AHWAHNEE – Eric Taylor will be the next in a series of world-class musicians to take center stage at the Coolwater Ranch on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.
Eric Taylor is a sage musician, a lyrical genius and a master of the guitar. If you’re familiar with the intricate Texas singer/ songwriter jigsaw puzzle, you probably already know a lot about Taylor.
If you’re not familiar with Taylor by name, you’ve probably heard his songs performed by people such as Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett. He has created a multitude of fans and devotees that are legends themselves in the singer/songwriter realm, artists who have long considered Taylor to be a teacher and a lantern bearer whose time is long overdue.
In 1977 Taylor was a winner of the “New Folk” competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Shameless Love, his first album, came out in 1981, and after a hiatus of almost 14 years, he returned with the self-titled Eric Taylor, released in 1995. His eponymous release was chosen as the 1996 Kerrville Folk Festival Album of the Year.
Three years later he released Resurrect, and it was subsequently named one of the “100 essential records of all time” by Buddy magazine.
Taylor has headlined the prestigious Newport Folk Festival, played National Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” and has appeared on both “Late Night With David Letterman” with Nanci Griffith and “Austin City Limits” with Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, and Robert Earl Keen.
“To say that Eric Taylor is one of the finest writers of our time, would be an understatement,” Nanci Griffith says. “If you miss an opportunity to hear Eric Taylor, you have missed a chance to hear a voice I consider the William Faulkner of songwriting in our current time.”
Griffith has recorded several of Taylor’s songs, including “Deadwood,” “Storms,” “Dollar Matinee” and “Ghost in the Music,” which they wrote together.
Lyle Lovett, who has recorded Taylor’s “Memphis Midnight/Memphis Morning,” “Whooping Crane,” “Understand You,” and with whom Taylor co-wrote the immensely popular “Fat Babies,” compares Taylor’s narrative voice to that of Bruce Springsteen.
Iain Matthews claims, “Once you become a Taylor fanatic, it gives one immense joy and pride to be able to enlighten others to the man’s work.”
On Sunday, Sept. 15 at 4:30 p.m., concert host Robin Ralston is delighted to welcome Gordon Bok to the ranch.
Gordon Bok found his first music in his own dooryard. His family sang Scots, German, Italian, Australian and American traditional and popular songs — all learned in places they had lived.
As he began to work the boats along his coast, he heard the songs of the Maritimes, and ballads and chanteys from around the world.
“But at home, Hank Williams was our kitchen-music, especially in coastal Maine,” he said, “so I was singing those songs too, with Kendall Morse and others around home.”
When he couldn’t find songs that matched his own experiences or needs, he began to write his own, and has kept up a lively flow of poems, songs, stories, choral and instrumental works.
One Maine chorus took one of Gordon’s choral works on tour in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece as part of their American repertoire. He reinvented and developed the cantefable/ “folk-opera” form which is now widely used by storytellers and musicians in this country.
Gordon’s extensive repertoire provides a rich well to draw upon for his concerts, guaranteeing a unique experience everywhere he performs. He has never sung the same solo concert twice.
Gordon has toured throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia and has gathered many friends and fans throughout the world. He has performed with many other artists, and both toured and recorded with the trio Bok, Muir, and Trickett for 30 years, and with his wife, harpist and singer Carol Rohl.
Passes for Gordon Bok are available now, and at the Eric Taylor Concert.
Concerts at the ranch are small non-profit (an understatement!) social events attended by about 40 friends, neighbors and family. About 20 additional seats are available by arrangement to interested listeners.
Reservations or passes are a must for these concerts as space is limited. Tickets are available at Mountain Feed in Coarsegold, or contact Robin directly at 559-760-1134 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The ranch is located in Ahwahnee, just ten minutes from Oakhurst at 45680 Forest Ridge Drive.
Refreshments are either provided by the host or volunteers, and occasionally there is a pot-luck dinner. Please call Robin at 559-760-1134 for information.
1. Please, No Alcohol, Drugs or Smoking!
2. Admission is free but there is a suggested donation for the artist.
3. No children under 16.