Frog Acoustic Tavern (Bellingham, WA)

Eric might be the most influential and inspiring songwriters I have had the pleasure of listening to. Amazing.

Mike Lance, Grey's Pub (Brighton, UK)

One of the best acts I've ever put on at The Greys -- in 20 years of promoting there. The whole place looks forward to his next trip over.

Steve Coccia, The Mansion / Friends of Music (Middletown, NY)

Eric did a great show....His fans will drive from great distance and in nasty weather to see him.

Rob Adams, The Herald (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Eric Taylor got a five-star review in this paper recently, only because the arts editor doesn't let us go

up to 10.

Performing Songwriter Magazine

Eric Taylor has resurfaced as one of Texas’ most revered songsmiths. His songs play in your head like poignant soundtracks with vivid real-life images.

Brum Beat Magazine

Here is a master impressionist. Taylor’s novelistic style of writing allows him to stand shoulder to shoulder with those Texas born literary giants, Larry McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy.

Mike Paget, U.U. Coffeehouse (Columbia, SC)

We get to watch a fair number of talents in this labor-of-love, and occasionally those talents show their genius. Eric was a genius Saturday night.

Acoustic Guitar Magazine

If there’s anything better than Nanci Griffith or Lyle Lovett singing an Eric Taylor tune, It’s Taylor singing it himself...he’s one of those songwriters that has the ability to plop you down in the middle of a story or a situation and make you care that you’re there.

Vin Scelsa, WNEW WXRK New York City

Listening to his record reminds how I felt when I first encountered fellow Texan Guy Clark’s classic, Old No. 1,....that I am in the presence of a uniquely American voice.

No Depression Magazine

His lines and melodies have the concision of the blues, his stories never indulge in ephemeral confessions, they feel necessary, composed somehow from fragments of every man and woman’s story.....distinct as cinema verite.

The Nashville Tennessean

Taylor released the astounding Shameless Love album in 1981 and then left the music business. In 1995, Taylor resurfaced with an excellent self-titled album. Lovett sang harmonies. Three years later he released a masterpiece called Resurrect. One of the finest records of the decade. Taylor has spent the beginning of September 2000 completing a new album called Scuffletown, a batch of songs that stand with anything he’s done, which means anything most anyone has done.

The Oxford American

In the past four years Eric Taylor has released two collections of songs that stand up to and apart from the finest work of (Townes) Van Zandt and (Guy) Clark. Resurrect is the latest such masterpiece...Even taken alone, without the stark but beautiful settings, Taylor’s images, language, and characters are staggering.

The Houston Chronicle

A man cleans himself up and comes back to the light of day in due time, and Taylor’s career is truly in a resurrect mode. With Resurrect he now has an album that captures his longstanding style with a round of poetic new songs...we hear beauty, we see love, redemption, and the light of day.

Arthur Wood, founding editor of Folkwax

Simply said, Eric Taylor is an American treasure.


Photo: Chris McFall

Photo: Birgit Ernst

Photo: Birgit Ernst