Pam Taylor Brings Her Blusey Good Vibes to Dr Mac Arnold’s Blues’
“Be the light. Give the love. Share the music” intoned local blues/rock artist Pam Taylor at the end of her set at Dr. Mac Arnold’s Blues Restaurant in Greenville, SC. On what was virtually the eve of Pam’s European Tour, she turned what could have been a negative into a positive for her fans that night. When her hired session players backed out of the show, she decided to forge ahead anyway and delivered a unique, intimate, and up close and personal solo show that showcased not only her songwriting talent, but also her captivating live performance skills. Skills which are not to be missed if you have the opportunity to see her live. Pam certainly created the light and gave her love that night as she shared her soul and music with the her rapt crowd.
Playing a mixture of her older material and a heavy helping of some of the best tracks off of her soon to be released new album Steal Your Heart, along with an Etta James cover, Pam used her voice to carry the evening. While she is an accomplished guitar player, she even informed the crowd (much to the pleasure of those who have heard the album already) that she played the guitar on all the album’s tracks, in the stripped down setting at Dr. Mac Arnold’s, it was her voice that stood out. WIth a delivery that was soulful, playful, serious, and flat out rocking at different times throughout the night, Pam demonstrated that she is much more than just another accomplished guitarist. She is an accomplished vocalist as well.
Just before a powerful performance of “Ordinary,” a song that I hadn’t taken too much of a shine to off her new album, but that took on new immediacy after hearing it live, Pam, in wonderful blues raconteur tradition, told the story behind the impetus for the song. The song came to her when she was feeling particularly ordinary after an injury to her arm kept her from playing guitar for a time. Also in grand blues tradition, “Ordinary” became a great song of accomplishment. “Life throws lemons at you so you turn it into lemonade…or in this case a song,” smiled Pam just before launching into it.
As is the case with much of the blues as a genre, taking a negative and turning it into a positive was the theme of Pam’s set. Overcoming injury, self doubt, unexpected ends to relationships, and new challenges both personal and professional are challenges we all face and that the best blues artists turn into works of art. Sometimes though, all it takes to realize that everything is going to be okay is realizing that it’s already alright. “Already Alright” is the title of one of Pam’s standout tracks off the new album, and she delivered a wonderful acoustic performance of it that demonstrated everything that she is capable of as an artist. The same can be said of Pam’s performance of what she announced will be the second single off the album, “House of Cards.” It’s a harder rocking song that leads off the new album and announces that Pam is not just singin’ and playin’ the blues anymore. She can bring the rock as well. It’s a personal favorite of mine off the new album and it was a real treat to see it live.
Pam will be embarking on a European Tour soon, but will be playing The Neighborhood Theatre on Oct 17th with Tommy Castro and The Painkillers.