Matt Taylor
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Matt Taylor

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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August 16, 2005

Singer, songwriter and musician Matt Taylor has taken another step toward completing his circle.

Taylor, who has deposited his entertainment stamp on a lengthy list of nightspots throughout the area in recent years, has just launched his third CD, "Subject To The Wind."

"The dominant theme (of the CD) is finding oneself, there are more songs about that than other songs," Taylor, 35, amplified.

"They are songs that are the realization of my style, and when you hear the CD, it explores a lot of different sound, that maybe, is my style."

Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, where his father worked for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, Taylor came to Indiana at age seven and in 1988 graduated from Homestead High School where he was a standout in track.

"I was a sprinter and the only white kid in the state finals, and at least I didn't come in last," Taylor smiled.
But like so many of the stops along his life's path so far, Taylor drew from his athletic endeavors.

"Track made me realize that I have to work extra hard succeed; I credit my track experience and having really good coaches to allow me to have success in other parts of my life," he acknowledged.

Taylor's musical compositions run the gamut from toe-tapping to thought-provoking to the lighthearted.

“Subject to the Wind” is not the latter.

"Ostensibly, it's about the manifestations of the wind, but metaphorically it's about wanting to be let free from the occasional burdens of life," Taylor said.
Life has been a far-ranging, variety-packed journey for Taylor, who spent 2 1/2 years writing and producing his latest CD.

There was a Cum Laude degree in radio/television from Butler University, a Peace Corps stint in the Ukraine, a junior high teaching job amidst a Mexican-American culture in Texas, and later, working for the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs as a teacher on an Indian reservation.

"It (the reservation) was an inspirational place, but really a remote location," Taylor reflected. "It was 1 1/2 hours from a Walmart, if that's an indication of civilization; there was absolutely nothing For 30 miles,"

But it was there in what Taylor calls "real solitude" that he became immersed in his music and lyrics, generating his first CD titled “Destination.”

He had initially begun stroking a guitar at age 22 while working for a video production company in Fort Wayne, his startup job out of college.
Four months later, Taylor had drawn a thick X across his career choice.

"I had the revelation that that general career wasn't what I wanted to do in my life," he said. "It was a harsh realization after all that time and money I had spent in college."
Yet he was not to move away from playing the guitar at his parents' house, a guitar that had only the three bottom strings (a fully-stringed guitar has six).

"I made some pretty cool sounds with the three strings," he looked back. Within a year, he began writing, his first effort, "Stephanie" about a girl he saw from afar.

'I’ve certainly written worse songs," Taylor said. "Stephanie doesn't even know who she is."

How does a Taylor composition come about?

"It's one of two ways," he responded. "Either I'll get a musical melody chord progression, or, a topical idea that can come from anywhere, something where you can tell an interesting story.

"Then, I usually immediately try to get a 'hook', a melody or chorus on which I can hang the song.

"I'm a big editor; I'll fix, change, and correct a song until I know it's right.

"When I have that hook, I never know how the rest of the song will sound, but I know when it's done."

In his second CD, All Circles Complete, Taylor's originals ranged from "Fall Down With You," a takeoff of the Jack and Jill children's rhyme, to "Cyntheanne," a road name he observed on an overpass while traveling along 1-69.

"'Circles' was about what goes around comes around," he said. "It's that ancient philosophy that if you do good, good will come back to you."

His performances in the area have been before crowds as large as nearly a thousand at Jefferson Pointe Shopping Mall on Fort Wayne's southwest side. There also are engagements in front of just a few weeknight bar-grill patrons and a group of followers devoted to his originals and interpretations of current and past musical favorites.

"Sometimes, you want to go to work, sometimes you don't," Taylor answered when asked how he keeps 'motivated’ for shows that sometimes last more than two hours.

"I have found that the first couple of songs are the hardest because sometimes you aren't into it. But then, you see the audience smiling and tapping their feet, and I recognize that smiling and enthusiasm are contagious; I learned that as a teacher."

"Subject to the Wind" was produced by Taylor at a small studio at his rented farm home in Southem Allen County. Packaging and other costs for the 1,000 CDs totaled $2,000, T - Gary Books, News-Banner Publications, Inc.


August, 2004

Some people know what they want to do as soon as they are born, but for others, it takes a little while. For local musician, Matt Taylor, it took awhile. Taylor, a Homestead High School graduate (class of 1988), now maintains a job as a full-time musician, playing the acoustic guitar and singing at spots around Fort Wayne. But it hasn’t always been that way.

I haven’t always been into music as, like, a serious hobby,” Taylor said. “I’ve always been inspired by music though."

Taylor didn't even pick up a guitar until he was in his early twenties.

“I picked up this guitar with only three bottom strings left one day after graduating college," Taylor states on his web site

"I started goofing around with those three strings and at the same time, a friend of mine started teaching me a few easy songs. I soon bought a guitar with three more strings…”

He started playing only because, he said, "I didn't have much of a social life. It was just something to do."

As Taylor continued to grow as a guitarist, he never took it as a serious hobby. Again, "just something to do." He spent the earlier part of his life touching many people’s lives by teaching. With a masters in journalism and a teaching degree from Ball State, Taylor landed his first teaching gig in Lubbock, Texas. After going to a job fair at Ball State, Taylor was on the plane to Texas to teach junior high media studies.

His job in Texas was getting to be too much so he decided to join the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps took Taylor all the way to Ukraine. Taylor taught the English language to sixth through twelfth graders.

"Joining the Peace Corps was the most rewarding thing I have ever done," Taylor said. "It was physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually the hardest thing I have ever done. You are always on your toes. It was a constant challenge. "Many of Taylor's first songs came out of this experience. He found it to be very inspirational. Taylor also used his music to help his students learn English.

"Ukrainians really like Hotel California," Taylor states on his web site. "The scene over there was inspirational and I wrote lots of songs, and hooked up with other volunteers to have these huge, raucous all night slng-a-longs. I learned so many songs while I was there, just so I could play at these parties."

After two years in the Peace Corps, Taylor came back home to Fort Wayne. While home, Taylor worked for the Macedonian Tribune and for the library, trying to earn some extra cash. He also joined a band named Vertigo. But, to his dismay, the band was unsuccessful.

“I tried the band thing when I got back, but it didn't really work out," Taylor said.

A year had gone by and Taylor was ready to teach again. He got a job teaching for the Bureau of Indian Affairs of Arizona, yet another challenge thrown into Taylor's life. He
taught computer classes, was a yearbook advisor, and also taught an astronomy class in the middle of the Arizona desert.

“I could have walked out my front door and run off to Mexico," Taylor said. "The closest thing to us was a Wal-Mart and that was still about an hour away."

Taylor continued to write and play songs for the three years that he was in Arizona.

"The Arizona desert was another inspirational place, not only for its beautiful and fascinating nature, but for the isolation as
well. I started downloading bass and drum backup files so I'd be able to improve my guitar work and pretend that I was some kind of rock star in my house on the Tohono O'odham Nation."

After three years in Arizona, Taylor was ready to go home once again.

"It was a late decision on my part," Taylor said. "I was ready to go back to teach [in Arizona] in August, but I decided I wanted to come back home. I gave my notice in July, and came back to Fort Wayne."

When Taylor returned home, in the summer of 2002, he decided to take the music career head on.

"I came back to Fort Wayne to start my career as a musician because it was like a safety net to me, "Taylor said."1 knew a lot of people here and I felt it was a place where I could hone my skills to become better."
His first album, Destination, was released in February of 2003,

His second album, All Circles Complete was released this year.

Now, Taylor is hitting it hard. He plays in many spots around Fort Wayne, such as Mid City Bar and Grille, Orchard Ridge Country Club, and Park Place Grill. He does many shows along with Brian Lemert, another local guitarist.

At most of his gigs, Taylor plays the stuff that is going to get the crowd going. He says that he plays a lot of covers, but tries to find room for his original music.

"I'm now finding more opportunities to play my own music, which is essential," Taylor said. "But, somehow I always end up playing 'Sweet Home Alabama', 'Margaritaville', and 'Hotel California'."

No one said the music business was easy, and it sure is keepi - Larry Buchanan, The Apex


August 4, 2005

Monday, July 26 brought another show and another evening of firsts. My wife and I caught Matt Taylor's evening set at Deer Park Irish Pub. Neither of us had seen Taylor before, and neither of us had ever been to this particular establishment. Upon walking in, we were greeted by the absolute friendliest bartender (also owner, Tony) I have ever met, and an equally jovial Denise waiting tables. Typically in a bar (sorry, pub) this size you can expect little more than the regulars shooting you a quick glance and waiting a half-hour for a drink. Not the case at Deer Park! Before Taylor's set. we grabbed a couple drinks (beer and wine only, kids) and ordered some dinner. Monday is pizza and wings night ... good stuff.

Taylor's set got underway with a couple of great originals. "Shade" and the almost Guster-esque "On My Way" really set the tone for the evening. While it is usually precarious to say the least, performing so stripped down (an acoustic and a mice plugged into a small PA), Taylor's sound was spot-on. Not too loud, not too quiet, and the clarity was perfect. Most of Matt's set consisted of classic rock covers ranging anywhere from The Band ("The Weight") to CSNY ("Ohio) to some more amusing tunes. I honestly must say this is the first time I have ever heard a cover of Wilson Philips, "'Hold On" back to back with the full version of the theme from "Gilligan's Island." .

Taylor played to his crowd well, and given the predominant blue-collar element, fit in several requests, including Jimmy Buffett and Bob Seger, but not George Jones, much to the dismay of one patron. One of the gems of Taylor's set was an original “Rosaline," a finger-picked ode to a love, present or former. Other high points were his rendition of "Cat’s in the Cradle," played so precisely you really wouldn't miss the rest of the band playing along. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was pretty nifty, too, even if he did have to make up some of the words as he went along.

Taylor's most recent CD, Subject To The Wind, is a well-assembled and produced collection of songs, recorded, surprisingly, at Taylor's house. The caliber of area musicians making guest appearances on his CD (Brian "Onionhead" Lemert, Jen Fisher and Rob Van Ryn) really make me want to see Matt with a full band in a more originals-oriented environment. You can learn more about the CD, and stay abreast of Taylor's many live events at

With catchy hooks, sing-along choruses and rhythms that will stick in your head for days, Taylor has no problem holding his own among the best of Fort Wayne's original artists. I'd suggest stopping out to the Deer Park Pub any Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to catch his set .You won't be disappointed. And you never know, your chances to see him in such an intimate venue may not last forever.

While watching Taylor wrap up the last songs of his set (the original "Whatcha Gettin' In2" and, of course, the crowd uber-favorite "Freebird") and pack up to head to the next of his numerous gigs, I made a realization: your name doesn't have to be Kenny or Sunny to make it as a Taylor in this town.
- Adam Atherton, Whatzup


March, 2003

Matt Taylor remembers his first taste of celebrity. For Taylor, a blossoming local guitar player fresh off the release of his second album of original material, celebrity didn’t come as a result of his adeptness at playing the guitar or his burgeoning songwriting skills. Celebrity for Matt Taylor came for the first time simply because he was a Yankee.

You see, before Taylor devoted his time (and his livelihood) fully to being a musician about two years ago, he was a teacher. For the better part of a decade Taylor taught in several places across the U.S., including in Texas and in Arizona. He also spent two years teaching English to junior high and high school students in the Ukraine. Hence, his simply being an American brought about his first semblances of notoriety, this time among Ukrainian youth.

“From my experiences in the Ukraine, many of those people thought you couldn’t find anything more interesting and alluring than American music,” Taylor remembers. “So I found that one of the best ways to get kids learning English was through music. It put English in simple, easy-to-understand concepts for both the students and the native teachers, too. That’s one of the reasons I started to learn to play so many songs.”

The other reason he learned to play so many songs on his guitar, Taylor explains, was to play at parties he and fellow Peace Corps volunteers would have while in the Ukraine. Taylor enjoyed so much these “huge, raucous all night sing-alongs” (as he describes them on his website, that he found himself constantly learning new songs on his guitar to have new material to throw out at the next get-together.

“My experiences over there and my interactions made me become more professional as a musician,” he says. “I was a real-life representation of American music to these people, so I had to approach it seriously.”

“The scene over there was inspirational,” he remembers on his website.

Taylor’s constantly expanding set list is now one of his hallmarks as a performer. Even as he continues to produce original material (enough for two albums, with a third not far behind), he also maintains a list of what he says contains at least 120 tunes.

“That’s probably not all, either,” he says. “Let’s put it his way, I’ve gone five-plus hours playing with a couple of bathroom breaks thrown in there, of course, without any repeats.”

His musical career in the whatzup area began, oddly enough, while Taylor was calling Arizona home.

“I’d come back here to Fort Wayne maybe two or three times a year,” he explains. “But every time I came back, I’d end up playing a show somewhere, be it at Orchard Ridge or Ernie’s or someplace like that. Well, I found that I acquired a bit of a following of people who would come out to see me whenever I was back.

Such instances were some of the first seeds planted in Taylor’s mind that music was something he could pursue as a career.

“It became a progressively more and more involved hobby for me,” he says. “So I thought that this is something I should just take head-on.”

In that little time since devoting his time to becoming a musician, things have moved pretty fast for Taylor. He home-produced and released his first album of original material, Destination. His second album, All Circles Complete, was professionally produced and released just last month.

“I’m really trying to mature as a songwriter and as a professional, and think that maturity is evident when you compare Destinations with All Circles Complete,” he says. “I feel like there is a big difference between the two albums, and it shows that I’m trying to become a more competent musician. I know it’s true from my standpoint, simply because I put a lot more thought in writing and putting songs together for the second album.”

Lyrically speaking, at least, Taylor’s maturation from Destinations to All Circles Complete is noticeable. He probably doesn’t give himself enough credit for the work he did for Destinations. It’s evident to the listener that he succeeds at songwriting, even when one can tell this is sort of a new venture to him. (If it’s natural, it often doesn’t matter how new anything is to someone.)

Yet All Circles Complete is a leap even from the strengths of Destinations because Taylor continues to expand on the scope of his songwriting. While he covers many of the same roads like love and pain he covered on Destinations, he branches off into newer territory that can often be a no-man’s-land for fledgling songwriters. “Bomber, for example, examines the mindset of the modern soldier in a society where war is waged via button pushing in underground bunkers thousands of miles from the action. “Hand of God” calmly raises the scepter of Armageddon and the susceptibility of humans to natural disaster. And “Bridge” is a somber-sounding tune with a hopeful message about bridging gaps between people in modern times.

As Taylor’s songwriting prowess continue - Kevin Erb, Whatzup


September, 2003

Our Fair City has a habit of taking its musical talent for granted. A pity. Truth be told we tend to dismiss local artists as pretenders. But there IS talent here, as Matt Taylor so ably demonstrates on his 2002 release, "All Circles Complete.”

This well-honed, craftsman-like effort is full of catchy acoustic guitar riffs punctuated by Taylor's soothing vibrato. The result of this self-produced piece is a jaunty mix of folk-rock and blues that both soothes and Inspires.

For years, enthusiasts of the arts have been saying that Fort Wayne's musical scene is healthy. Plug in any of Matt Taylor's CDs and you'll find that it's not just healthy, but downright robust as well.

Taylor frequently appears at Bill's Bistro, Jimmy's Covington Bar & Grill and Don Hall's Guesthouse. Do yourself a favor: Call ahead, take a seat, place an order and have a listen.

Matt Taylor's latest CD is "All Circles Complete." It's available locally at Wooden Nickel or you can order it online at At $12, it's practically licensed stealing.
- Fort Wayne Magazine


It’s impossible to listen to the music of Matt Taylor and remain a crusty curmudgeon. It’s 100% true, as evidenced by the results of my scientific experiments. I’ve yet to discover the exact reason for these findings. Perhaps it’s the upbeat melodies or the skillful songwriting, although I personally think it’s because Taylor loves to perform and his infectious attitude shines through on every song of Subject to the Wind, his third album.

Take, for instance, the opening track, “Somedays.” Blissful vocal scat mimicking a horn quartet starts the song, bringing an instant smile to your face. Then bright, clean guitar and drums enter this bittersweet tale of a woman longing to find love, add in a symphonic bridge near the end, and even Oscar the Grouch would have a difficult time not singing along. “Whatcha Getting In2” is another sweet up-tempo foot-tapper filled with light acoustic guitar flourishes and loads of vocal harmonies. Not one to hog the spot light, Taylor and Jen Fisher duet in the desperate “The Way I Am,” a song of two lovers sorrowfully seeing the obvious signs of the end. Both “On My Way” and the title track exhibit a broad sense of adventure, with the former sporting a 70s America feel with horns pumping up the syncopated light rock song and “Subject to the Wind” spinning zesty organs around an inspiring song which bears the same sense of accomplishment as climbing a mountain accompanied by crisp untainted air and clean sunshine.

Brian Lemert adds a throbbing U2-like guitar complement on “Follow Me Down” and rolling drums to the Celtic twilight of “Perpetual Motion,” a sweet love song if ever there was one. Lemert even adds (gasp) a very melodic accordion solo to flesh out this inspiring track. With his love of vocal harmonies, it’s not surprising that a number of cuts could stand on their own with just the vocals as the sparse guitar often seems icing on an already very tasty cake. Both the tranquil “Shade” and the jazzy, unnamed eleventh track take cues from African a cappella traditions to excellent effect, the later combining these influences with a tuba holding down the low end and a clarinet solo, making a modern “Cheers” theme song in the process.

For this outing Matt Taylor chose to record at home, which is appropriate, as he played nearly every instrument and sung every note. The result shows him to be as adept in the studio as he is at songwriting, with clever craftsmanship clearly brimming through his acoustic pop creations. To subject yourself to examples of one of the area’s best singer/songwriters and to find out how to add Subject to the Wind to your collection, double-click to . Warning: Listening will get rid of your grouchies. - Jason Hoffman, Whatzup


Matt Taylor has learned to play and sing hundreds of popular songs from the last 35 years, and such vast experience can’t help but influence and inspire one’s writing style. Add in the countless hours of playing intimate venues where he has honed his stage persona and you’ve got the ingredients for a very enjoyable album.

Wisely going with the sparse instrumentation of his live performances makes for a very tasteful and clean recording, leaving the songs to breathe instead of hiding behind a bevy of studio gimmickry. "All Circles Complete", the title track, is an excellent example: a friendly song that combines Taylor’s affable voice with a sunny folk rock shuffle that leaves the listener feeling all warm and gooey about life. “LoveShine” is a similarly non-pretentious song with simple acoustic guitar, voice and breezy flute accents. Light percussion and gentle vocal harmonies adorns the romantic “Fall Down With You,” a pleasant love song that captures the tender giddiness of spending an mild summer afternoon with one you love under the dappled light of your favorite tree. Also fun is “Cyntheanne,” an upbeat love song with Rob Ruppert on lead guitar, infectious handclaps and three intertwining vocal parts. The contrast is “Let It Go,” an emotional breakup song with simply Taylor and his acoustic guitar played in an early Zeppelin feel, singing bittersweet lyrics like “Although I tried to be him / I’m not the man that you thought you’d found.” “Bomber” features a plucky guitar, an uneasy rhythm and disturbing vocal harmonies in this stark anti-war song where Taylor reflects “It can’t be that easy to push the button.”

A few songs feature heavier guitar and drum kit and, while Taylor capably handles both the guitar and huskier vocals, they seem a bit out of place with the previously established relaxed James Taylor-esque tone. “Hand of God” is perhaps the most successful mélange of styles with a slight rock feel played on an acoustic guitar. The dark “Bridge” starts acoustically but soon adds heavily distorted electric guitar to the party, the overall effect of which is a bit jarring given the pleasant stroll of the previous six songs. Similarly the last track, “She’s Gonna Share You,” is a solid southern rock song with a strong rock riff but it seems just a tad out of place, even with Ruppert’s scorching guitar solo.

Overall this is an excellent album. Producer Jon Gillespie was able to capture the energy of Taylor’s live performances to the point where you can almost sense him feeding off an enthusiastic audience. To check out this album chock full of pop/rock gems anxious to escape into your humming repertoire, click over to - Jason Hoffman, Whatzup Magazine


Destination (2001)
All Circles Complete (2002)
Subject to the Wind (2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Alexsey Test
I had just been dropped off with my Ukrainian Peace Corps host family. The father, Alexey and I were alone in the living room, neither understanding each other's language nor knowing how to begin to communicate. After an awkward and uncomfortable five minutes, he walked over to his old Soviet reel-to-reel tape deck and said "Peenk Floyd?" He switched that relic on and there it was, "The Wall." I felt suddenly comfortable and grateful that he and I now had something in common. We Pictionaried and charaded a "discussion" of the album for the next hour and I realized how cool it was that music had empowered our relationship. People learn a lot about other people through music. "The Wall" was a great album through which Alexsey and I could understand one another's culture, language, and interests. This experience inspired me to try to write lyrics and music about which two strangers from opposite ends of the world could communicate. I call it The Alexey Test.