Shawn Taylor


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Fresh, new songs. Deep, ol' roots
With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, deep gritty soul stirring vocals & poetic blue collar lyrics; Taylor's songs ooze American roots. His voice has been compared to Tom Waites, Tom Rush, Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springstien, Chris Smither, Bob Dylan & Eddie Vedder. His original songs draw from the deep Americana muscial well & his lyrics are colored by the experiences of his own working class wandering roots. He's been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, father, husband, 'Thru-hiker' (Appalachian Trail '96, Long Trail '97, & John Muir Trail '06 - visit his blog "Short Stories From A Long Walk") & full time musician since his '08 debut release "Wandering Roots."
Taylor's third original CD "Home" hit National airwaves Oct 1, 2013, debuting at #33 on the folk DJ charts and hitting a #4 song on Acoustic Pie Radio on It features several solo tracks anchored by his signiture heavy handed fingerpicking & introduces his lively harmonica playing for the first time on record. It also features a fine aray of New England musicians, as the 'Wandering Roots,' for an eclectic batch of songs and sounds that seek to reflect the diversity of the American experience, within the frame work of [roughly] 'acoustic' Americana. 

He's played such venues as the Bluebird Cafe (Nashville, TN), the Towne Crier (Pawling, NY- where he won the Open Mike Finals), & The New Haven Folk Festival (New Haven, CT - a finalist in the Songwriting competition), playing the role of solo folk trubidor & band leader with his ever evolving 'tribe' "Wandering Roots." he released his second original C.D. "FREE" on April 23rd, 2010, to possitive review and that music has been used in advertising on-line and on air.
Taylor's cover repertoire is rich in obscure, but recognizable songs, that he has a nack for making his own. Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Mississippi John Hurt, the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Tom Waites, Steve Earl, Keb' Mo', Lyle lovett, Chris Smither & more.

Has shared the stage with;

* Vance Gilbert
* Scott Ainslie
* Kevin So
* Pat Wictor
* Amy Speace
* David Jacobs-Strain
* Danielle Miraglia
* Garnet Rodgers

* Michael Ronstadt 


'14 Lizard Lounge Open Mike Competition Main Event Finalist (finals Sept. 27) 

3rd CD, "Home" - debuted #33 on Folk Charts

"Home" hits WFUV w. John Platt - 5/26/13

"Waiting" - voted #4 song - November on
'Acoustic Pie' Radio @

WINNER - Towne Crier
Open Mike Finals (Pawling, NY)

FINALIST - CT Folk Festival
Songwriting Competition

WINNER - Gulf Stream Magazine
Short Story Fiction Contest

'THRU'  HIKED - Appalachian Trail,
John Muir Trail & The Long Trail

Photo for printing
NERFA 2011 - Photo Jake Jacobson


"Shawn is a master balladeer & troubador"
(Remo Ricaldone - American Roots Radio, Italy)

"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"
(The Alternate Root - Review of "Home"

'"Shawn, in my mind, is the real deal."
"well-crafted music, performed with grace"
(Jim Dublinski - WUVT, VA)

"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)

"Shawn Taylor, Free (self-released, 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 impressed me with his voice , his fingerpicking , the diversity of his sounds and of his songs"
(Michel Penard - Radio Milieu, France)

"On Saturday night I caught singer/songwriter Shawn Taylor at Acoustic Café.
He 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)
 "I've really enjoyed listening to this band." 
(José Feliciano - 3/17/13)


For Print
Photo: by Neale Eckstein 2013