Magic City

Flew into Birmingham Sunday and tour headliner Taylor Hollingsworth picked me up at the airport. My old acoustic guitar made it, a relief after hearing some friends’ stories about guitar/flight mishaps. Taylor picked me up at the airport and we headed for his practice space to pick up his amp. He practices in the old women’s locker room of a defunct iron furnace. The rusted machinery landscape is like his playground. He’s the only band out there. We got some soul food and then geared up for the show: a costume contest/Halloween concert at Rojo; a hometown show for Taylor but a whole new state for Leland Sundries.

Taylor’s got a beat-up, no name acoustic that he carries without a case, put a humbucker in, and raised the action enough for slide playing. He usually tunes it down a whole step but sometimes puts it in open D or even open C. We set up our gear then sat up at the bar until show time. He’s got a new one called “Lost in Mississippi” that hits the spot. He sings about goats and Otha Turner.

I played the Leland Sundries set in Birmingham dressed in a strange clown getup with a red tinsel wig and ‘70s thrift store pants. Taylor and his fiancé Kate dressed as ketchup and mustard respectively. I think the Sundries set went pretty well and Ketchup took the stage, dueting with Kate on a few songs and singing a few solo. Michael Shackelford backed him up on a snare drum. A few beers later, Mike signed on for the tour and I’m glad about it. He’s a really complementary musician and fills out Taylor’s sound and might play on a few with me as well. He’s got his own Birmingham band called the Grenadines. It didn’t take long to realize that Taylor is his own man and an open hearted and genuine guy with uncommon musical talent. (Costumes: Lindsey Lohan and her bag of cocaine beat out get-ups from Where The Wild Things Are and beat the two guys from Weekend at Bernie’s in the costume contest.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *