Rory Taillon & the Old Souls
Gig Seeker Pro

Rory Taillon & the Old Souls

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock




"Unsigned Artists Showcase: Rory Taillon & the Old Souls"

Despite being only 25 years old, Rory Taillon has all the qualities of an old soul. Offering up a compelling mix of the blues with generous amounts of rock and roll and some Jimi Hendrix influence thrown in for good measure, his unique approach to music helps to truly set him apart.

Released last September, Taillon’s full-length debut, It’s Not Black & White, is the follow-up effort to his 2012 EP Closure and eschews big production values and recording studio tricks in favour of an organic, personal approach to music. That same honesty and transparency extends to the lyrical themes of the seven-song effort.

Deeper than that, however, the album’s title refers to Taillon’s belief that people don’t often see the grey areas that can exist on any variety of topics. It is that social awareness that makes for such a compelling listen, proving that Rory Taillon & The Old Souls will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. - Canadian Musician Magazine

"Rory Taillon on CHCH Hamilton Morning Live"

CHCH Hamilton Morning Live performance in support of Rory Taillon's spring 2014 Canada east coast tour - CHCH Hamilton

"CTV Ottawa Morning Live"

CTV Ottawa Morning Live performance in support of Rory Taillon's spring 2014 Canada east coast tour - CTV Ottawa

"Global Morning News Halifax"

Global Morning News Halifax performance in support of Rory Taillon's spring 2014 Canada east coast tour - Global Halifax

"Port Perry musician 'hates when things are polished'"

PORT PERRY -- If you can't find a job, hire yourself, is an adage Rory Taillon of Port Perry follows.

The 24-year-old turned to music when he discovered few job opportunities upon graduation from Humber's animation program. He has since released a six-song EP, Closure, and has toured Ontario and Quebec. He was recently nominated for a Durham Blues Society Award and in January will begin a weekly residency at a bar in Oshawa. He already plays several times a week but leaves one day aside for teaching music.

"I have been making music since I was six years old," he says. "I was a choir boy at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. I still go there and sing. In high school I was singing in choirs then I moved on to the blues.

"A friend of mine and I played acoustic together -- Matt Bailey, he plays in the Long Haul. He went to Humber for jazz guitar. We were both into classic rock and there was a cafe in Port (For the Love of Jo). It had players all the time, players came out from Toronto. That was my first exposure to a music community. There was one band, The Strip, who came out a bunch of times and I'd hang with them."

With his powerful baritone, Taillon says he gets compared to alt-rock acts Pearl Jam and The Tea Party, but it is indie-minded folk musicians such as Dan Mangan and Ben Caplan that he says he admires.

"I love when there's a point behind the music. They're just honest. They take their floor and use it and I like that. When I write music I spend the most time on the lyrics. I want to write something that makes sense and not just throw something in there just to sound good or just sell. I always liked the stuff that has passion, that makes you feel something.

"I hate when things are polished. My fave band is Dave Matthews Band. I hate his recordings, live he is so awesome. One of my favourite songs he does is Don't Drink the Water and it's so nuts when he does it live. I looked it up to get the CD and I was, what is this crap? It just loses all its oomph."

Taillon was careful to leave the oomph plus the oops in on his EP, recorded at the Rhythm Complex in Oshawa, with Theo Posthumous.

"I like honesty.... I'm not the best guitar player in the world, I try to hide it with my singing but there's a ding or two in there. I feel it gives the record character."

Although this is Taillon's debut recording, the title, Closure, suggests an ending. In one way it is but in another it is a plan for a way forward.

The Last Iris is a tribute to his grandmother while the Ballad of Jimmy Taylor is about his uncle who died of leukemia.

"I like to only write about what I know," he says. "It is more legit. My grandmother, who I was close to, died when I was writing the album."

Dance Monkey Dance is the centrepiece of the EP. The Tom Waits-like track sets out the price one will pay for choosing art as a career -- a young poet told to be more commercial, a young dancer who becomes a stripper, an actor who ends up impoverished -- grim stuff. "Dance Monkey Dance and I'll buy you another beer," he sings on the chorus.

Economic circumstances have dictated Taillon's choices but he is taking back control of his future through his music. Why be the monkey when you can be the organ grinder, as they say. - Will McGuirk, Durham Region Metroland -

"Alt-rocker Taillon comes unplugged"

" Toronto-based alternative rocker Rory Taillon will be in London Friday at The London Music Club.

But he’s coming unplugged for an acoustic set in the front room on a 24-stop tour of southern Ontario that began last week at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

Normally, Taillon is seen with his band, Rory, but he’s hitting the road alone.

“I’ve never done anything like this before, so I thought I’d try it and test the waters,” said the 23-year-old singer songwriter.

The tour is in support of his six-song CD, Closure, which includes the songs Warden, the title track, Closure, and Death From a Jar, which can be heard online at

Taillon will be joined by special guests Tam Duong and Samantha Hooey. " - London Free Press

"Live Interview and Performance on Whistle Radio, 102.7FM"

Hear full interview at - Mike Burns, Whistle Radio, 102.7FM


Still working on that hot first release.



Rory Taillon is a songwriter who really has something to say through his music.

The 25-year-old Oshawa, Ontario resident demonstrates a lyrical mastery that belies his years and shatters formulaic conventions. This is deftly matched with a powerful, bluesy musical style that sets him apart from his contemporaries. With an undeniable and palpable sense of urgency in Taillon’s music, most evident on his latest release, It’s Not Black & White – this is a visceral look at life through the eyes of the dislocated, disenfranchised and dissatisfied. Combining the best of the poetic wordsmiths of the classic rock era with the 1990s alternative rock sense of nihilism, Taillon’s songs are impassioned pleas for people to be allowed to be who they want to be. “A friend of mine told me a long time ago that if I am going to write about something, I might as well write about something I know, something I really feel, something I am passionate about,” Taillon said. “I am not really the love song kind of guy. I really like using the songs to send a message and I really like other musicians who do the same thing, but in a really creative, impactful way. Tom Waits is like that and he has always been one of my favourites.”

Taillon’s songs use the imagery of cages, prisons and walls as a way of showing how so many people are trapped in their lives - trapped by addiction, trapped by mental illness, trapped by love of money, trapped by the hypnotic, dehumanizing nature of technology, trapped by conformity and other people’s expectations of what they are supposed to be. “I guess I have always felt a little like that, especially when I was younger. My family was very much about going to school, then you go to college, get your career, work 9 to 5 and retire at 65. It took me a long time to get out of that mindset myself. They weren’t belligerent about it, it was just how they lived. It took them a while to wrap their heads around the fact that I wasn’t going down that road; that music was what I was going to do,” Taillon said. Even the title of the album, It’s Not Black and White is a commentary on a modern world that doesn’t seem to allow for shades of grey in the way people live their lives. 

For the past three years Rory has been a full time musician, touring regularly throughout southern Ontario and the Maritimes. With multiple appearances on national television this past spring in support of his most recent Canadian east coast tour, Taillon is really starting to carve a name for himself in the Canadian music scene. His naturally powerful and emotive voice was honed through years of church choir and vocal lessons. He first picked up a guitar at age fourteen and the harmonica a few years later. Mislabeled a blues performer by many commentators, Taillon said he was influenced greatly by the blues-based classic rock acts that his father enjoyed listening to. “We always had Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf playing in the house. Those bands were huge influences on me. I remember getting a Jimi Hendrix record when I was kid, simply because I knew his name from my dad and I threw it on and I was like holy crap, this guy is something else,” Taillon said. “But I like a lot of the 1990s bands too, like Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Bush X” The combination sounds very much like the material created by Tom Wilson’s band Junkhouse, where there are elements if hippie-rock, blues-based rock and the alternative vibe of the 1990s. “It’s a combination of both my major influences I guess. I like the way songs were structured and the poetry and imagery of the 1970s stuff, but with a 1990s attitude. It’s definitely not a happy, hippie rebelliousness that I am talking about. It’s more of an ‘I’m pissed off and things suck,’ kind of thing,” he said with a laugh. “I have a very loud voice, and that doesn’t always come across in recordings. I have played venues where the sound guy just turns off my microphone. And I think my voice grabs people and helps me get my songs across because their attention is completely focused on me. I feel that if I am really into the music, then people in the audience will sit up and start really listening and feel what I am trying to say,” he said. At 6’ 3” and a solid 220 pounds, Taillon is an imposing figure. And this is matched by an onstage intensity that makes him a truly compelling performer. But there is also a sense of vulnerability that clashes with this persona, a softness and gentleness that belies the physicality and power of his stage demeanor, proving once and for all, when it comes to Rory Taillon the musician, It’s Not All Black &White.

Band Members