Taz Taylor Band – Welcome To America! (2006)

Taz Taylor Band - Welcome To America!

Taz Taylor Band – Welcome To America! (2006, Escape Music)

  1. Fighter’s Fist
  2. Radio Luxembourg
  3. Parisienne Walkways
  4. Happy Hour
  5. Haunted
  6. Welcome To America
  7. Wall Of Sound
  8. Silent Fall
  9. The Reprise
  10. Goodbye Mr. C

Band Lineup:
Taz Taylor – Guitars
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Bob Miller – Keyboards
Dirk Krause – Bass
Richard Livoni – Drums

Total Time – 42:39

Taz Taylor official website
Graham Bonnet official website

Anytime an album featuring Graham Bonnet is released, I have to buy it. One of my favorite Hard Rock singers of all time, I can’t find an album where Bonnet doesn’t shine at the mic. But who is Taz Taylor? I had no idea. A quick search and I found an excellent musician from Birmingham, England that plays guitar along the lines of Michael Schenker. If you close your eyes come solo time, it’s very close to the master while holding on to his own style. You can hear the influences right away: Schenker, UFO, Gary Moore, Ritchie Blackmore, Van Halen…..not a bad combination to draw from and form a personal flavor. You hear it right away, this is a guitar album, plain and simple.

WECOME TO AMERICA! offers an album laden with melodic hooks and superb guitar. Right from the start ‘Fighter’s Fist’ and ‘Radio Luxembourg’ (my favorite song on this album) get you singing along, tapping your feet, and doing your best air guitar. Close your eyes during the Gary Moore instrumental ‘Parisienne Walkways’…..it’s slow, it sounds sad, you can feel the emotion. It feels as if you were walking alone down the street after a long night and this is the soundtrack.

There’s full on Hard Rock with ‘Happy Hour’, ‘Wall Of Sound’, and the title track. A couple of “softer” ballads in ‘Haunted’ and ‘Silent Fall’. ‘Silent Fall’ is especially striking in the calm opening intro of guitar and piano, swiftly building to a blazing guitar solo, before finding a mid-tempo groove.

I find the last two tracks intriguing: ‘The Reprise’ an upbeat instrumental that reminds gives off a UFO/MSG vibe. ‘Goodbye Mr. C’ is an interesting cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Goodbye To Romance’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’ taking half of each song. The first half (Goodbye) is superbly done on acoustic guitar while Graham lends a wonderful vocal. Second half (Mr. C) kicks in and provides the punch. To someone unfamiliar with the Ozzy versions, they would think it’s the same song. Very well done.

Bottom Line:
Melodic Hard Rock with enough hooks and solos to make this one of the best albums of the year. The songs are well written, full of melody. Nothing overdone, nothing too excessive. The band provides excellent music while Bonnet (almost 60 yrs old) provides great vocals that singers half his age cannot master. This album will easily be in my Top 10 of 2006 and I will be watching for more Taz Taylor in the future. Taz Taylor also has one previous album to check out, CAFFEINE RACER (2004), which is a 12 song instrumental album.