Songs From A Dutch Tour

(Train Wreck)

 

www.trainwreckrecords.com

 

Chip Taylor’s journey through the maze of the
music biz has been an unlikely one to say the least.  As a successful singer/songwriter who freely
veered from Country to Rock and then back again, his initial successes – “Wild
Thing,” “Angel of the Morning” and several early but under-appreciated albums
in the mid ‘70s – was waylaid by a gambling addiction.  It took nearly twenty years for Taylor to
reconnect with his muse, but ultimately Taylor -on his own and in partnership
with fiddler Carrie Rodriguez – rebounded as prolifically as ever.

 

Not surprisingly
then,
Songs From A Dutch Tour is
as much a memoir as an autobiography, a personal reflection of a one-off tour
that momentarily stole him away from the race track and introduced him to a new
overseas audience.  Written from an
insider’s perspective, this music memoir contains a clear-eyed intimacy, some
stunning detail and an exceptional array of rare archival photos.  A series of anecdotes as opposed to a
traditional narrative, it spans forty years – from Taylor’s
initial attempts to ply his songwriting skills to his reemergence with
Rodriguez and his bittersweet return to Holland
three decades later – and its casual conversational style makes for an engaging
read.

 

That 2007 tour also
inspired him to write some striking new music for an accompanying CD, an audio
addendum that enhances the wistful poignancy of his candid commentary.  Singing mostly in dry, measured tones that
bear a certain similarity to Willie Nelson, Taylor name-checks numerous contemporaries –
Emmylou Harris, John Prine and Steve Goodman, among them.  On “Song for a German Girl,” Taylor recalls one troubadour’s tip: “Steve
Earle said all along/If you want to write a special song/Steal one that rings
so fine.” Fortunately, it seems Taylor’s
yet to take that advice. LEE ZIMMERMAN

 

 

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