Grant Austin Taylor
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Grant Austin Taylor

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Another AMTK Talent Revealed"

May 23, 2005

On Sunday, May 15, a talented 9-year-old was shown on "America's Most Talented Kids." He's Grant Austin Taylor, and he easily won the night's competition with a score of 9.85. He performed an outstanding rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door". His vocals were strong and clear, especailly for a 9 year old, and he never missed a single beat on his guitar and harmonica. - YOUNG STAR NEWS

"Hear and Now"

August 25, 2006

Grant sighting Grant Austin Taylor has shown up in the cyberworld again. This time the preteen singer/guitarist from Norfolk can be viewed at
Grant's live performance video is the second one down on the site. He was playing the Kids Helping Kids charity event in Hollywood. - Jeff Maisey/The Virginian-Pilot

"NBN Annual Holiday Party"

February 2007

Next up was a dose of the blues in a pint bottle. Eleven-year-old Grant Austin Taylor delivered some smokin' guitar far beyond his years and belted out a number of standards including B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone." This kid is goin' places. - Natchel Blues Network


Guitarist Grant Austin Taylor was honored by the USO on Dec. 3, 2005. The 10-year-old Norfolk native received the "Patriot Award" after his performance at the USO holiday party at Rockwell Hall.
"Grant qualified because he and his family have taken time out of their busy schedule to deliver quality entertainment to our military members and their families," said Michael Granville of the USO. - Port Folio Weekly


"this single digit superstar is going to be the frontman in the next Radiohead that we'll see in the next ten years, he just has to get through middle school first. Check out his awesome cover of "i'll do anything" among many others." - Jason Mraz

"Young Rocker Gets His Time To Shine"

June 2003

as quoted by Kevin Griffin, lead singer of Better Than Ezra "He plays with complete conviction and flawlessly. He was the youngest we've had on stage, but possibly also one of the best."

as quoted by Lewis McGehee
"He understands how the song is put together. It's one thing to play the song. It's another thing to feel the song." - Emily Hagedorn/The Virginian-Pilot

"q+a with Grant Austin Taylor, Norfolk guitar phenom"

Grant Austin Taylor is an 11-year-old guitarist who sings and writes his own rock and blues songs.
The shy sixth-grader with a firm handshake attends Azalea Garden Middle School in Norfolk. He was recently named outstanding young original blues-rock artist by the Young Artist Foundation-an award he flew to California in March to accept. You can view his performance at
He began playing at the age of 8 and has studied with local musicians Henry Johnson and Lewis McGehee. He prefers electric to acoustic because, he says, "It's more fun to play."
"When Life Turns Gray" is a song he wrote about his grandmother. It will be one of 12 he plans to put on his debut CD. "It just comes to me," he says out of inspiration.
Grant's proud of his 1960 Gibson Les Paul because it's just like his idol's, Kevin Griffin, guitarist and songwriter with Better Than Ezra. Griffin, though, is more than just an idol-Grant has played alongside him and his band several times, including in front of 40, 000 people at Olympic Park in Atlanta.
Check him out Friday at Waterside and Saturday at The Norva in Norfolk.
Grant and his dad, David, spoke with The Pilot.

Have you opened for a national act?
I got to play on the side stage at the Motley Crue and Aerosmith concert at the Virginia Beach amphitheater.

Have you ever been stiffed by a venue?
No, but I got $100.00 from an owner for playing one of his favorite songs.

What was the best live show you ever saw?
Motley Crue and Aerosmith. Joe Perry pulled Grant on stage to watch the show, then walked over to Grant and handed him his guitar pick, which was pretty cool. (Grant had given Perry one of his picks before the show.)

What's your worst performance memory?
When one of the amps stopped working near the beginning of the set. It was at the Chesapeake Jubilee before Better Than Ezra, and he knew the guys from Ezra were listening.

Reach Patty Jenkins at (757)446-2298 of

in person
7:30 p.m. Friday,
Center Stage at
Waterside, Norfolk.
(757)627-3300. Also,
8 p.m. Saturday as
special guest of
Leland Grant at
The Norva, 317 Monticello
Ave., Norfolk. $10.00
advance, $13.00 day of
show. (757) 671-8100.

on the internet

To hear a song sample, visit

Check out some of the local bands and artists who have been featured in this spot at: - Patty Jenkins/The Virginian-Pilot/April 5, 2007

"Take the Summer and Run"

Twelve-year-old local guitar phenomenon Grant Austin Taylor got the crowd going with a rousing performance featuring some originals as well as bluesy takes on a range of hits, including "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and Chris Issac's "Wicked Game." A crowd of thousands seems to be nothing but a thing for Taylor, whose shyin-person demeanor(we would barely get a word out of him when he visited our office for an interview a couple of weeks ago) is replaced by a saavy stage presence befitting any budding rock star. Oh, then there's the fact that he shreds on his Les Paul with a proficiency most grown-up guitarists only dream of. The audience at AMF went wild over Taylor's solo licks and suprisingly soulful vocals. - Leona Baker/Portfolio/9-11-07

"Hear & Now: The Kid Can Play"

Hear & Now: It's on the record: That kid can play!
Posted to: Entertainment Music Virginia Beach

By Jeff Maisey

© January 11, 2008
That kid can play!

It's the typical reaction to Norfolk child prodigy Grant Austin Taylor when he's performed at such venues as the Waterside Festival Marketplace and when he's joined top-notch acts like Better Than Ezra onstage at Town Point Park.

Now the 12-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist has released a five-song EP featuring his considerable prowess plus the talents of Jimmy Wiseman on bass and keyboards and Judas Priest drummer Scott Travis.

The first track, "That's the Way Life Goes," is a powerful pop-rocker and a great introduction. Grant's skills as a musician and composer are amazing considering his age. Hansen has nothing on him.

The production on the EP comes across as major-label quality thanks to the mixing talent of Tim Roberts, who recorded the CD at Soul Haven Studios in Virginia Beach.

The edgy "When Life Turns Gray" was written in memory of his grandmother. Grant shows his eclectic side on "Make This Love Last," an acoustic-based ballad.

For a finale, Grant enlists the musical help of Harvey Kojan (keyboards), Henry Johnson (guitar) and Charlie Austin (fiddle) for a sizzling instrumental Taylor titled "Rockin' in P-Town."

That kid can play!

- The Virginian-Pilot/Jeff Maisey

"Old Enough to Rock"

Old Enough to Rock
By Roberta T. Vowell, The Virginian-Pilot/The Saturday Break/9-29-07
The ROCK STAR is in trouble with his mom. "You know where I found that T-shirt?" Mom asks, handing the rock star a shirt backstage at Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater. "Balled up in the middle of a bunch of other balled-up T-shirts." Grant Austin Taylor grins up at her and pulls on the black shirt. "Thanks, mom," he says. He gives a final tug to his sneaker laces, slips through the stage door and strides to the microphone. In front of a thousand or so people, he rips his electric guitar into Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." Fingers fly up the frets, strings wail and Grant drops a gravelly tone into his high, clear voice for the chorus. Half the audience is on its feet, screaming. The other half simply stares, jaws dropping over early afternoon beers. Grant is 12. He is studying Western Expansion in seventh grade at Norfolk's Azalea Gardens Middle School. He stands about mid-chest-high to the rest of the musicians at Lunatic Luau, a day-and-night end-of-summer rock show. He is the opening act. "This is a song I wrote," Grant tells the crowd before his next number, "when I was a kid."


That line always gets a laugh. But the thing is, Grant means it. He wrote the tune, a bluesy rocker called "That's The Way Life Goes," when he was 9. That was about the same time he played with the band Better Than Ezra, in front of 40,000 people in Atlanta's Olympic Park. "It was awesome," Grant said, sitting on the edge of a couch in the family's Norfolk home. "It was terrifying," said his dad, David Taylor. "The more people," Grant confided, "the easier it is." Since then, Grant has played B.B. King's Blues Club in Los Angeles. Couple times. He opened for Motley Crue and Aerosmith last year at the Beach Amphitheater. Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee, Motley Crue's two-rocker wrecking crew, watched the headliner's set from the wings with Grant. "When you've already hung out with Joe Perry-you know, Aerosmith? Guitar?-where do you go from there?" David Taylor said.

David is 50, a Norfolk firefighter who plays "a little guitar" and is still pals with the guys from his class at Booker T. Washington High. Amy Taylor, 43, is a special-needs teacher in Portsmouth. Their daughter, Blair, 16, is in high school. David has a second daughter, Ashley, 25, in California. The Taylors live near the Botanical Gardens, in a brick rancher shaded with trees. The front room of the house contains a couch and an explosion of guitars, amps, chords and speakers the size of boulders. "We used to have a regular living room," David said, settling himself on a piano bench, "but we finally just moved the furniture out and gave up." Amy remembers the moment her little boy decided to become a little rocker: Grant was 4. It was the last day of summer vacation, and she had taken the children to the oceanfront to see local performer Lewis McGehee. He played a Jimmy Buffet song. "Grant walked out," Amy said, "got some kind of serious and quiet and said, "That's what I wanna do. I wanna be a guitar player." The boy asked for music. His parents brought home used CD's and rock concert DVDs. Next thing they knew, the pre-schooler was channeling Roger Daltrey, hair-flinging, microphone-swinging lead singer for The Who.

"He was into cowboy stuff too," Amy said. "He would put on his cowboy vest, with the fringe, and no shirt, and then swing the vacuum cleaner electrical plug, like a mike." "We have it on videotape," David said, trying to hide his smile as Grant shot him a level look from his black eyes. "He was serious," David said. "It wasn't like a joke." "He was performing," Amy added. David brought home a guitar. "A toy guitar," Amy said. "It wasn't a toy guitar," David said, "just a small scale." "And Grant just started picking out chords," Amy said. "Mom," Grant said firmly, "Dad showed me some chords too."

They took him to see local bands, and he took a shine to a touring group, Better Than Ezra. Grant learned all the chords and the words to Better Than Ezra's songs. Within a year, he was onstage with the band at Town Point Park and then joined them in Atlanta. How this all happened boils down to the fact that rock'n'rollers are just big boys themselves. They got a kick," Amy said, "out of this little first-grader." "Second-grader," Grant corrected. "Yeah, second-grader," David continued, "and thought it was cute that he knew all their songs." When Grant was 6, the Taylors talked McGehee into teaching the child. The first songs he learned were "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth." Guitarist Henry Johnson also has taught him. David rounded up musician buddies and cobbled together a band for Grant's first batch of gigs.

"Great guys," David said. "A lot of my friends spent many, many hours with him for no money. But those guys can't drop their other jobs and family obligations when Grant gets a gig." So the family-Grant, actually-hired professionals. Harvey Kojan, a radio station deejay and program director, plays keyboard, and Jimmy Wiseman, who played with longtime local bands including Snackbar Jones and Blue Lords, is on bass. "I'm a hired gun," Wiseman said, "but I'm Grant's main man. I'll stick to him like glue." Wiseman brought in professional drummers, including Jason Neil of Carbon Leaf, Ralph Copely of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Scott Travis, a drummer who lives in Virginia Beach but is a member of Judas Priest. Seriously, Judas Priest, the arena-filling metal gods who practically invented leather-clad lead singers. "It was kind of humbling for a guy like him to play Waterside with an 11-year-old," David said, "but he really likes playing with Grant."

Grant is rolling into the middle of his Lunatic Luau set with a tough-edged version of "Wicked Game." At the side of the stage, a guy with tattoos up his arms and gobs of black liner around his eyes watched, fingers tapping his chin. He's Josh Todd, lead singer for Buckcherry, a hard-rocking band near the top of the bill, a band whose set list has songs like "Slit My Wrists" and "Whiskey in the Morning." "This guy is amazing," Todd says pulling in guitarist Stevie D. "He's got great pitch, just right in there." Stevie D. cocks his head, listening, a Marlboro dangling forgotten between his fingers. "Yeah," he says. "like a little Stevie Ray Vaughn." Grant swings into "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," hips swaying as he blows his harmonica. "Love his voice," Todd says. "God, he's so assured." "That bit with the harmonica," Stevie D. says. "He's working the crowd now."

The group on the side of the stage grows as word of the guitar kid circulates backstage. A couple of guys from hard rock band Tesla whisper to each other, and the lead singer from the alt-rock outfit Papa Roach is angling for a better view. Grant throws a handful of guitar picks-inscribed ""-into the crowd and bounces offstage. His eyes are shining as he hands his guitar to his father. "Did you see the guys from Buckcherry and Papa Roach watching me?"

Grant Austin Taylor signs autographs for 45 minutes, which probably seems a lot longer when you've got to write "Grant Austin Taylor" on every one. He's at a table at Lunatic Luau, a pile of glossies of himself in front of him, a line of faces snaking behind the amphitheater's concession area. "He's so cute," a girl in a tank top says as he signs her jeans. "You're awesome, dude," a young man in a ripped shirt says. "Is he your son?" a woman asks, waving to Amy. "He is awesome." Amy smiles. "And soooo cute," the woman continues. The Taylors watch every face in that crowd. "There's always someone that you're not sure about," David says later. "Someone taking too many pictures, or just people who have maybe had too much to drink, and they keep talking to him, and sometimes we'll say, You need to give him some space. And sometimes, the venue will have to ask them to leave." Grant nods to each person, says thanks, shakes hands, holds still for pictures. But he's not crazy about this part of the deal. While he's all rock-n-roll swagger onstage, once he's off, he's a 12-year-old boy. Which means he's had enough of sharpies and strangers.

Backstage, Grant fuels up at a buffet set out by the sponsoring radio station. He loads a huge slice of sub sandwich on a paper plate-"Grant can eat," Amy says-and picks a spot on a sunny patio with his band, away from his parents and their companions and the radio hubbub. "Sometimes," Amy says, "he'll be around all these people, all of them expecting him to talk to them, and expecting him to say something, and he just seems to need to go away by himself a little." After a while, he comes back to Amy and David, and tells them about the band he just watched. "The guitarist," Grant says, "he got up on the drum riser and lifted up his Les Paul and smashed it down on the drum kit. A Les Paul!" His parents look at him, then at each other. They are silent for a moment. "Don't," David says, "even think about it."

Grant loves Los Angeles

"My favorite place," he said, reminiscing at home. "The weather, that's 50 percent. The music business. And... I don't really know, it's pretty. Oh, and the Lamborghinis." He even worked a red carpet there, accepting an honor from a foundation called Young Artist Awards.

Grant is usually very serious about his business. His business is Grant Austin Taylor, LLC, a corporation set up a few years ago. The Taylors have filed a tax return for him for the last three years. It was the only way, they say, to balance Grant's earnings with the costs of his career-instruments, gear, mileage, paying the other musicians. Grant has a state of California work permit and a Coogan account-named for child star Jackie Coogan, whose money was squandered by guardians-where all the money earned in that stage is protected. There is always pressure, from the outside, for Grant to do more, to move ahead faster. Agents and producers push business cards into the Taylor's hands at shows. The music Biz people talk about packaging and TV and how easy it would be for the boy to have a career, if only they'd move to L.A., today. But for now, the young rocker as another plan. "Grant," David said, "is a gigging musician."
- The Virginian-Pilot/Roberta Vowell


Grant Austin Taylor is releasing his EP in December 2007. He will be back in the studio soon to release his album by early Spring.
His originals have radio airplay in VA, NC, CA and NJ.
There are you-tube links of The American Music Festival, shows from the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, BB Kings in Hollywood, The Knitting Factory in Hollywood and TV Performances located on Grant's offical website:



Grant Austin Taylor is a twelve year old singer/songwriter/guitarist. The young musician has been performing live since the age of eight. He also plays drums, piano, and harmonica. Grant has over one hour of original music and four hours of cover songs spanning rock, blues, country and jazz.

• Awarded Best Young Original Blues/Rock Artist 2007 by The Young Artists Awards-Studio City, CA /March 2007.

• Winner of America's Most Talented Kids TV show-Hollywood, CA- May 2005.

• Guest Artist on Steve Harvey's TV show-Burbank, CA-September 2003.

• Awarded The Patriot Award by President of USO-Norfolk Naval Base-Norfolk, VA for providing quality entertainment to service members and their families: December 2005.

* Grant has appeared on several national and local TV shows. For more info visit:


* The Steve Miller Band-American Music Festival-Virginia Beach VA, September 2007.
• Aerosmith/Motley Crue-Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (20,000 seating capacity) Virginia Beach, VA October 2006.
• Hinder, Pappa Roach, Buck Cherry, Tesla-Verizon Wireless Amphitheater-Virginia Beach, VA September 2007
* Joe Bonamassa-Attucks Theater, Norfolk, VA-Oct.-08.
* Deborah Coleman-Beach Blues Festival-Sept. 12-08.
• Blackfoot-Virginia Beach, VA October 2006.
• Johnny Guitar Jones-Music Row Nashville, TN 2004.
• Michael Tolcher-Jewish Mother-Virginia Beach 2006
• Better Than Ezra-Chesapeake Jubilee-VA-2005
* Bettye LaVette-The Attucks Theater (600 seating capacity) -Norfolk, VA-Feb. 29th, 2008.


. Sportsman's Lodge Studio City, CA/March 2007/Grant performed his original music at The Young Artist Awards.
• The Knitting Factory (2,000 seating capacity) Heart of Gold Concert for National and International young artists-Hollywood, CA-August 2007.
* Guest of Buddy Guy-Sandler Center for the Arts-Nov. 22-08
• BB Kings Blues Club (1100 seating capacity)-Red Carpet event for Kids helping Kids-Hollywood CA-August 2006.
* BB Kings Blues Club Hollywood-Showcase Performance-Universal City, CA-Jan. 2007.
• Backstage Cafe-Invitation from Ian Copeland-Beverly Hills, CA-December 2004.
* Anglesea Blues Festival-Wildwood, NJ JUly 13, 08.
* Has played with Better Than Ezra as a Guest Guitarist five times starting at age eight.
• Played at The NAMM shows from 2004-2008
. Autumn Alive! Festival Quakertown, PA/Oct. 2007
. Discovery Channel "Biker Build-Off." Wildwood Convention Center Wildwood, NJ/ Sept. 2007
. "Roar to the Shore" Wildwood, NJ/Sept. 2007
. Philly Summer Slam Festival/Bon Jovi's Football Team benefit/Wildwood, NJ /Aug. 2007
. Cozy's Blues Club Los Angeles, CA/Jan. 2008

• WNOR FM-Chesapeake, VA-April 2007 and August 2003.
• 93.7 BOB FM-Norfolk, VA-February 2008 and April 2007.
• Radio Disney-Virginia Beach, VA-December 2005.
• WSJQ-Wildwood, NJ-August 2007
• KPFK-Los Angeles, CA-August 2007
• Blue Power-Van Nuys, CA-August 2007
----- Los Angeles, CA- Feb. 2008
. WJPM/Feb. 2008/Radio Interview featuring Grant's original songs.
* MAX FM-100.5 Va. Beach, VA
* WFOS-88.7 Chesapeake, VA

Shubb Capos, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Dean Markley Srtings, Taylor Guitars, Bugera Amps, InTune Tuners



. Polar Plunge/VA Beach oceanfront/Feb. 2008
. St. Jude Benefit/Ocean View City Park Norfolk, VA/Aug. 2007
. Central VA Burn Camp Charlottesville, VA/June 2007
. RELAY FOR LIFE BENEFIT/Verizon Wireless VA Beach Amphitheater/June 2007
. RELAY FOR LIFE BENEFIT Norfolk, VA/Norview Football Stadium/June 2007