The soulful and Melodic Album Heaven's Smile
Soulful and melodic album Heaven's Smile – "It’s easy to tell that Chris Taylor’s well crafted songs take inspiration from artists as diverse as Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor and Peter Frampton. As well as Chris on vocals and guitar, The Chris Taylor Band draws on the talents of Michael Keane on drums, and bassist Dan Fraser-Betts. Moves I Make is the title of the band’s new single released this month on Mike Hallett’s record label, Octopia. The single offering is a prelude to a new album, and also features a guest appearance from ex-Pretenders’ guitarist Robbie McIntosh and touring bassist Dave Phillips" – Maria Greenwood, Dorset Magazine, Oct 2014.
The Chris Taylor Band is a rootsy folk infected blues rock group from the UK. Formed in 2014, the band is led by singer-songwriter Chris Taylor, whose debut album, Heaven’s Smile, is now currently available on iTunes. Recorded and produced by Mike Hallett of Octopia, the album also features guest appearances from touring Phil Collins Tribute bassist, And Finally, Dave Phillips, and ex-pretenders, Norah Jones & John Mayer guitarist Robbie McIntosh.
As well as Chris Taylor on Vocals and Rhythm/Lead Guitar, the band's current line-up draws upon talents including Michael Keane (drums), Daniel Fraser-Betts (bass), and Steve Rossant (Rhythm Guitar).
With Chris Taylor, it’s all about the intricate acoustic guitar work and soulful vocals – the core of his songs. “For me, it’s all about how I can deliver my songs so they hit people straight through to the core.” Taylor’s songs are emotional and are all mostly themed around love, comfort, and belonging. ‘Only Time Away’ lends heavily to all these qualities and shows promise of a new major British singer/songwriter.
The well-crafted songs of singer-songwriters including James Taylor, Bill Withers, and Norah Jones to the more guitar orientated blues-rock artists such as Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck all helped lay the foundations and lent a hand in molding a sound in which Taylor could call his own. “Hearing James Taylor’s 1971 album ‘Live at Filmore East’ is what did it for me. The under produced, off the cuff and down-to-earth recording of his performance really hit me. The fact that you can hear his belt buckle vibrate against the guitar, and how he casually talks between songs and banters with the audience really made it seem more human, and more accessible to me. I knew this is what I wanted to do.”
Off the back of jam sessions, open mic nights and a relentless amount of gigs, Taylor’s intentions was to become a session musician but soon found his voice and where he sat best with the guitar – he found home! He began writing songs to help deal with situations and emotions which in turn helps keep his passion in music alive. The rootsy, folk- infected singer-songwriter from London eventually recorded a demo of a few songs and was surprised at how well they have been received. From regular open mic slots in Dorset and London, and performances on Wessex FM and Air Radio Taylor has begun to make an impression. “I love singing live, and more so with my original material. I think it’s the connection I enjoy most, and when the audience feel what you are, it’s really special.”
‘Heaven’s Smile’ is now available to purchase on iTunes , which features a blend of warm soulful acoustic tracks to the more upbeat blues-rock arrangements that currently influences his writing. “My songs are genuine, real and more so, raw, I think thats important and hopefully I can get that across.”