The Steve Taylor June Residency’s “Mad Dogs and Angelenos” Jam-Heavy Debut


Multi-instrumentalist Steve Taylor is very much a “musician’s musician” (a title you could hang on the late Warren Zevon, Leon Russell or even The Meters) that most all casual music fans out there have likely heard-but-not-heard-of. Given the quality of the acts he has curated (see below) for this run of shows at The Mint, it is obvious that he has already garnered the utmost respect from a variety of peers from a wide array of genres. Interestingly enough, Taylor revealed during band introductions that he used to room with Jonathan Wilson (solo artist / Phil Lesh and Friends), another extremely talented local artist heavily revered by peers.

Over the past few years, the multi-instrumentalist has lent his talents to recordings and tours with such national acts as RhyeRogue Wave and The Jackie Greene Band. This month at The Mint, Taylor has been put together a unique, eclectic and adventurous set of shows each Wednesday of June, each featuring a different musical theme.

ImageTo kick things off on Wednesday night was the jam-centric, Americana-infused “Mad Dogs and Angelenos” show featuring Mark Karan (Ratdog The Dead), 5 Track (“bass magician” who lives up to the title), JT Thomas (Captain Beefheart) and Richard Gowen (Jonathan Wilson). The name was a subtle nod to Joe Cocker’s short-lived, but spectacular “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” project with Leon Russell in 1970 and this one-off collective of musicians certainly did it justice. Taylor’s heady stage banter hit on this theme a couple of times throughout the night as he extolled/explained the strange-yet-true “musical triangle” that connected California (CSNY / The Grateful Dead, etc.), Oklahoma (Leon Russell) and Great Britain (Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and more) during the golden era of rock and roll. Following this muse was the theme of the show and considering this band had never collectively met in a musical sense, it was quickly apparent that they were a group of kindred spirits with a natural rhythmic and cosmic connection that would pay dividends for all in attendance.


Since it was the first time this quintet had ever played together, it was a treat to watch Taylor work his way through the set with the band during soundcheck as they ran through a Stephen Stills cover and Taylor gave the specifics on chord progressions and melodies while helping to quickly shepherd the overall vibe he wished the band to take on during the set.

At around 9:30 pm, the band embarked on an impressive and lengthy set (midway through the show Taylor and Co. chose to “play through” in lieu of a set break) that would include some Van Morrison-esque originals by Taylor and several late 60’s / early-70s covers of the Grateful Dead (“Bertha” with Mark Karan singing lead vocals), Elton JohnStephen Stills “Love The One You’re With” (a 15-minute rendering that included an stellar improvisational segment that teased heavily on The Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”), Joe Cocker‘s “With A Little Help From My Friends”, Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and another Dead cover “Sugaree”.

The Mint is lucky enough to host shows over 300 nights a year and this Wednesday night performance will undoubtedly stand out from the mix once we close the book on 2013. Fans of an off-the-cuff musical experience full of surprises will not want to miss the remaining three shows of this residency and the chance to see an intimate performance by Taylor before the word gets out on his talent and you-can’t-teach-this level of creativity and sense of musical adventure.


Check out the remaining shows on the Steve Taylor Residency schedule below.


6/12: Week 2 Drum&Bass
KJ Sawka (Pendulum, Conspirator)
Avi Zahner-Isenberg (Avi Buffalo)
5 Track (bass magician)

6/19: Week 3 Creative Cloth
Marco Benevento + Special guests

6/26: Week 4 Hyre
Claire Couchene (Rhye, Frank Ocean)
Jake Jamieson (Rhye)
Julie Slick (Adrian Belew) + Special Guests



~ by themintla on June 6, 2013.

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