The Unique Blues And Rock of 35 th And Taylor
Bruce Von Stiers
When you first hear this band, you'll think that they are seasoned veterans. But in fact, two of the band members are still in high school. On the other hand, their lead singer was featured on the sixth season of the NBC show, The Voice. The band is 35th and Taylor. That lead singer is Anna Taylor.
The band has had two albums out. But, according to a statement from Taylor, neither truly reflected the sound the band felt was theirs. So they traveled to Nashville to work with veteran producer J. Hall. After many hours in the studio, writing and rehearsing, the band came up with material that they felt was right for them. The result is their third album, which is titled I Know You're Trouble.
The band was previously known as November 35th . As such, the band was given the “Spirit Award” by the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Association for their contribution for the youth and future of rock and roll in Iowa. Quite an award for a band from the Sioux City area whose members are barely old enough to legally drive. As stated in their promo material, all the members of the band, including Anna, are under the age of twenty.
The members of the band are Anna Taylor, Evan Kaler, Jack Osborn and Max Miller. Evan plays lead guitar. Jack is on bass guitar. Max is the band's drummer. And, as I mentioned earlier, Anna is the vocalist for the band. Anna also plays piano on the album.
The style of music of the band is not quite what I expected. They have been characterized as an alt blues rock band. Learning this, I kind of expected a bit of blues mixed with mild rock or something like that. What I found was music with a solid rock base fused with an intense blues texture. Listening to Anna's vocals, I tried to find a comparison to other blues or rock vocalists. To compare Anna to Bonnie Raitt or Joss Stone might be stretching it a bit, but the band does list Joss Stone as one of their many influences. The promo material for the album calls the band sound “unique alternative blues / rock.” I really think that says it all for the styling of the band's music. That is, unique.
You get a sense of that unique rock and blues with the album's first song, Hard Times. It has a toe-tapping rock blues base. Then the chorus moves into a faster paced rock mode. Anna's vocals are kind of hard to describe. They are fluid, and yet are burning with an intensity that proves out the blues influence. The song is about a guy that is totally bad for her, but yet she can't stay away.
That theme about a guy follows with the next song, New Religion. This one is definitely done is a rock blues style. Subtle rock blues music backs slick, slightly achy vocals by Anna.
In third position on the album is the title track, I Know You're Trouble. It is a really cool rock / blues piece infused with tough guitar riffs and great vocals
Until The End has more of a light, lyrical blues tone to it.
There is a beautiful song on the album that in itself is kind of sad. The song is Night Terrors. Piano plays in the background as Anna sings about being afraid when he is not there with her. The vocals are poignant.
Ain't Coming Down has an almost alt folk sound. It has a light guitar sound, with thunder in the background.
Bringing things back into rock mode is Red Letter. It has a cool rock guitar sound, with tough blues infused vocals.
Solid rock guitar backs Anna in the song Cut You Down. You will definitely be tapping your feet to the music in this one.
Then it's on to my favorite song on the album, Figure It Out. It starts out slow and bluesy. Then it kicks up with some too tough rock guitar backing Anna on the chorus.
The final song on the album is Soldiers. It too show the blues influence that infuses itself in the rock styling of the band. It has some killer guitar riffs and solid rock/ blues music.
Occasionally, I will write that an artist or band should soon be a household name. That might seem a bit lame, but I sincerely mean it when I write that. And I have to say, that with the right exposure, 35 th and Taylor, will be one of those bands whose name everybody knows. The music of the band is unique enough to stand out. The quality of Anna's vocals, combined with great backing music from her fellow band members, make this band well worth listening to.
I Know You're Trouble is available digitally on iTunes and Google Play.
To learn more about the band, you can visit their official site at http://35thandtaylor.com/
The band also has a Facebook band page at https://www.facebook.com/35thandtaylor
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© 2016 Bruce E Von Stier