The King Taylor Project – a union of blues and funk
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 10/13/17 - 11:13 AM | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The King Taylor Project: Wednesday, Oct. 18. The Holding Company, 5046 Newport Ave. 8 p.m. 21 and up. www.thcob.com
The King Taylor Project: Wednesday, Oct. 18. The Holding Company, 5046 Newport Ave. 8 p.m. 21 and up. www.thcob.com
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San Diego is currently going through a musical renaissance, with exciting new performers emerging seemingly weekly. One of the most promising new combos in town, The King Taylor Project, who perform at The Holding Company on Oct. 18, is comprised of music vets and is already poised to take their mix of blues, soul and funk to a national level. Barely a year and a half old, the group has already played nearly 200 shows, toured four times and is working on their debut album. Led by singer Sandi King and guitarist Joshua Taylor, the band includes bassist David Ryan Norgren, drummer Eric Strickler, keyboardist Josh Weinstein and violinist Jay Chu.

King is a lifelong San Diegan, while Taylor arrived locally in 2011, after returning from Afghanistan and leaving the Navy. The group’s first show was Valentine's Day 2016. “We did a full eight-piece band tribute night for Natalie Cole. I have been a fan of her since I was young and she had passed that New Years Eve,” King recalled. “Josh and I met through the SD music scene and started dating,” said King. “After we got engaged we joked about our lives being a ‘King Taylor Project,’” she laughed. “We then decided to actually start a musical project together and so KTP became a reality.” The pair married Oct. 14, making this show an extra celebratory event for friends and fans.

Both King and Taylor have been mainstays of San Diego’s music community for the past five years: King performing with Americana duo, 22 Kings, and Taylor as a solo artist. Notably he released his debut solo album, “About Time,” in 2015, with Weinstein a part of that record.

“During my time in 22 Kings I learned a lot about how to be a DIY musician,” King recalled. “We recorded two full-length albums, I built five national and regional tours. I basically just learned how to navigate being a full-time musician by diving in and doing it,” she said.

According to Taylor, writing in The King Taylor Project is a collaborative process. “We do play originals, but the band is actually only beginning to write new material. So far we've performed my own songs as well as original songs from some of our other members' solo projects. Our process is likely to continue with Sandi and I as primary writers, with lots of arrangement input from the band.”

He notes that as a group, who can play up to four hours, they do include covers in their sets. “We tend to avoid doing Top 40 for its own sake,” he said. “So our cover material consists of music that inspires us and is consistent with our own tastes. Our version of MGMT’s ‘Electric Feel’ tends to do really well, as well as some of our straight ahead blues (e.g., Nikka Costa's “Love To Love You Less” or Tracy Chapman's “Give Me One Reason.”)

Musically, 2018 is shaping up to be The King Taylor Project’s busiest year yet. “We are building at least two major tours, we will be writing more material, recording our first album, and a live album is in the works,” King said.

Before 2017 ends the band will also have played backing band to local and national acts Nick Crook, Kyle Phelan, Kevin Begin, Candace Devine, Jason Yamaoka, and Trent Hancock. “We hope to continue this in the new year and support more great artists in addition to doing bigger and better shows with our full band,” King remarked.

Taylor considers the road ahead for the band to be a difficult but ultimately rewarding journey. “All worthwhile work done well is tough,” he said. “I'm just grateful to be doing something that is a natural expression of self. I'm consumed by music, and it's central to my identity, so that is really the primary motivator to make it work.”

For her part King is happy with the progress The King Taylor Project has made in such a short time. “I like meeting and playing with people I love and respect,” she said. “I also love how empowering it is to take control of my own future. This life truly is wonderful if you work really hard and create opportunities for yourself. I have learned a lot in the last few years and can not wait to see what else I learn.”

MUST HEAR

The King Taylor Project: Wednesday, Oct. 18. The Holding Company, 5046 Newport Ave. 8 p.m. 21 and up. www.thcob.com

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