March 4, 2004

Test Spin: The Ben Taylor Band

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Some children take over their father’s construction company or follow in their parents’ footsteps by becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Ben Taylor, of The Ben Taylor Band, is similarly following his parents’ path, but he’s got some mighty big shoes to fill as the son of singer-songwriters James Taylor and Carly Simon. Inspired and aided by his parents’ talent, Ben Taylor’s debut album, Famous Among the Barns, has an eclectic sound that is destined to make a name for the band.

Various musical influences throughout Ben’s life are well represented in his first album, in fact, they are probably all represented somewhere. It is difficult to pin down a specific genre to classify this album as it moves from folk to funk to rock in only a few simple yet seamless transitions. While, in general, a lack of homogeneity might be frustrating to the listener, it does not seem to be an issue in this album as Ben is fully committed to and successful in each musical styling he adapts. Famous Among the Barns proves to be a strong debut album for Ben to showcase his remarkably smooth vocals, which are blatantly a genetic gift from his father. (Thanks, pops!)

With a cover of a Zombies hit (“Time of the Season”), a pro-legalization song (“Let It Grow”), an instrumental (“Tonight”), and a 60s style pop song (“Day After Day”), there is enough on Famous Among the Barns to attract any listener. Following the success of similar artists such as John Mayer, Ryan Adams, and Jack Johnson, this debut album puts Ben and his band in a good position to carry the Taylor name into the next generation in music.


Archived article by Kelsey Nichols