Here in Austin, we like to make a big fuss over our Central Texas music icons, erecting statues and renaming streets in their honor. So while the respective likeness and namesake of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson have become local landmarks, in reality, our city limits have several legends just hiding in plain sight.
Like Tommy Taylor, whose deft drumming on Christopher Cross’ ’79 debut undeniably helped make it the timeless classic it is today. But that’s just scratching the surface; on top of a longtime spot in Eric Johnson’s band, Taylor’s played with the likes of SRV, Charlie Sexton, Jerry Jeff Walker, Shawn Colvin, Ray Benson and many more over what must be an incredibly fulfilling career. Turns out though that Tommy Taylor wasn’t too keen on just letting those records speak for themselves, since after several years of encouragement, he recently put his voice front and center of his own tunes.
Created in collaboration with fellow legend and multi-Grammy winner Michael Omartian, Across the Stars came out last September. Between Omartian’s top notch production techniques and Taylor’s well-seasoned sense of songwriting (fleshed out characters and all), Across the Stars is an astronomical entry for this pair of yacht rock royals. So don’t expect any tumbleweeds or crickets when the silence comes at the end of this nine-song journey, because even early pieces like the album opener “Ghost Town” just sound plain great. Since we’re guessing there’s a galaxy’s worth of other material under Taylor’s belt, here’s hoping Across the Stars won’t be a standalone in Tommy’s discography.
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