By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Singer/songwriter Taylor Rae, a native of Santa Cruz, California now residing in Austin, skillfully incorporates a host of different styles into her music. Rae’s debut release “Mad Twenties” provides listeners with compelling, emotionally varied perspectives on romance, travel, personal growth and journeys, featuring Rae’s consistently impressive leads and thoughtful, memorable lyrics. The LP’s songs, all originals, reflect an insight and viewpoint developed by someone who’s experienced a lot over a relatively short time frame. Taylor Rae’s been writing songs since she was eight, playing guitar (self-taught) by 12 and being a professional at 15.
“I pull inspiration from a lot of different places,” Rae told the Tribune this week during an interview. “It’s quite a variety of things and I really enjoy all kinds of music, though if we’re talking about early influences it would be the 60s and ‘70s. I listened to a lot of the Beatles, Carole King, James Taylor. Then later in terms of more modern influences people like Norah Jones, Grace Potter, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow. Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of indie-rock, but I also really enjoy hip-hop.”
Rae’s LP “Mad Twenties” was recorded locally at Omni Studios, an experience that she treasures. “It was such a great experience to work with exceptional musicians. They could be given a song for the first time and really nail it in two takes. That was so exciting, and it pushes you to really do just as well.” Rae was backed by bassist Dave Francis, keyboardist/pianist Chris Nole, guitarist/mandolinist David Flint and drummer Wayne Killius.
The 12 selections range from the initial single “Fixer Upper,” which presents a optimistic and bright view of romance to the powerful “Forgiveness” and earnest “Never Gonna Do,” which also has a more overt political edge. “Home On The Road” and “Taking Space” are two other outstanding numbers, but the entire LP is both expertly sequenced and performed.
Rae credits producer William Gawley for his able assistance in selecting the album’s selections. “I sent 30 demos for the LP,” Rae recalls. “Some of the songs on there go way back, and there were a couple that kind of surprised me that were picked, but I’m really happy with how everything turned out.”
Though not officially released until October 1, Nashville fans can hear Rae performing songs from “Mad Twenties” next Tuesday in a CD release party at the Local. “I’ve played some shows in Nashville before, but this is the first time I’ve done one with a band, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Rae concluded.
Taylor Rae, CD release party for “Mad Twenties,” September 21 at the Local, 110 28th Avenue, beginning at 5 p.m.