Pedigree will tell. In rhythm and soul, it’s bred in the bone.
Tasha Taylor, the youngest daughter of pioneering R&B artist, Johnnie Taylor is having a breakout year with the release of her first solo CD, TAYLORMADE. And the magic will continue, when Tasha makes her Broadway debut, creating the role of Margie Hendrix in “Unchain My Heart,” the new musical based on the life and music of Ray Charles. An entertainment triple threat, Tasha is a multi-talented musician, actor and performer. As a musician she is the complete package, an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician and now, producer of TAYLORMADE.
Early R&B artists like Johnnie persevered, though often confronted with financial inequalities and social indignities but the rich heritage of their music continues to dominate popular music today. One of Stax Records’ major artists, Johnnie Taylor, remained on the road for four decades, providing for his family, and keeping his music alive.
Tasha began traveling with her family on tour as a child and was constantly surrounded by music legends. Johnnie, by example, instilled his concept of dedication and hard work in pursuit of his music career. He never pushed his children to follow an artistic career...but that decision was taken out of his hands when early on Tasha decided to carry on his musical legacy.“I just remember being on the side of the stage…A LOT!” remembers Tasha. “Watching dad work shows with great artists…The Jackson 5, Natalie Cole, Sister Sledge, Johnnie Guitar Watson…and so many others over the years.”
Johnnie chose Dallas, Texas, Tasha’s childhood home, as home base because it was smack dab in the path of his winter and summer tours. And Dallas provided the opportunity to spend some time at home with his family, parking the tour bus in the back driveway.
Dallas gave up everything it had to offer to an up and coming soulstress, and subsequently Tasha moved to the northeast, enrolling in the Theater Department at Boston University. After semesters of polish and Shakespearean training, Tasha recommitted herself to follow her father’s muse. Was Hollywood or New York going to be her new home? A flip of a coin sent her west.
Within a relatively brief time, she acquired on the job training, and the accoutrements of an entertainment career, coaches, agents, managers, producers, the gamut of services available to those who come to town with Talent.
Tasha adds, “My dad always told me that it was called show business for a reason. It’s 90% business and 10% show. If you don’t know your business…you’re in trouble!”
She has been busy as a featured guest on acclaimed network fare such as “House,” and “Ugly Betty,” and in indie films, “Dimples” and the just released “Heaven Ain’t Hard to Find.” As a composer, her original music has been featured on “Men In Trees” and “Lipstick Jungle.” Tasha also performs live in concert, showcasing her fabulous voice in venues as diverse as the Detroit Blues Festival, New Orleans’ Jazzfest and for Friends of New Orleans at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
She has shared the bill with rhythm, blues and soul icons such as Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint, Taj Mahal, Carla Thomas, Susan Tedeschi and Buckwheat Zydeco, and Voice of the Wetlands—Tab Benoit and Donald Harrison. She also performs regularly with Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in their Blues Brothers engagements and on the road with Jack Mack and The Heart Attack.
This year Tasha hooked up with producers Stuart Benjamin ("Ray"), and Noisy Neighbors' Rob Arbittier and Gary Adante (Songs In The Key of Life), and headed for the recording studio to cut a new soul album in loving memory of her dad who passed away in 2000. Employing some of the hippest, heavy-duty cats she could wrangle, with award-winning bassist Nate Watts as musical director, the result, TAYLORMADE, is thirteen, funky, unforgettable tracks, written, produced, arranged and performed by Tasha Taylor featuring her indelible first single, "Queen." There is only one cover song on Tasha’s TAYLORMADE. On it, she performs with her father Johnnie "The Wailer," in a throwback to his first million-selling hit on Stax, “Who’s Making Love.” A very "vintage" papa Taylor even accompanies her on the video!
You can’t stop the rhythm of the music if the beat is in your soul...the lineage remains intact…and Daddy would be proud. So, if you haven’t heard of Tasha Taylor yet, you should have. And after TAYLORMADE and her Broadway debut…you will!