“All We Have” turned out to be quite a bit. As produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, the debut album by the Taylor Scott Band makes a massive impact by its charm and audacious adventure. Based out of Denver, the singer, songwriter and guitarist Scott, keyboardist Jon Wirtz, bassist Chris Harris, and drummer Lem Williams, along with an equally fiery bevy of guests, reach a mile high and grab tightly to a shimmering brass ring of soulful rock.
Scott sings in an elated, luxuriously-nuanced tenor, his aim to “tell a story, and make honest, meaningful music” hitting dead-on true. Scott immediately establishes himself as a presence, and like any great band, they’ve minted a sound of their own while allowing inspirations to sometimes peek from around the corner.
The passion of St. Paul Janeway leading his Broken Bones comes to mind in “Somebody Told Me,” the first full song following 30 sweet seconds of “Opening (All We Have).” Some may even hear Gov’t Mule moving its hooves behind that groove. Scott’s guitar playing jumps right out, his tone sharp enough to draw blood, and sufficiently rich and attractive to have earned him a spot next to Warren Haynes as a featured guitarist on Otis Taylor’s “Hey Joe Opus: Red Meat.”
The mood quickly leaps upward for “Curiosity,” the band galloping with horn-fueled pride, and Scott pondering the simplest of things in clever verse. Exceptionally rendered, the song feels like a mind’s eye film reel of happiness, complete with a tantalizing soundtrack. A Midwestern breeze permeates “Salted Watermelon,” but then in “Hair of Indigo,” the mood turns tense, especially when Henry Garza of Los Lonely Boys sprays it with his Electric Ladyland guitar. “Wishing Well” drops down into a Band-like lope, peppered by the blues harp of Nic Clark, who hoots in a way like the great Charlie Musselwhite.
This album goes on and on like that, every mood and every beat altogether different, yet equally compelling. Scott realized at some point that a theme was threading its way across these songs, basically suggesting that we should enjoy what we have, because the things we crave don’t last. Good advice. “All We Have” pours over with everlasting riches of song-craft and performance.
- Taylor Scott Band
‘All We Have’
Label: Taylor Scott Music
Producer: Steve Berlin
Released: March 1, 2019