December 1, 2000
For Immediate Release
SCUFFLETOWN BY ERIC TAYLOR
Eric Taylor, Pfarrkirchen, Germany, Oct. 13th 2000
Picture courtesy of Mr Jones
On March 20, 2001 Eminent Records will release Scuffletown, it’s first album from Texas singer-songwriter Eric Taylor. People have been talking about Eric Taylor and his songs for years, since the early 1970’s when he was an integral part of a Houston songwriting scene that included Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. As Taylor’s reputation and song catalogue has grown, he has enjoyed a following that includes Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Steve Earle. «Eric Taylor was one of my heroes and teachers when I started playing around Houston in the early 1970’s,» says Earle. «He’s the real deal.»
Scuffletown is, in
Taylor’s own words, his «best recording so far.» He says he did not
have a unifying theme for writing and compiling the eleven songs that make up
the album when he started recording. But in retrospect he realizes that songs
and their sequence tell a story of a man’s journey and the experiences he
encounters that make him who he is. Some of the songs address social issues,
such as «Your God,» written after the news of James Byrd’s murder in
Jasper, Texas, or «White Bone,» the story of a black albino preacher
inspired by the writings of the great southern writer Harry Crews. But for the
most part, these are songs about personal struggles. “Happy Endings»
is a story about the loss of hope and how conflict can sometimes be the tie that
binds in a relationship. In «Game is Gone» Taylor recounts a personal
incidence that he jokes is not about an ex-wife but a record company executive.
This is Taylor’s first album to contain any cover songs. He chose to include
two songs by Townes Van Zandt («Where I Lead Me» and «Nothin’»)
, along with a composite version of Willie McTell’s «Delia» and his
own «Bad News.» Taylor has been playing these songs in his live
show for years, and according to him, «They just seemed to fit so well with
Self-produced by Taylor, every nuance of Scuffletown’s recording was very important to him. «I wanted to be able to use the sound for the live stage,» says Taylor. «So, the only rule was that I cut the performances live and head-on. I was free, then, to start painting in the other musicians, all of whom I’ve worked with before and trust.»
James Gilmer, who
has worked with Taylor on everything he has ever recorded, contributed the drums
Mike Sumler played
keyboards and added a great guitar part on Townes’ «Nothin’.»
Eric Demmer has played with everyone from Gatemouth to Clapton.
Taylor played all the bass and
guitar parts and wrote the supporting vocal arrangements as well.
Scuffletown is a triumphant personal achievement and one very close to Eric Taylor’s heart. He says that since all music comes from inside somewhere, by nature it has to be personal. His goal is to move his listener, whether it be to anger, sadness, happiness or some other emotion. «The emotions have to come through to the music,» Taylor says, «so that the listener can hear and feel what I’m trying to say.» With the release of Scuffletown, Eric Taylor has certainly achieved his mission.