Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monica Taylor

Monica Taylor releases new CD

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Monica Taylor releases new CD

By Cindy Sheets
Contributing Writer
Local Red Dirt songster Monica Taylor once again brings her distinctive sweet voice and home style songs to a growing audience with the release of her new CD, “Cotton Shirt.”
Cotton Shirt, released Thursday, Nov. 5, features 11 tracks penned and performed by Taylor and other Red Dirt artists, including Randy Pease, Greg Jacobs, and former partner Patrick Williams.
Taylor said she was thrilled to be able to include “The Price of Love” on the CD. Taylor performs the song as a duet with Stillwater favorite Jimmy LaFave, who wrote it.
“It’s one of my all-time favorite Jimmy songs,” Taylor said. “He hadn’t played it for years, and he re-wrote the last verse so I could sing it. It’s the one song on the CD that was unrehearsed.
“[The CD] is a fine recording done in Tulsa with the best musicians and dear friends, and down in Austin at Jimmy LaFave’s studio, Cedar Creek. This is where The Dixie Chicks recorded‘ Home,’ where Shawn Colvin has recorded just about everything. The list is pretty amazing.”
Taylor said Cotton Shirt includes a couple other songs that audiences outside of Oklahoma will recognize – “Young Mother” and “Hello, Goodbye, I’m Gone.”
She performed those two melodies on “A Prairie Home Companion’s” Oct. 25 show last year. Garrison Keillor’s well-known NPR radio show visited Tulsa for a performance at the Performing Arts Center.
Taylor said she got an exciting telephone call from Keillor, who told her he had listened to her last CD, “Cimarron Valley Girl.” He asked her, “Can you come to Tulsa tonight for a little practice with me for the show at the PAC that airs live tomorrow?”
And that was how she found herself performing in The Prairie Home Companion show before a seated audience of 2,500 and a much larger radio audience.
“I sang ‘Young Mother,’ which I wrote about the famous Dorothea Lange Dust Bowl-era photo titled, “The Migrant Mother.’
Taylor said she was rehearsing some of her other songs prior to the show, trying to decide what she’d like to perform.
“Garrison said, ‘You know, I just get the feeling there’s something new you’d been wanting to play for me.’”
She then played “Hello, Goodbye, I’m Gone.”
“He loved it,” she said. “He told the audience, ‘This is a sweet, sad song that Monica just played for me backstage.’”
“I sold so many CDs – hundreds – after that show... made so many new fans,” Taylor recalls. “I have now presold many Cotton Shirt CDs because of his listeners... and my own good fans.
“I’m so thankful for that opportunity.”
Though she had already planned to record a new CD, Cotton Shirt came about much sooner, primarily because of interest derived from Prairie Home Companion.
Keillor also included two more of Taylor’s performances in Prairie Home’s “Favorites of 2008” show.
Taylor is now busily sending out Cotton Shirt CDs by the bushel. She said she has already had orders from across the nation, and is intrigued by all those far-reaching addresses.
She also has several release parties planned. They’ll begin in December after she returns from a musical tour of the Pacific Northwest, where she’ll help Stillwater native Craig Dermer and his wife celebrate their birthdays with a concert on Nov. 15.
“There’s a lot of Okies who have moved out there,” she said. “Craig Dermer’s band, the Dust Bowl Refugees, will back me up on Saturday. Isn’t that a great name for a band out in Oregon that includes at least two or three transplanted Okies?”
Taylor has a series of release parties and performances lined up when she returns to Oklahoma, but this Saturday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. you can catch her at the Garden Diva Sculpture Co. Annual Open House in Tulsa, and on Sunday, Nov. 8, she’ll perform for the Woody Guthrie Tribute, at the Blue Door in Oklahoma City.
You can buy Taylor’s CDs locally at Sasser Antiques in Perkins, and Hastings, Daddy O’s, and Hideaway in Stillwater. And online at www.monic
This is part of the November 5, 2009 online edition of The Journal.

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