Shawn Taylor


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Fresh, new songs. Deep, ol' roots
With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, wailing harp, deep gritty soul stirring vocals and poetic blue collar lyrics, Taylor's songs ooze American roots. His voice has been compared to Tom Waites, Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springsteen and Chris Smither. His original songs draw from the deep Americana musical well and his lyrics are colored by the experiences of his own working class wandering roots.

He's been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, father, husband, and 'thru-hiker' of the Appalachian Trail, the Long Trail and the John Muir Trail. He's won awards for his short prose stories and been a finalist in several competative songwriter open mikes, including the Towne Crier in Pawling, NY, which he won. 

He plays venues from New England to Nashville, such as the Bluebird Cafe, and has shared the stage with acts such as, Maria Muldaur and Vance Gilbert. He also leads the ever evolving New England based Wandering Roots band.

He has released three solo CD's, "Wandering Roots," "Free," and "Home." Home" has
aired on international folk radio from Japan, to Europe to WFUV in NY. He maintains a busy playing schedule, making 200+ apearances a year and is curentlty writing towards the next recording project...

Has shared the stage with;

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

* Abbie Gardner
* Michael Ronstadt 


Photo: by Neale Eckstein 2013

Backstage Lizard Lounge Open Mike Challenge Finals
Photo by Mike Spencer -


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 (Mar 02, 2015)
"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)
"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."

(D.S. Metronome Magazine - Boston - Feb '15)