After 25 years in music, building an unimpeachable reputation as a truly independent artist and entrepreneur, Julian Taylor now owns his legacy. From the formative rock of Staggered Crossing to the genre fusion of Julian Taylor Band, and now his revered work as a solo singer-songwriter, Julian owns the right to it all and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
It’s rare in this era to see an artist build slowly and reach a new level of widespread acclaim decades into their career. But Julian’s ethos, work ethic, and artistry has always had a timeless quality to it. And so, he’s built things slowly in a DIY fashion, withstanding highs and lows along the way, ultimately reaching the peak of his powers with his latest solo work.
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Julian Taylor has been part of the musical fabric and landscape in Canada for over two decades. Taylor enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2020, when his second solo acoustic album, The Ridge, earned million plays on Spotify, praise from press worldwide, and airplay from America to Australia to the U.K. Loaded with soulful Americana and country twang, the album was produced by Taylor himself and Saam Hashemi, and was recorded at The Woodshed in Toronto. In addition to winning Taylor Solo Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, The Ridge was also nominated for: two Juno Awards (Contemporary Folk Album of The Year, Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year), the Polaris Prize Long List, a Summer Solstice Indigenous Award (Contemporary Folk Album of the Year), a Canadian Music Week INDIES Award (Indigenous Artist of the Year), and an additional Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination in the English Songwriter of the Year category. The nominations and awards kept coming in 2022, with Taylor winning best male artist in the International Acoustic Music Awards, and scoring five Native American Music Award nominations. He has charted on several Canadian Radio and Indigenous Music Charts.
Taylor, of combined Mohawk and Caribbean ancestry, is a major label veteran, Toronto music scene staple, and musical chameleon. His versatility as a songwriter is signature; one minute he’s onstage playing with his band spilling out electrified rhythm and blues glory, and the next he’s featured at a folk festival delivering a captivating solo singer-songwriter set. Formerly associated with the band Staggered Crossing, he has continued to record and perform as a solo artist and has released twelve studio albums since 2001. With his songs being placed in such TV shows as “Haven,” “Private Eyes,” “Kim’s Convenience,” “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and “Elementary.”
Taylor is as explosive and captivating a live performer as you’ll ever see. Taylor has toured the Canada and the U.S. countless times, sharing the stage with the likes of Serena Ryder, Blue Rodeo, William Prince, AHI, Rodney Crowell, Keb’ Mo’, and has performed at the Festival d’Été de Quebec, the Mariposa Folk Festival, Ottawa BluesFest, and more. Taylor was also invited to perform at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and Vancouver.
How do you follow-up a career high point? If you’re Julian Taylor — you double down on upping your game by striving to exceed the creative fruits that have already blossomed from the artistic spark that got you there in the first place.
“An album so lyrically and sonically rich that it feels like a balm for these jarring times… On The Ridge, there’s no genre-hopping. It’s an Americana record, yes, but that label alone feels reductive. It takes the listener on an emotional journey, full of highs and lows, and the mixture of joy and sadness brought by memories of lost loved ones. From the opening title track to the closer, “Ola, Let’s Dance,” the album’s production, vocals, and acoustic instrumentation wraps you in a warm hug. If ‘comfort’ could be its own genre, then that is where The Ridge falls.” – Canadian Musician magazine
“Lyrically, Taylor brilliantly displays the months he spent outside of his more urban school-year home. The seasons shared with his sister working on the farm are definitive to his identity. ‘The Ridge’ exudes innocence.” – American Songwriter
Bill Hudson & Vladimir Espinosa
Friday, May 19th 2023
Doors 7:30pm | Starts 8:00pm
$15 Advance | $18 Day of Show