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American Songwriter

Eric Taylor: Studio 10

Written by Hal Horowitz

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Texas troubadours don’t get any more old school than Eric Taylor. Now in his mid-60s and sounding every year of it, the singer/songwriter continues to perfect the art of storytelling in music with his first studio set since 2009.  Americana fans familiar with peers such as Guy Clark, John Prine and Jimmie Dale Gilmore are probably already acquainted with Taylor. For those who have not yet caught up with the somewhat under-the-radar artist, Studio 10 is a perfect place to start.

Taylor’s warbling, grainy voice is both wonderfully expressive and reflective of the small town heroes, criminals, drifters and searchers that populate his intricately descriptive tunes. Each track carries indelible images of girls with Maybelline eyes, Molly and her painted pony and the colorful characters that populate “Francestown.” Instrumentation is predictably sparse with keyboards and hushed percussion yielding to Taylor’s solo acoustic strumming.

Listening to this, or really any of Taylor’s releases, is like curling up with a good book; one that transports you behind the faces and into the minds of the everyday folks that inhabit his music. Melodies are subservient to lyrics when Taylor unspools his evocative and graphic tales, taking as long as needed to tell these stories. In a few cases that means over six minutes, but the length never feels excessive.

The disc’s pacing frontloads the more upbeat tracks with the last third losing steam as the stripped down melancholy approach gets a bit monotonous. Still, there are few musicians daring enough to challenge their audience like Taylor as he creates mini-movies with sharply defined personalities that remain indelible long after the last note has faded.

Maverick (UK) – Editor’s Top Pick

Eric Taylor


Blue Ruby Music

4.5 out of 5 stars

Death and dark deeds, eulogies and wanderlust…and much more permeate STUDIO 10.

Enveloped as we have been in the majesty of this Georgia Texan’s songs I guess we haven’t consciously observed the passage of the decades. Eric released his debut album at the age of thirty-two. Almost a decade and a half of silence was broken by his 1995 self-titled sophomore set, and including this new collection seven live and studio albums have followed in its wake. Produced by Eric (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass) and his wife Susan Lindfors (supporting vocals), STUDIO 10 was recorded in Houston’s Red Shack Studio and also  features David Webb (keyboards), James Gilmer (percussion) and owner Rock Romano (supporting vocals, electric bass). 

A repeating reference point, the words “Stolen kisses, somebody’s got to pay” launch album opener Molly’s Painted Pony. When the girl with the “Mona Lisa grin” fired a gun twice, two bodies “…fell in harmony.” Just picture that! Gilmer’s conga underpins Reno, wherein the rough-hewn lead character speculates and accumulates. Four months short of completing his sixtieth year, New Hampshire based singer/songwriter Bill Morrissey passed during late July 2011. Melodically slow, almost deliberate, Bill recalls the songwriter’s penchant for blues ‘n’ booze, his portraits of down-at-heel mills towns once the jobs went someplace else and that Morrissey passed in Dalton, Georgia while on tour. 

Actor/singer/songwriter/farmer Tim Grimm’s Cover These Bones appeared on his 2011 album WILDERNESS SONGS AND BAD MAN BALLADS, a song collection inspired by Scott Russell Sanders’ books WILDERNESS PLOTS (1983) and BAD MAN BALLAD (1986). The former was a collection of folklore tales, the latter recalled an infamous 1813 murder in Portage County, Ohio where Sanders grew up. According to Tim, the latter inspired Cover These Bones, wherein the narrator observes mankind’s footprint. 

Dark Corner Ice Water, is a murderous tale, awash with alcohol and bad blood, that closes with mention of Harlon Joye founder and broadcaster on Atlanta’s Radio Free Georgia.  Whimsy is woven into the fabric of Francestown – “Dance the boogie woogie with your pantses down,” while the narrator of Adios is hell bent on leaving. Jim Tully (1886 - 1947) passed a matter of weeks into his sixty-second year. Taylor’s short and gory Tully’s Titles is followed by the almost seven-minute long biographical Tully. They’ll feature in an upcoming documentary about this vagabond, pugilist, journalist and author. Though not blessed by all their artistic attributes, Tully’s life paralleled that of Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac  - for Eric that’s magnetic appeal. STUDIO 10 draws to a close with the sweet melancholy of String Of Pearls, wherein the narrator acknowledges that it’s “Another hell of a thing to put a friend to rest.”

Thirty-two years post SHAMELESS LOVE, Taylor’s lyrical focus – whether factual or fictional - remains a cinematic constant. His voice may have weathered with time, does that matter? The songs remain majestic……… 

– Arthur Wood

The Alternate Root – Best Pick

Eric Taylor: Studio 10

Written by Danny McCloskey

Eric Taylor has spent a lifetime as a folk singer and we all can benefit from his devotion to the music, and time put in on stages from coffee house to club on his most recent release, Studio 10. The songs on the album are ridden hard, put away wet tales of moving through life. Studio 10 takes a look at small town life in “Bill”. The tale wanders around, cruising through the four way stop and past the liquor store as it wonders aloud “Canadian whiskey, cowboy rye, I oughta stop drinkin’ but I don’t know why”. The tune is a great example of being able to tell a tale in a linear ramble that slowly reveals characters needs and desires; a method right at the heart of a good folk tale. The stories are bigger than the single person on stage and the one guitar. It is the job of the story teller to transport us, as Eric Taylor does on Studio 10, stopping in Reno to study a “highway hound I picked up in Kansas”, tour guiding through “Francestown” with characters stepping high on the bounce of the rhythm, and ruminating about traveling on, bidding “Adios”.

Eric Taylor’s voice fleshes out each of his characters. He offers clear insights to the folks inhabiting the songs through one line snippets of thought that act like puzzle pieces; single bits you can hold in your hand that fit together to make the full picture. Meet Tully, a man of words who reflects on what he has wrapped his pen around during the course of a life and admits that “I write or I starve”. The lady coming at you, and her transport, are “Molly’s Painted Pony”. Her past deeds and current actions raise questions in song.

Eric Taylor grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, playing soul music in his early years, absorbing the rich cultural heritage of the black South. He was headed for California but ended up in Houston. The musical environment in Houston during the 1970’s was just what Eric needed for inspiration. He learned intricate blues guitar styling from music legends Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb and Mississippi Fred McDowell while working at the Family Hand club. Eric developed his own unique guitar picking style and in 1977 Eric Taylor was a winner of the ‘New Folk’ competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Shameless Love, his first album, came out in 1981 and after a hiatus of almost 14 years, he returned with the self-titled Eric Taylor, released in 1995.

The Tennessean

Peter Cooper On Music: Storyteller Eric Taylor thrives in Texas

posted 6/27/2013

Eric Taylor was a young guy — early 20s — when he figured out that Nashville wasn’t going to be a ton of help to him.

He drove up from Texas in a ’63 Volkswagen van, hoping to join his friend Townes Van Zandt as a writer for Jack Clement’s JMI Publishing.

This was the early 1970s, and Clement was already an industry legend who had produced Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, he’d launched African-American singer Charley Pride to country stardom, he was having success with idiosyncratic folk-turned-country singer Don Williams, and he was known to favor unconventional writers. (Van Zandt was one: He never met a convention he couldn’t un.)

“Jack said, ‘You know where you are, boy?’ ” recounts Taylor, who remains a Jack Clement admirer. “I said, ‘Yessir.’ Townes was in the corner, mirror sunglasses on, pulling his hat down. Jack said, ‘You got this song that is 11 minutes long, and it’s about an Indian, ain’t it?’ I said, ‘Yessir.’ He said, ‘Boy, you write some good songs. But you are in Nashville. I couldn’t sell a song that’s 11 minutes long if it was about (women), and you’ve got an 11-minute song about an Indian.’ Jack was right. I tucked tail out of Nashville and came back home.”

Taylor’s still home in Texas, except when he’s gone somewhere else. Mostly, he’s gone somewhere else. Troubadouring is a portable business, and Taylor is a troubadour. He’s also among the most gifted, idiosyncratic, challenging and artful singer-songwriters I’ve ever heard. He’s so good that he sold an 11-minute song called “Joseph Cross,” though not to a country hit-maker: British songstress June Tabor recorded it.

“You can’t take anything out of ‘Joseph Cross’ and have it be the same song,” Taylor says. “You just can’t. I’d already edited it down, and the 11-minute version was the short one.”

Later, he wrote a five-minute song about an Indian — a song called “Deadwood” — and his ex-wife, Nanci Griffith, recorded it. You’re probably a better-than-fair songwriter if your ex-wife records your stuff.

Others who have sung Taylor’s songs include Lyle Lovett and Joan Baez. Taylor doesn’t write hits, and that’s a choice rather than a failing. He writes Eric Taylor songs. If you like them, he’s got a ton. In concert, he often prefaces the songs with stories that are as honed and as striking as the things he sings.

“Unlike anyone I’ve ever seen perform,” posted Nashville performing songwriter Amy Speace after her first Taylor concert. “Theatrical, dramatic. Slow. Space. Stories that wound around and back again, repeated lines like mantra, slow and steady like a One Man Show.”

Songs about friends

Taylor’s road doesn’t wind back toward Nashville until later this year. His June was Montana and the Pacific Northwest. His July is the Midwest and the North Atlantic. He’s out there playing an 11-minute song about an Indian, along with songs from his brand-new album, “Studio 10.” That one is as enigmatic and fascinating as anything he’s done in a lifetime of fascinating enigma.

There are two songs about pugilist/writer Jim Tully, and one called “Reno”: “He feeds his kid all hi-tone style,” he sings. “Give that boy a half a hundred, he’ll come back with a pile/ You can count it.”

One song, “Bill,” is about doomed songwriting great Bill Morrissey, another convention skirter. Morrissey died in a sadsack Dalton, Ga., motel room in 2011, at age 59. The men were colleagues and mutual fans.

“I thought Bill was so talented,” Taylor says. “I watched him go down over the years. Bill drank himself out of the music industry 10 or 12 times, and drank himself in 10 or 12 times. The last show he did was in Mt. Juliet, at the Hillbilly Haiku house concert. I played there two weeks later, maybe, and already had the song.”

“I’ve been through this town before,” Taylor sings in “Bill,” set in the Dalton room. “It’s got a four-way stop and a liquor store.”

Art comes first

Taylor’s Texas song-poet comrades Van Zandt and Guy Clark wound up in Nashville, writing some hits and becoming celebrated as songwriting legends. Taylor’s decision to stay in Texas made him less accessible than the others, and it probably has to do with why he’s less popularly celebrated than Van Zandt and Clark.

He continues to value art over accessibility, one reason why “Studio 10” is available only as a physical CD, not as a download.

“I spent a lot of money making this record, and I wrote the liner notes and did the artwork and the whole deal,” he says. “If you don’t want that, don’t get it. We sell them on the website ( and I sell them on the road for $15. I’ve been selling records for $15 since 1995. What were you paying for a gallon of gas in ’95?”

Taylor is 63 now and will be 64 by the time he makes it to Music City. He’s endured health battles and industry silliness and all the other things a lifer in music endures, and he continues to add to a body of work that stands apart from any other.

A recent “American Songwriter” review from Hal Horowitz noted, “There are few musicians daring enough to challenge their audience like Taylor as he creates mini-movies with sharply defined personalities that remain indelible long after the last note has faded,” and that sounds about right.

“The worst thing a writer can do is to feel like he’s finished,” Taylor says. “If we give up looking at music from all these different angles, we’re going to paint ourselves in a corner. And if you can’t be heartfelt, don’t go out there.”

– Peter Cooper

3rd Coast Music

ERIC TAYLOR • Studio 10

(Blue Ruby ****)

Some singer-songwriters get to you first with their lyrics, Butch Hancock or David Rodriguez say, some with their vocals, Dayna Kurtz or Kimberley M’Carver say (this group tends to be female), but with Eric Taylor it’s not so much his voice as his delivery that’s instantly mesmerizing. The obvious word that comes to mind is intensity, but Taylor goes beyond that, his intensity is that of someone sitting opposite you and patiently trying to explain some abstruse and complex philosophical thesis in the simplest possible words. To put it another way, he’s having an individual conversation, albeit one-sided, with everyone in the audience or listening to any of his albums—this is the eighth since Shameless Love (Featherbed, 1981), not counting the unauthorized Kerrville Tapes, and they’re all cut from the same cloth, except that the theses have become progressively more abstruse and complex. Of the nine originals, three are tributes to friends who have recently passed, Bill is about Bill Morrissey, Francestown is in the style of Dave Van Ronk while String Of Pearls (solo, acoustic) is more generally about grief for the departed. Tully and Tully’s Titles were written for a documentary about ‘American writer, Irish rover, Hollywood brawler’ Jim Tully. Taylor doesn’t often have room for covers, and when he does it’s usually a Townes Van Zandt song, but this time he includes Tim Grimm’s Cover These Bones. The minimalist support is by variations of David Webb piano, James Gilmer percussion, Susan Lindfors Taylor backing vocals, and Rock Romano electric bass/backing vocals. The title is a bit of a puzzle as the album, like all of Taylor’s since 1998, was recorded at Romano’s Red Shack, Houston, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t have ten studios, though that’s not to say that Romano doesn’t ban girlfriends, boyfriends and non-essential musicians. JC

No Depression

Eric Taylor

Studio 10

Blue Ruby Music, 2013


The cover is stark, a sign from the door of a recording studio perhaps, or a club’s back entrance.  The line that catches my eye is ‘no non-essential musicians’, and from this the word ‘non-essential’ stands out.  Eric Taylor writes stories / songs that have at their heart characters who are either invisible to the world at large or who the people who populate that world would consider ‘non-essential’.  They pass them on the street and don’t even see them – if they do, they don’t look them in the eye, or think about them or the lives they lead.  They belong to another world, or to another, unseen layer of this one.  It’s easier to pretend they don’t exist than to stop for a moment and consider the nature of their lives, of their very existence.


Eric’s songs take these people and force the listener to acknowledge that these ‘non-essential’ men and women are flesh and blood, living and breathing, taking life as it is handed to them and making the best they can make of it.  Their pain and struggle is real.  To them it’s not heroic or the stuff of which epic tales are made. In the end, the good luck, the bad luck, the pain and loss, the joy (when it can be squeezed out of life’s often bitter fruits), the resignation, the betrayals, the revenge and the consequences of decisions made and actions taken are simply steps on the road of life.  There’s a matter-of-fact feel to these tales, but the listener should never make the mistake of thinking that Eric is taking those who populate these songs for granted.  He doesn’t make judgments about them – if judgments are to be made, let them make it for themselves, or let the listener make them, if he or she thinks he can.


The characters don’t so much attempt to justify themselves as to simply relate the facts of their existence.  The lyrics might follow a linear path, or they might present a slice of time that paints a picture or creates a mood.  Eric does this so well that you can feel the cold steel of a blade pressed against your throat, or taste the fire of the whiskey, or the smell of burnt powder that follows a gunshot, or hear the muted roll of dice across a table.  You’re there.  You can bake in the southern heat and inhale the dust.  You can feel the spring in the floorboards of a darkened honky-tonk.  The cigarette smoke hanging like a haze in the room fills your lungs. 


Here are stories carved from hard reality – every one is crafted with care.  There’s not a ‘non-essential’ one in the bunch.  These songs are not for the lazy listener, nor for the faint of heart.  They’re not cut-and-dried tales with the endings tied up in a bow.  Every aspect of the story is not revealed.  These songs will make you think.  Eric Taylor writes from a place deep inside, and the images he creates get under your skin.  They can take you places.  What you do with what you might learn there is up to you…but I have no doubt you’ll be richer for the experience.

– Larry Looney



Eric Taylor – Studio 10 (Blue Ruby Music)

Album Reviews | July 9th, 2013 by Elmore Staff

This is another consistently strong effort from Taylor, the highly influential Texas songwriter who galvanized the Houston folk scene with Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, and Robert Earl Keen among others. Taylor not only paints dark character sketches but creates cinematic, deeply moving tales.  As on his previous captivating effort, Live at the Red Shack, Rock Romano superbly engineers and adds vocals along with James Gilmer on percussion. Susan Lindfors Taylor sings and co-produces.  David Webb’s keyboards add all the right colors. This spare but rich accompaniment to Taylor’s signature guitar sound has long been a Taylor staple.

Nine are originals and Taylor puts his unique stamp on Tim Grimm’s “Cover These Bones”.  “Bill” mourns the late Bill Morrissey with the memorable line “I’ve been through this town before/it’s got a four-way and a liquor store”.  Eric takes the woman’s angle for the deceptive murder tale, “Molly’s Painted Pony” (I did not kill my husband/I killed a dishonest man) and again for the bitterly defiant “Adios”.  Taylor’s two songs written for the unlikely Irish boxer/writer Jim Tully will be used for an upcoming documentary on Tully.  If you’re new to Taylor sample “Reno” or “Dark Corner Ice Water” and you’ll quickly learn why he delivers a distinctly unique listening experience. 

– Jim Hynes

KDHX: Midyear 2013 – DJ Top 10 Albums

Ed Becker
Songwriters Showcase

Guy Clark - My Favorite Picture of You (Dualtone)
A master at work, for Susanna.

Slaid Cleaves - Still Fighting The War (Music Road)
Amazingly consistent; you'd think this Maine transplant was a Texas native.

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch)
Good friends and music legends enjoying the moment and sharing it with us.

Jason Isbell - Southeastern (Southeastern)
Ex-Drive by Trucker with his best, probably my favorite release so far this year; congrats on his recent marriage to Amanda Shires.

Lynn Miles - Downpour (Self-released)
The best of the Canadian female singer-songwriters with 11 more original gems.

Willie Nile - American Road (River House)
This New York rocker with his addictive voice has never made a bad record.

Tom Russell - Aztec Jazz (Frontera)
Tom and Thad Beckman with the 31-piece Norwegian Wind Ensemble; stunning arrangements of some of Tom's classics.

Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line - Carnival (Blue Pig)
New discoveries are always a delight; this is my favorite one so far this year. Sorry I missed their recent live show in St. Louis

Eric Taylor - Studio 10 (Blue Ruby Music)
Nobody writes quite like Eric; another set of his wonderful novella's set to music.

Various Artists - Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle (Nonesuch)
An amazingly talented musical family celebrates the life of their matriarch with friends like Emmylou, Norah Jones and Richard, Linda and Teddy Thompson joining in.


Texas Music magazine

Summer 2013


Studio 10


"I write, or I starve." One of the last been-there, done-that links to Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lightnin' Hopkins, Vince Bell and Houston's storied folk heyday, Eric Taylor is aged wine, a deep, lusty, satisfying, expensive red. Poems – rambling travelogues, dangerous character sketches, small crimes and misdemeanor indictments – roll off Taylor's tongue, memories struggling back to the surface and demanding Taylor to make some sense of it all. It's no trifling bit of made-up puffery when Taylor pulls out his Barlow knife and opens a vein, lamenting the passing of folk singer Bill Morrissey ("Bill") or an unnamed woman ("Adios") with sorrow and soul. Don't expect free gifts or easy lessons in these 10 songs: a listener has to work and engage to get to the crux of Taylor's musings on life, gambling, murder, divorce, death, friendship and the search for reason. Studio 10 finds one of the great Texas folk poets calling out to his personal ghosts across the distant artistic horizon where Leonard Cohen lives, where the true price of knowledge is summed in pain, reflection and regret. You won't be singing songs like "Reno" or "Dark Corner Ice Water" in the shower, but they'll be waiting, demanding examination and thought, when you turn out the lights.                   


STUDIO 10  – Top Picks
Maverick (UK) – Editor’s Top Pick
The Alternate Root - Best Pick
KDHX: Midyear DJ Top 10 Albums

Houston Chronicle

Front page of Star Entertainment section - p. E1

Friday, August, 2, 2013

Eric Taylor returns full of contrast

J. Patric Schneider, Freelance

By Andrew Dansby

August 2, 2013

Eric Taylor's songs are like storms. A richly detailed scene sometimes yields to lyrical lightning. A thunderous strum sometimes breaks a whispered lyric or lightly picked acoustic guitar. The serene and the stirring coexist in such a way as to never let a listener settle into complacency. Taylor's songs are made to be heard, but they're also meant to be felt.

Taylor embodies such dynamic contrasts himself: He's a forceful presence with a quiet voice. He cuts an intimidating figure, tall and deliberate in his movements. His stare is unblinking, his wicked grins are hard earned. His manner is a mix of gruff and warm, bone and heart, which also comes through in his songs. Look at the lyric sheet and no fluff is to be found. "Bill," one of nine songs Taylor wrote for his first new set in six years, includes the lines, "I've been through this town before/It's got a four-way stop and a liquor store."

That town materializes immediately.

Taylor describes the songs on the new "Studio 10" album as "having a little blood on the bone." He and his wife and co-producer, Susan Lindfors Taylor, made about a dozen trips from his home just outside Weimar to Rock Romano's Red Shack Studio in the Heights, working on a single song on each visit. The results feel intimate and urgent. They pull you in close.

"I try to perform that way on stage, too," Taylor says. "I don't use vocal monitors on stage. I want to know what the house sounds like. I'd rather have the audience lean in than be pushed back. I mean, how loud does it need to be?"

Romano has been recording Taylor for about 15 years.

"One of the things that's difficult to record about Eric, something we've developed over the years, Eric plays with punctuation," he says. "He'll play so quiet the mics won't pick it up. You can hear his breathing better than the guitar. And all of the sudden he'll slam the guitar, and I have to be ready for that to happen. It's taken a while to figure out that whole dynamic range that goes from whisper to off the graph. And it's for a reason. It's always accenting what he's saying. Leaving space for that to happen is most important."

Many of those spaces on "Studio 10" are filled with tributes to friends and mentors such as "Bill," about Taylor's friend, folk singer-songwriter Bill Morrissey, who died in 2011 of heart disease. The song follows Morrissey on the road, a blur of towns that ended midtour in Dalton, Ga. Some of lyrics are concrete, like the "Canadian whiskey, cowboy rye" that Morrissey consumed. Others are mysterious and, ultimately, wrenching. When Taylor puts Morrissey "in the middle of some kind of hobo fight," the skirmish isn't literal.

"A lot of 'bos died of loneliness or fell off a train or got pushed off a train for the little bit of money they may have had in their hands," he says. "A hobo fight, to me, is having a fight with yourself. There's pretty much no way out of that one. You can't call anybody to help you."

Taylor is nearly 64. He still speaks with tireless reverence of the musicians he considered mentors and friends, starting with those who were in Houston when he got off a train here more than 40 years ago and spent his first night sleeping in Hermann Park. A Georgia native, Taylor was initially drawn to soul music. But in Houston he found "a fertile place, a fertile town," where he observed, studied and later began to work with Lightnin' Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. He says there were no distinctions between types of music. Rock, blues, soul, folk: The players would all converge in the same clubs.

"I was a lucky boy," he says. "I got to learn from so many different people."

He brings up J.J. Cale, the great songwriter and guitarist from Oklahoma who died last week. Lowell George, frontman for the band Little Feat, taught Taylor a technique for squeezing the neck of his guitar. Rocky Hill, one of the best electric guitarists to pick up the instrument, admired how Taylor kept his B string slightly sharp.

Hopkins scolded Taylor for watching Hopkins' fingers. "I said, 'Lightnin', how am I going to learn anything if I don't watch your fingers?' He said, 'You can put your fingers anywhere I put them on this guitar, and you ain't going to be me. Watch the strings!' "

He picked up little tips from blues players Fred McDowell and Mance Lipscomb and folk musician Dave Van Ronk. Van Ronk inspired "Francestown," the most rollicking song on "Studio 10."

"You can't escape the influence of some of the people I've known. It comes with the territory. Read, read, read, look, look, look.

"Tim Hardin was a friend in my life who died too young," Taylor says. "He had quite an influence on me, from the standpoint of guitar playing and presentation. He also introduced some things to me that I shouldn't have but would've found on my own, so I can't blame him."

Some of those things distracted Taylor from his career as he worked through his addictions. After he released the striking debut "Shameless Love" in 1981, Taylor largely dropped out of sight until 1995, when he released a self-titled album that represented a new beginning. During this period, Taylor was lauded by songwriters who looked to him as a mentor. They include Lyle Lovett, who has recorded several of Taylor's songs.

Even though Taylor has played mentor himself, he suggests he's always learning.

"One of the things I love about the guitar, you're never really going to figure this out," he says. "If you think you do, go put on some Django Reinhardt. The great thing about this is learning. That's what making recordings is about for me as well. It all depends on what's going on in your life. You bring in what's happening in your life, I guarantee you that. Hard as you try, you can't leave it outside. It's going to creep in. That's when a great engineer comes into play."

Text on the cover of "Studio 10" reads, "All artists take left at end of hallway. No girlfriends, no boyfriends, no non-essential musicians."

The phrase non-essential is crucial to Taylor's work.

"Eric has spent years mastering the art of getting it all down to the smallest possible footprint in every dimension," Romano says. "Until it hits your head and explodes into many dimensions. It's minimal and beautiful."

"Dark Corner Ice Water" is one of the album's most beguiling tracks. Its titular fluids - moonshine and water - provide tantalizing contrasts for a writer and, in turn, the listener. Both can quench different sorts of thirsts; both could be considered cleansing and nourishing in disparate ways.

Taylor cracks one of his crooked grins. "Some great research went into that song, I learned a lot," he says before paraphrasing a lyric.

"I learned there is some moonshine that can taste just like Spartanburg peaches. And it can also taste like the wisdom of the poor."

Eric Taylor

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk

Tickets: $20-$22; 713-528-5999 or



2-part interview about Studio 10, song-writing and life as a working musician


"Gave it a quick listen yesterday. Got it on now and it's even better on a 2nd listen. I'm partial to the Tully tracks but the others are just as inspired. Eric has a great ear for characters and stories. He and Tully would have had a great time – and a rocky next morning. Can't wait to see the visuals that Mark Wade Stone uses for these. Congratulations to you and Eric. The new one is a triumph." – Paul Bauer, Tully

Thank you for the wonderful Studio 10. Again, lyrically and musically, that combination of beauty and power that is Eric's alone. We love it. One of the treasures of my life.” – Michael Green

“It's a great record.  Can't get a few of the songs "Adios", "Bill",  and "Reno" out of my head.  I would think this is as good as any record Eric has made .  And, you know I am a devoted fan so I am really drawn to Eric's work.” – Jim Hynes, Elmore magazine

“First of all a belated THANK YOU !! for Eric's cd, I've been playing it every week on my show, check out my 1/2 year best of list for best albums and songs at” – Ed Becker, KDHX