Friday, December 18, 2009

Introducing our Artists - Dulcie Taylor

In continuation, we would like to introduce Dulcie Taylor with whom we have most recently released Diamond and Glass.

“I like to write on an immediate level,” says singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Dulcie Taylor. To me, art is communication.”

Delivered via a clear, supple voice and lyrics that are powerfully direct and down-to-earth, the 10 original songs on Mirrors and Windows –Taylor’s high energy second CD for Black Iris Records — beautifully reflect that sentiment.

Taylor’s new CD ranges from the Byrds-tinged “Blackberry Winter” to the roots rock ‘n roll “Seaboard Train,” from the smoky, blues-inflected “Woman I Used to Be” to the sweet, pure acoustic “Love Like Yours and Mine” and the haunting country-acoustic “Ice Melts.”

“Mirrors and Windows gave me the joy of exploring the musical styles I love, keeping them updated and fresh, and making them all work together,” Taylor says.

Throughout, Taylor continues her emphasis on strong, memorable melodies and mixing arrangements and sounds.
“I try to write songs that will stay in your mind, and I like to mix up the sounds to keep the CD interesting.”

On Mirrors and Windows, which was released in March, 2004, Taylor was helped by her label’s decision to record at the Signature Sounds studio in Palmer, MA, with Mark Thayer producing and Dulcie and long-time guitarist John Landau co-producing. It features Dulcie on vocals, guitar, dulcimer, and harmonica, and continues her interest in working with the best musicians around. Several of fine musicians support her on this CD: Rounder Records recording artist Duke Levine (of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s band) plays guitars and lap steel; Richard Gates (Suzanne Vega, Richard Thompson, Patty Larkin) plays bass; Lorne Entress on drums and percussion (Mighty Sam McClain, Susan Tedeschi) and Michael Bellar on Hammond B3 (Art Garfunkel).

Mirrors and Windows follows Taylor’s first Black Iris debut release (2002), Diamond & Glass, which received substantial airplay nationwide, charting at Album Network’s non-commercial AAA, and garnered rave reviews, such as:

“It shines exactly like its title, Diamond & Glass.” — Robert Oermann, Music Row

“Dulcie Taylor is a gifted writer; she also has a compelling voice which she employs with nuance and emotion.” — Kerry Dexter, Dirty Linen

“Taylor is a poet, a romantic” – Mike Joyce, The Washington Post

Mirrors and Windows has also received substantial airplay nationwide, reaching No. 7 on the Roots Rock Chart at Roots Music Report. Like Diamond & Glass, it has also been the TOP PICK MP3 at The Washington Post MP3 site. It has received wonderful critical response:

“Throughout, the writing is smart, witty, and heartfelt.” – Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, No Depression

“This album has it all.” – Victor Heyman, Sing Out!

“She writes from the heart, for the heart.” – Katy Hershberger, Washington Post MP3

At the Washington Area Music Association Awards ceremony ceremony in February 2003, Diamond & Glass won a Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) — Dulcie’s second in her career — being chosen as the Best Contemporary Folk Recording. Taylor was also chosen as a finalist in the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC.

Taylor has shared the stage with a wide variety of acts – Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark, Steve Forbert, John Gorka, Richard Shindell, Livington Taylor, to name a few, performing at venues such as The Iron Horse, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and The Birchmere. She is also a writer of poetry and prose, and was elected to the Board of Directors of the Poetry Series at Washington, D.C.’s Folger Shakespeare Library. The Folger attracts scholars from around the globe, and is also home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, as well as magnificent collections of other rare Renaisance books and manuscripts.

When asked about her strongest influences, Dulcie laughs and says, “The unknown boy at Myrtle Beach who wandered up on the porch where we were staying, sat on my ukulele and smashed it. I was 10 years old and devastated! That Christmas, Mother said ‘we’ll just get you something a little bigger’ and gave me a guitar.”

The biggest early influence on Taylor was simply being raised in a small community. “You’re in people’s faces a lot. That makes you look at the human situation very closely.” That perspective and experience has defined the things Dulcie holds precious in this world: “Most of life is made up of the day-to-day small things, so I try to see the beauty in them.”

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