COLE CAMP — After a 37-show, 45-day tour in Europe, renowned musician Cassie Taylor, 27, returned stateside last week with a solo performance Friday at Red Baron BBQ and Steakhouse.
“I had about a week off, which was so necessary because we did six shows a week for seven weeks,” she said of her recent tour. “So, I was in desperate need of a break,” she added laughing.
She, her husband and tour manager Chuck Haren, and her band traveled every night to a new venue, playing in Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland.
“That was actually my third solo tour overseas,” she said. “I’ve been there with a project called ‘Girls with Guitars,’ and I’ve also been there with my father several times.”
While on tour with Girls with Guitars, Taylor performed with Dani Wilde and Samantha Fish.
Taylor previously played bass for her father, Blues artist Otis Taylor, for seven and a half years before launching her own career as a performer and finding her own identity and musical style.
“I fit into the blues vernacular but I have a lot of inspiration from other music,” she said. “I listened to a lot of jazz when I was a child and then I listened to hip hop and electronica, and metal and rock. And so all of those influences kind of sneak their way into my music which is great because blues is really what kind of spawned the American music revolution. So all of those music genres are in fact influenced by blues. So it may seem like a really far stretch to say oh like Nine Inch Nails is blues, but it all is based in the blues. I do a Nine Inch Nails cover during the during the set to kind of help people relate to it.”
She said her connection with Red Baron is through Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que in Sedalia, where she’s performed three times.
“The promoter that runs sound at Dickie Doo wanted to get me out here,” she said.
Taylor planned to play a mix of original music at Red Baron plus other songs.
“Things from my first album, things from playing with my dad,” Taylor said. “I’ll play a couple songs that he wrote and I’ll do stuff from my new album, ‘Out of My Mind,’ and it will be interesting. I’m going to be solo tonight and that’s going to be kind of a rare occurrence.
“It’s actually really great because when I told my dad I wanted to be a solo artist he said ‘well that’s great but you have to able to play by yourself.’ And so the first year and a half that I was a solo artist I only played shows by myself. So it will be kind of fun because the last year has only been with my band. It will good to get back to the roots of everything, and to be able to just focus on me. When you’re on stage, there with other people, you’re working off the dynamics, and you’re not just focused on the songs. It’s a dynamic thing and you’re playing off of each other.”
Taylor said when she has the opportunity to play solo she can put more of herself into the performance and it becomes personal with the audience as well.
“It becomes more about the song writing,” she added. “The interaction between the audience and me because that’s who you’re bouncing off of instead of the people you’re onstage with. For me, song writing is the most important thing. And above all else it’s what I aspire to make my mark as, songwriting. So when you’re just by yourself it becomes more about that. More about the story that you are telling as opposed to the energy you have with your band mates, or a vicious lead that’s going on or a drum solo. It’s more about the voice and the instrument.”
She added that her favorite part of the whole performance is the connection with the audience.
Taylor began writing songs after her first “big breakup” with someone she cared about. The raw emotion she felt began to turn into lyrics.
“I wasn’t songwriting because I wanted to be a musician,” she added. “And this was before I decided to do my own solo pursuit. It was just a therapeutic way for me to get over it. I felt like I had all this emotion built up in me and all these songs just came out. And that’s kind of where I started. It was one song, it was two songs … all of these things kept happening to where I felt a needed to say something. Some people have a therapist, some people have a diary, some people have a best friend that they go to coffee with every Thursday, but for me it was sitting down and at the piano or my guitar and unloading all of the emotions.”
During her performance Friday night she began her first set with a piano solo singing, “Mona Lisa a broken heart, dreams brought to your doorstep…” and her first version of “Haunted.” “I’m haunted by your love, yes I’m haunted by your love …” And moved on to her third song with the lyrics, “When we’re making love, you don’t look me in the eyes. That’s about the time I get the blues …” And then to her popular “That’s my Man,” from her “Out of My Mind” album with lyrics, “I have a man he treats me good, he treats me nice, like real men do …”
Before her performance Taylor said she her plans for five years from now include slowing down the tour venues.
“I’d love to be touring less frequently,” she said. “And focusing more on songwriting.”
She said that being up and performing late at night is great while she’s young and that is who she is right now, but in the future she’d love to have a family.
“I have a wonderful husband and that is something we want to do, and when you do that you have to find a balance between the two,” she said. “Eventually it will be less touring and more staying at home changing diapers and writing songs, with a cup of coffee.”
Taylor has two albums out, “Blue,” and “Out of My Mind.” For additional information on Cassie Taylor, her performance dates or albums, go to her website at cassietaylorband.com or like her Facebook page at facebook.com/cassietaylorband.