Saturday, June 30, 2007

now playing: will taylor & strings attached

Will Taylor and Strings Attached


Take a handful of songs from a singer songwriter known for a distinctive style, strip that music down to its essence, write arrangements for the songs that support a jazz/world music flavored backing ensemble, and what do you get? Several years ago, composer and violinist Will Taylor ran with this idea came up with the Strings Attached concert series, held each month at Saint David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin, Texas. The dozen collaborations (and two bonus video tracks) gathered on this disc represent s slice of the best shows of this inventive series. Musicians love doing the series because it allows them to see their creations through the eyes of other players, in ways they may not have imagined, and to share them with their audiences in new ways. The audiences love that energy of creation and discovery as well, and a bit of that has been translated to this recorded collection, which was put together to benefit CASA, a Texas organization which focuses on the rights of abused and neglected children. Each of the tracks is worth listening to more than once, and especially outstanding tracks include Eliza Gilkyson's with Easy Rider, Jimmy LaFave’s Never is a Moment, Shawn Colvin’s Set the Prairie on Fire, and Ruthie Foster with Ocean of Tears. Guy Forsyth, Patrice Pike, Ian Moore, Libby Kirkpatrick, Barbara K, Slaid Cleaves, and Sara Hickman are the other artists represented, and there is an original instrumental from Taylor as well. It’s a well presented introduction to an original way of musical collaboration.

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