New Haven Advocate - Review of "FREE"
"Shawn Taylor, Free (self-released, shawntaylortunes.com). "Shawn Taylor plays his acoustic guitar Delta style, reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt... and you can hear his smooth command of the difficult finger-picking style... Anchoring the whole thing is Taylor’s voice. Described as “wonderfully damaged” by the Advocate’s own Dan Barry, it is worn but not frayed, a smoky tenor that exudes confidence and authority. This kind of command comes from live performances — not just in clubs and coffee bars, but in living rooms and on front porches as well. "
(James Velvet - New Haven Advocate)
"Shawn Taylor has mellowness to his voice that works well against the frenetic flash of finger-picking that is the foundation of his songs... It is Americana stripped of its outer skin. The songs crackle with the guitar work... "
"Acoustic players will come and go, but Shawn Taylor is a masterful craftsman whose music deserves to be heard." D.S. - Metronome Magazine - Boston
His keen eye, soul-drenched vocals and steadfast acoustic fingerpicking punctuates his musical canvas with a skillful, heartfelt flair reminiscent of troubadours John Prine, John Gorka and Bob Dylan. But make no mistake, Taylor is his own voice. With three albums under his belt and another on the way, Shawn Taylor is one of the finest singer-songwriters on the scene today.”
Brian Owens - Metronome Magazine - Boston
'"Shawn, in my mind, is the real deal. Well-crafted music, performed with grace"
Jim Dublinski - WUVT, VA
"Shawn Taylor is a master balladeer & troubador"
Remo Ricaldone - American Roots Radio, Italy
"Shawn Taylor has a wonderfully damaged voice - a sort of Tom Waits 'I gargle cinder blocks in the morning' growl, but less of a put-on than Waits' bark. His lyrics dabble in a wonderful gritty naturalism that's uncommon around here... check him out."
Dan Barry - New Haven Advocate
"Shawn Taylor impressed me with his voice , his fingerpicking , the diversity of his sounds and of his songs"
Michel Penard - Radio Milieu - France
"I've really enjoyed listening to this band."
José Feliciano - (At Smokin' With Chris - Southington, CT 3/17/13)
Caravan Of Thieves
High Resolution Photos for Printing
The Alternate Root - "Home" - Review
"Shawn Taylor has mellowness to his voice that works well against the frenetic flash of finger-picking that is the foundation of his songs... It is Americana stripped of its outer skin. The songs crackle with the guitar work... Shawn Taylor uses words as weapons on Home, showing that his pen beats the sword for cutting through the crap as it seeks the truth of contemporary life"
- TheAlternateRoot.com (May 30, 2013)
Metronome Magazine Boston - "Home" Review
"Shawn Taylor describes himself succinctly when he calls his music “original, bare bones Americana with a heart and a mind on ‘home’” On his new album of the same name. Taylor drops nine well penned numbers and two readily identifiable covers on listeners that are fueled by his stellar, campfire storytelling voice, deft acoustic guitar picking, wailing harmonica work and astute observations of everyday life and it’s unpredictable intricacies. It’s a delicate, well played slice of American roots music that’s as satisfyin’ as a warm, home cooked meal.Joined by musicians Paul Opalach on bass (who recorded, mixed & mastered the album), Jim McKeeman on guitar and harmony vocals, Chris D’Amato on National steel guitar, Nathan Bontrager on cello, Nick Longo on drums and Lee-Anne Lovelace on harmony vocals, Taylor adds their exceptional respective talents with the same savior fair as a world-class chef seasoning his dishes.
Best tracks that should find their way to mainstream radio include the hard luck anthem, “Blackwater,” The skillful six string picking of “Waiting,” the sobering reflections of “Home,” the drinking man’s lament of “Where’s The Bottom?” every married parent’s hope, “Time For Us,” the introspective realization of “I’m a Fool,” and Taylor’s superb rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll be Staying Here With You,” complete with some extraordinary tuneful guitar work courtesy of Jim McKeeman.
Acoustic players will come and go, but Shawn Taylor is a masterful craftsman whose music deserves to be heard."Metronome Magazine - Boston - Feb '15)
Music With Wandering Roots.
"Shawn dives directly into folk/blues with heart and soul, telling stories of real people with real hardships, all backed by a finger-picking style that can be crass, gentle, fast or simple, what ever the moment calls for, and led all the time confidently with his gruff and raspy blues voice. He’s found originality within his genre. A tough thing to do."
Tom Bianchi - Boston Backstage Beat
"I've really enjoyed listening to this band."
Has Shared The Stage With
“Shawn Taylor is one of the finest traveling troubadours performing on the circuit these days. Boasting world-class guitar chops, soul enriched vocals and an uncanny knack for capturing life in a song, Taylor never fails to wow audiences with his performing prowess. ”
Brian Owens – Metronome Magazine – Boston - June, 2018
* Falcon Ridge Folk Festival “Emerging Artist”- 2017
* 2nd PLACE – Infinity Hall ‘Big Stage’ Competition - 2016
* FINALIST – Lizard Lounge Open Mike Songwriter Competition - Cambridge, MA - 2016
* FINALIST – Eddie’s Attic Open Mike Bi-Annual Shootout - ATL, GA – 2016
* FINALIST - CT Folk performing Songwriter Competition - 2015
* WINNER - Town Crier (NY) performing Songwriter Competition – 2014
* THRU-HIKED (end-to-end) the John Muir Trail (CA) 2005
* 1st PLACE “Reliance” - Gulf Stream Literary Magazine (FL) “Firsts” short story Contest - 2004
* 2nd PLACE for “Reliance” CT State University Literary Short Story Competition- 2004
* THRU-HIKED (end-to-end) the Long Trail (VT) 1997
* THRU-HIKED (end-to-end) the Appalachian Trail (GA-ME) 1996
Metronome Magazine Boston's - "Balance" Review
(TOP 5 April pick)
"One of the finest sounding albums of the year." - Brian Owens
" Acoustic troubadour Shawn Taylor is no stranger to the pages of Metronome. In fact Shawn graced our cover in March of 2015 on the strength of his exceptional Home album. For his new offering Balance, Taylor returns with a collection of cleverly penned acoustic borne numbers that incorporate everything from Island to funk to pop and folk. He’s a gifted guitarist capable of delivering blazing single note runs or keeping things tight and tasteful with his superlative fingerpicking prowess.
Joined by musical friends guitarist Jim McKeeman, bassist Nicholas Defala, drummer Nick Longo, engineer/multi-instrumentalist Paul Oplach, upright bassist Patrick Haddon along with singers Lee-Ann Lovelace & Shannon McMahon Bruchal, Taylor whips up one of the finest sounding albums of 2018 with Balance. But don’t take my word for it, finnd a little Balance for yourself. You won’t be sorry. " - [B.M.O.]
Metronome Magazine Interview
Wandering roots troubadour Shawn Taylor, weaves music from many colored threads of Americana. His fourth original CD “Balance,” wanders from Appalachian to island groves, rock to pop, sparse folk ballads to finger-style time twisters and gut busting blues. “Shawn Taylor is one of the finest traveling troubadours performing on the circuit these days. Boasting world-class guitar chops, soul enriched vocals and an uncanny knack for capturing life in a song,” wrote Brian Owens, of Metronome Magazine - Boston in June 2018. “His lyrics dabble in a wonderful gritty naturalism that's uncommon around here,” wrote Dan Barry of the New Haven Advocate. "Shawn Taylor has a mellowness to his voice that works well against the frenetic flash of finger-picking that is the foundation of his songs. The songs crackle with the guitar work," declared TheAlternateRoot.com
Taylor has won and placed in, performing songwriter competitions up and down the east coast, including the Towne Crier in New York and Infinity Hall in Connecticut, and has also been awarded internationally for his short fiction. He’s played some of America’s most treasured listening rooms such as the Blue Bird Café in Nashville, Tennessee and Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia, and has shared the stage with legends and notables including Maria Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Pat Wictor, Scott Ainslie, Spuyten Duyvil, Garnet Rodgers and Sarah Potenza. He’s released four solo CD’s and in 2017 produced a ‘pay it forward’ charity compilation CD ‘Songs For Hope,” in honor of the innocent lives lost at Sandy Hook School, where his wife Amy taught until recently.
His wandering roots grow deep. He was born in Ohio and raised mostly in Massachusettes, but lived in five different states before turning one. He’s been an oysterman, a custom cabinet maker and has thru-hiked (end to end), the Appalachian Trail (GA-ME), the John Muir Trail (CA) and The Long Trail (VT). He’s spent the past decade relentlessly performing (267 shows in 2017), travelling, exploring and developing his wandering roots sound and philosophy. Summer 2017, Amy and their two children (seven and nine) joined him on the road for the first time. Their six-week tour touched down in eight states, included wild ponies and their car getting caught in a flash flood, and ended with Taylor’s appearance as a 2017 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival “Emerging artist.” The family will join him again on the road in 2018 for 6,ooo miles, growing their roots wider and deeper, and planting and harvesting future seeds of wandering roots.