Strings Attached Beatles White Album Show
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Strings Attached Beatles White Album Show

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"Cindy Adzuki"

About two dozen Austin area musicians gathered together at the University Baptist Church to perform the Beatles White Album in concert with Will Taylor and the String Attached Ensemble on May 19th. The atmosphere was fun loving and casual and because this is Austin, plenty of church jokes were made (by far my fave: "Hey, that baptismal tank sure would hold a lot ice and beer!"). Every demographic seemed to be there which makes sense when you think about it.... even if you've been living under a rock all your life, you'd probably recognize at least one song off of that album.

The artists performed two sold out shows that night-- 7:30 and 10:00 pm. I attended the later one that ended well past midnight. Couple observations:

1) the crowd never thinned out

2) when you're having a great time, church pews aren't that uncomfortable

Even through my stopped up ears (I've had this awful head cold for the past few days) the music sounded great and allergy season didn't seem to stop anyone--not even the artists. A couple of performers had colds, allergies or weary chops. Even so, what impressed me was that the show went on with last minute subs and basically without any major hitches. For instance, Shel Murray filled in for her grandpa Jimmie Dale Gilmore and pumped out a soulful version of "Dear Prudence." Strings Attached was determined to present the White Album in its entirety and boy did they do so-- down to the funky interludes. How the heck did they notate the song "Revolution 9," I wonder?

By far the group I was most looking forward to was Schroedinger's Cat represented that night by Jackson Blacklock and John Pointer. They did not disappoint at all with their version of "Obla di Obla da" and meshed well with the other musicians. They looked great and managed to get ample crowd participation as usual. However, the performer that captivated me the most was Abra Moore and her delicate interpretation of "Blackbird" (for the record, that is my favorite song off of the album). Gary Clark Jr. belted out a sultry "While My Guitar Weeps" and boy, can that man make his guitar sing. I'll admit to swooning a little when he was on stage. Of course, Libby Kirkpatrick was in fine bubbly form with her two contributions "Martha my Dear" and "Julia." Other highlights included a zany "The Continuing Story of Buffalo Bill" by the group White Ghost Shivers and a crowd roaring version of "Revolution 1" performed to perfection by the lovely Carolyn Wonderland. People were dancing behind the pews where I sat on the balcony for that one. All in all, fantastic first-rate performers and they all seemed to have as much of a blast as the audience members. - cindy adzuki - Blog

"Kate Arrowsmith"

I first heard Will Taylor play his electric blue viola sometime in the eighties. When he first graduated with a music degree in 1988, we discussed how one could pursue art as a business. How to do what you love and eat well too. We ran into each other in a coffee shop three years later, and we discussed my ideal environment for music. It would start before 11PM. The venue would be more like a concert hall than a low-slung hole in the wall. Listening would be the main goal, not liquor sales.

I've watched his career with great interest ever since then. Tonight, I saw the culmination of all these years.

Beautiful high ceilings, with a trippy kaleidoscopic light show. A packed audience sitting in the pews of a large downtown church. A team of 20+ musicians collaborating to play the Beatles White Album, straight through. It was wonderful. Carolyn Wonderland singing You say you want a revolution, right now, you know, we all want to change the world. Yes. We can dream our perfect life into being. Thank you, Will Taylor and Strings Attached, for manifesting the revolution.

- Kate Arrowsmith - Blog

"Strings Attached Review"

Will Taylor has a musical proposition for you -- a playful, dignified, off-kilter idea that brings honor to Austin's identity as "The Live Music Capital of the World." It's a cool concept. But it's just a bit . . . different.
Imagine what might happen, suggests Taylor, if we took Austin's most popular singer-songwriters -- Abra Moore, or Jimmy LaFave, or Patrice Pike, or Ray Wylie Hubbard -- and let them perform, live, in a church? Then imagine if you paired those artists with acoustic "chamber" instruments -- cello, violin, viola, trumpet and hand drums -- and wrote new arrangements, adding dashes of jazz and classical music, that revealed new facets of their most beautiful or familiar songs?
Imagine what might happen if you dared to blur all these boundaries between pop music and jazz, between rock music and classical music, between the musical realm and the lyrical realm, between the honky-tonk and the church, and in the spirit of art and fun and experimentation, you reached out for something . . . transcendent?
"Risks are taken. Boundaries are broken. The musical realm and the lyrical realm become one, in the heart of downtown Austin, inside one of the oldest churches in Texas. Amazing grace, indeed."
- Brad Buchholtz, Austin American-Statesman - American-Statesman

"Shawn Colvin"

"It's a lot of fun! They are really fun guys and they have a good time with it, and Will does a lot of work beforehand to make it fun."
- Artist Comment

"Jody Denburg"

"As program director for 107.1 KGSR Radio Austiin, I have witnessed their evelopment of a consistent body of work over time. In fact, their unique interactions with artists in our community (including Grammy winner Shawn Colvin, songwriting legend Chip Taylor and countless others) have motivated our station to broadcast the live performances of Will Taylor and Strings Attached. The work being done here is of a caliber to that being done anywhere on the planet. It is that sophisticated and singular. Will Taylor and Strings Attached are one of the reasons people call Austin 'The Live Music Capital of the World.' Long may their bows be strung!" - KGSR 107.1

"Christopher hess"

"It's a credit to Taylor that an album this eclectic holds so strong at the seams... his inspired creativity and often amazing use of the violin make this album transcend the experimental to become art" - Austin Chronicle

"Richard Harrington"

"Imaginatively orchestrated... multi-faceted... darting lyricism, and occasionally pensive moods, Taylor makes the grade with his deft touch and improvisatory skills." -– R - The Washington Post


All Beatles Cover Live Vol. One
Will Taylor with Strings Attached



Austinite Will Taylor has a good thing going. An accomplished jazz solo artist and masterful arranger/composer/producer, Taylor had one of those light-bulb-illuminating ideas back in 1999 that quickly became reality. Organizing a promising group of skilled soloists with various musical backgrounds, he began Strings Attached. The concept is this: invite a talented artist of any genre (rock, country, etc.) to a show and, with their help, rearrange their own songs into new, cross-genre creations. The icing on the cake is the locale - these intimate evenings take place in the sanctuary of a downtown church, the total opposite of the typical Saturday night live music venue. Between the advantageous built-in accoustics and the all-age appropriateness of the location, Taylor has found an innovative way to draw all walks of life into experiencing local talent.

The list of Strings Attached collaborators reads like a who’s who of successful Austin music—from Shawn Colvin and Jimmy LaFave to Tucker Livingston and Patrice Pike, pre- Rock Star: Supernova. Before year’s end, the group will take on a Best of Led Zeppelin showcase featuring several guest musicians as well as a special holiday program before the show returns to the standard one guest set-up with Bob Schneider in January.