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Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

March 30th, 2011, 12:03 pm #1

credit to NolaMar

Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

May 9th, 2011, 12:07 am #2

For more information on these band members , go to: ... 832/1/#new

David Keith - percussion has taken the place left by the death of Matt Kimbrell. We welcome him to The Taylor Hicks Band

Brian Less - keyboard Loyal mate and long time friend of Taylor , Brian has become Musical Director for this summers tour

courtesy of Gypsee

Sam Gunderson - guitar One of the original members of The Taylor Hicks Band and then LIMBO; Sam brings a southern rock style to his soulful guitar.


Jeff Lopez - sax A frequent addition to Taylor's Band in 2010 / Shadow Tour , Jeff has appeared with Taylor in Sessions work and in the original Taylor Hicks Band


Leif Bonderako - drums Leif has played in CashBlack a Johnny Cash tribute band . As Birmingham's premier drummer and "gun for hire," Leif Bondarenko has played thousands of gigs with dozens of bands in a career that spans four decades
Leif Bondarenko was born in Detroit, MI. He began playing drums at the age of 7, taking private instruction thru his formative years. He attended Vestavia High School in Birmingham, AL. where he received highest honors for drumming, including the “Most Outstanding Drummer” award two years consecutively in state competitions.
Leif graduated from Alabama School of Fine Arts. During his senior year he played club dates on a regular basis four nights a week. He then attended Belmont College in Nashville, TN, where he majored in Music with a minor in Music Business. Immediately following college, Leif recorded and toured extensively with three Birmingham based seminal rock bands : “Jim Bob & The Leisure Suits”; “Primitons”; and Sugar La La’s”, garnering national and international press as well as reaching #1 positions on college radio playlists around the country.
As Birmingham’s first call drummer, Leif recorded and toured with rock, blues, and R&B bands: “Brother Cane”; “Topper Price & The Upsetters”; and “The Cast”. He also played drums for legendary artist such as Rick Danko of “The Band”, Jimmy Hall of “Wet Willie”, Peter Noon of “Herman’s Hermits”, and Charles Neville of “The Neville Brothers”
Presently Leif is touring with “American Idol” winner- Taylor Hicks; Bluegrass sensation “Rolling In The Hay”; and Swinging Country R & B band “Frankie Velvet And The Mighty Veltones”.
Currently Leif is getting out from behind the drums to front and sing in his own band the premier Johnny Cash tribute “CASHBACK” as well as releasing his own CD of original gospel songs.

Brandon Peebles - bass A 20 something year old musician from Birmingham, Alabama. He was a member of the Sweetwater Road Band . He also performs with Frankie Velvet


Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

August 28th, 2011, 3:20 pm #3

Appearing with Taylor at the Lake Mission Viejo , CA event were:


Ameenah Kaplan hails from Atlanta and then New York where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is a drummer of more than 20 years who plays with local bands and currently serves as the Musical Director and drummer for The Zodiac Show and the West Coast drum coach for Blue Man Group. She was drummer for Lisa Haley & the Zydecats with whom Taylor played at Telluride in 2011. ... ah-kaplan/
LA Stage asked Ameenah Kaplan the following questions:

What was the first theatrical production you ever attended and what impact did it have on you?

It must have been the Nutcracker performed by the Atlanta Ballet! I remember being blown away by the dancing and wanting very much to be one. Alas, my dreams of being a ballerina would not come to fruition! Haha! I was a bit too bow-legged for the sport! But my interest in all things live theater was forever piqued.

What is your most cherished theater memory?

Probably working my first professional job with the Georgia Shakespeare Festival when I was 15. I was awed by the talent of those professional actors who made their living by traveling around to regional theaters. I wanted to be just like them. They seemed so cool and grown up at the time. I’m actually still friends with a few of them.

Which LA theatre artists’ work do you consider a ‘Must See’?

Matt Walker: director, writer, actor extraordinaire.
David O: the most gifted musical director
Michael Matthews: innovative, smart, stylistic director
Antaeus Company: best, most experienced troupe of actors

What is your favorite thing about working in the theater in LA?

I like the maverick spirit of the community. It thrives because people are passionate about it.

If you could change one thing about theater in Los Angeles, what would it be?

That’s the million dollar question.

Who’s the first person you texted or tweeted when you got the news about your nomination?

Matt Walker


Travis Carlton is the son of noted musician Larry Carlton. He was born in Lebanon , TN , but lives from Burbank, California and loves soul music . He studied at Musicians Institute.

He started playing the bass around thirteen years old. He started on guitar a few years earlier playing mostly blues and rock, but soon gravitated towards the bass. During his high school years in Lebanon, Tennessee, Travis started playing bass in local rock bands. Around fifteen he started listening to more jazz and funk discovering music from The Meters, Bootsy Collins, Miles Davis, Herbie Handcock, Jimmy Smith, ect. In 2001 after a vist to califonia to see family, Travis decided to go to the the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. There he took lessons for the first time on bass studying with great teachers such as Dave Keif, Ernest Tibbs, Putter Smith and Carl Schroder among others. Shorly after graduateing, Travis started playing bass for his father (Larry Carlton) on the road, who he is still curently touring with. Travis also toured with Sara Barellies in the spring of 2003 opening for Maroon 5. Travis has also gotten to play with Greg Mathieson, Jeff Babko, Toss Panos, Billy Kilson, Greg Bissinett, Mike Landau and Jr. Robinson.


Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

August 28th, 2011, 3:26 pm #4

In Agoura, CA we were treated to a return of Josh Smith on the guitar and Felix Pollard on the drums. Always welcome additions to Taylor's Band. They were both members of Taylor's band in 2007 for the extensive coast to coast Modern Whomp Solo Tour. For more information on Josh and Felix : ... 334/1/#new

Felix Pollard drums

L' Michelle Photography

Josh Smith guitar


Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

October 3rd, 2011, 8:15 pm #5


Taylor and Wynn courtesy of Michael Sheehan

Originally founded as a trio in Auburn, Alabama, Spoonful James played the same circuits as Taylor's band, "Passing Through,” which included Patrick Lunceford. The band members became fast friends joining each other on stage when their paths crossed. In a collaboration between the bands, "Fletch Lives" was formed. Wynn formed his own band in 2003, while also playing with Taylor and Patrick in the "Taylor Hicks Band”.

“There are few symbols of American music as true and meaningful as the blues. A crying guitar trading licks with a raspy voice speaks directly to the soul. It can remind us of what life is really all about - getting knocked down, rising up, and getting knocked back down a few more times. The blues is humility on a guitar string. Spoonful James's third album, Seven Mile Breakdown, captures that true soul searching essence of the blues.”

Wynn , singer / guitarist / songwriter , creates a unique blend of southern music, relying heavily on blues and soul influences to complement original tunes.
Wynn leads his band with powerful guitar work culled from influences such as Freddie King, Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaugn, and B.B. King.
He and his band have opened for The Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, Gov't Mule, Buddy Miles, and a rare opportunity to serve as piano-great Johnny Johnson's backing band. These experiences culminated in 2001's Seven Mile Breakdown, produced by Johnny Sandlin, and featuring guest performances by Buddy Miles, Bonnie Bramlett, and the Muscle Shoals Soul Revue Horns.
Upon Spoonful James' split in January 2003, Christian returned to songwriting and performing "acoustic" shows around his hometown of Auburn, Alabama.

We were lucky enough to get an interview with another Spoonful James member, this time Wynn Christian! Check out his answers to our questions, plus one extra question where he gives us some great input on the creative process for SMB!

TTHC: Taylor is so focused and pursues his Dreams so passionately. What are your memories about Taylor as a musician back in the early days as compared to the way he is now?

Wynn:Well, I think we both shared a passion for music, which is how we hit it off in the first place. “Passion” is probably an understatement, as we were pretty obsessed with the stuff we liked. That translated to our shows together and in each of our bands at the time. I really respect his taste in music, and I think he would probably say the same for me—but it’s been interesting to see those influences we studied—so hard—become a part of who we are as performers.

It’s so funny listening to him do phrases from Van Morrison and others in his shows. All that comes from reverence to those influences; and it’s good to see that has not changed over the years

TTHC: Do you have a favorite performance or venue you played with Taylor?

Wynn: I guess I have 2 or 3 that stand out. We played some really fun shows under the band name “Fletch Lives” on Thursday nights at Bottcher’s in Auburn (AL) back in 97-98. There were always 5-7 folks playing, including Taylor, Jon Cook, Patrick Lunceford, Quinn Borland and me, and we did some pretty diverse stuff; everything from reggae to originals to Sam Cooke—I’m pretty sure that’s when we started doing “Bring it on Home to Me”.

Spoonful James’ last show as a touring band in ’03 at Workplay in B’ham was a good one. Taylor pretty much saved us by coming on at the end of the first set. My voice was shot from a cold, and I was just barely there from a vocal standpoint. He came in and sang along with me, really helping me get through it. He also cracked all of us up with some of his phrasing. There’s some video out there of some of that night, you should check it out.

I’ve also enjoyed some of the shows we’ve played together over the last couple of years. I enjoyed the Tupelo ’07 show—getting to do “Seven Mile Breakdown” in front of a few thousand folks was pretty special.

TTHC:2.Give us a story or two about those early days with Taylor. Anything you'd like to share is great!

Wynn: Well, a lot of them are pretty similar. Ride to the gig, band plays, good times had, and then laughing hysterically about who knows what on the way home. I mean that in a very sincere way—that’s exactly what happened usually! Quinn and Patrick would probably tell you the same thing from back in those days…

We listened to a lot of music together, and I got some great stuff out of that hang time. I have a much greater appreciation of Ray Charles. I remember one day he played me a version of “Am I Blue” from Tokyo- from the box set. Wow.
I found Sam Cooke’s “Night Beat” on vinyl around that same time….that was a mind-blower for us

TTHC:What did you think when you heard that Taylor was going to be on American Idol?

Wynn:I was pretty shocked by it, honestly. It just didn’t seem to be his style, but it turned out to be a life-saver for him

TTHC: How did you and Taylor first get together?

Wynn: We met through a guy named Mike Douglas, I think in ’95 or 96? If I remember correctly, he and Mike came out to an early Spoonful show at the Mellow Mushroom in Auburn. They listened from the hallway beside the stage, and I think we met during the set break. We talked for a while, and I believe he sat in at our next show.

TTHC: When you see Taylor perform now, what is the biggest difference you see?

Wynn:I think his stage presence is more “outgoing” than it used to be. American Idol may have had something to do with that. It wasn’t a negative in the first place, but he seems much more comfortable out front now.

*Our Extra Interest Question*
TTHC: The buzz about "Seven Mile Breakdown" began when it was included on the track list for "The Distance." Now that Taylor has released it as the second single off the cd, with a promotion package including what is only his second video, all eyes are on SMB. The single SMB is a great song to showcase Taylor's talent, but it also transitions incredibly to a club setting when SJ plays it live, and our favorite, when Taylor gets the time to enjoy sitting in with friends and joins SJ on the stage.

Can you tell us a little bit about the writing process, what originally inspired it, Taylor's input and what you thought when he told you he wanted to prominently feature SMB on his second major album release?

Wynn: Well, as you may know, Seven Mile Breakdown is actually a little over 10 years old. It was written while en route to a Spoonful show in Cleveland, Mississippi. I had some phrases in mind by the time we arrived for the show, as I had been amazed by the flatness and desolation of the area. I was also completely inspired to be traveling through this area that I had read so much about and really revered. Ultimately, Quinn, Patrick and I somehow made it through a night in Cleveland, MS, and one of the most bizarre evenings I’ve ever encountered. I always joke that I’m going to write a chapter of a book about it one day. I finished up the song over a couple of weeks after the Mississippi trip. Since then, it’s been one of our most popular songs both on record and live.

We’re excited Taylor decided to record it, and even more excited that it’s being released as a single. He’s hit the “high notes” on it quite a few times with us over the years, and I think his version of the song is great. Lots of credit should go to Patrick and Quinn, whose drum and bass lines (respectively) give the original its drive and groove. I was really glad to hear that Taylor kept that groove intact on his version.

TTHC: What else would you like to tell fans about SJ?

Wynn: Most of all, I’d like everyone to know we’re going into the studio in August to do our first new record in 8 years. Stayed tuned through Facebook, MySpace, and our new site (coming soon) for more info on the record and for new dates. Thanks so much for checking out our music and our shows. We’ll see you soon!

TTHC thanks Wynn Christian for his time and wonderful answers and insights into the early to present days with Taylor. For photos and video of Spoonful James, you can check Quinn Borland's interview and also check back here in a few days.

As with our other interviews, we ask that you do not repost this interview or the photos elsewhere. Enjoy!

Link to Facebook: ... 3121992372
Link to their myspace:

Joined: February 8th, 2008, 2:52 am

October 3rd, 2011, 8:29 pm #6

[color=#9300C4][size=150]MITCH JONES - HOUSTON, TX THE FLAMINGO ROOM AND MCKINNEY , TX [/size][/color]

[img][/img]Mitch Jones my space

Mitch, who was the bass player for Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, formerly the Taylor Hicks Band, was very happy to give us some memories of being with Taylor in the early days. Mitch is now playing with a band called Buffalo Black, a great sounding band! Here are Mitch's insights about Taylor back in the early days, plus some great info on his new band.

TTHC: What are your memories about Taylor as a musician back in those days? He is so focused and pursues his Dreams so passionately. Was he always this way?

Mitch: Yep, My memories of Taylor back in the day was his performance, he always gave %110 no matter how tired he was or where we were playing or how many ppl were there listening.

TTHC: Do you have a favorite performance or venue you played with Taylor?

Mitch: My fav was my first show with him at Bottega's in Auburn,Al...he had ppl dancing on the pool tables..lots of fun..I had never practiced with them and Patrick was coaching me through the show as we were playing the show...good stuff.

TTHC: Give us a story or two about those early days with Taylor. Anything you'd like to share is great!

One that comes to mind is a gig we had at Oasis in Birmingham..we were playing a normal gig and noticed that the crowds were getting the night went on the place was really filling up..Taylor was on the bar playing harp, and the plate glass window to the right as you walk in..fell busted because there were so many ppl..a couple had danced through the window..and we sold every beer they had..we still hold the record.

TTHC: What did you think when you heard that Taylor was going to be on American Idol?

Mitch: I knew he would win, he's a first I didn't know what to think, because I didn't watch the show and knew nothing about AI, but as it started and I saw the others I knew he had it in the bag.

TTHC: How did you and Taylor end up playing together?

Before I joined Taylor I was playing bass with the Wynn Christian band..Spoonful was taking a break, Wynn recorded his solo album "Healed Tonight" and we were playing shows supporting that album. We were in Chattanooga,Tn playing the mellow mushroom..Taylor was sitting in playing harp and singing, halfway through the show he turned to me and asked me if i wanted to go to Nashville the following weekend and open for Jackson Browne..that's it.

TTHC: When you see Taylor perform now, what is the biggest difference you see?

Mitch: His guitar is in tune.

TTHC: Give us a bit more info on what you're up to these days. Where can fans see and hear you?

Mitch: As well as playing with Erin, I'm playing with a new band called Buffalo Black. a singer/songwriter named Armando Margjeka. It's americana/indie- Bob Dylan/David Gray/Ryan Adams all originals..we are releasing our first cd "Honeysuckle on 39th"'s 1 of 4 cd's we are releasing for 2009.. Brian Less will be on piano and Patrick Lunceford on drums, they are not in Buffalo Black but are playing the show with us..we will be on itunes,amazon, rhapsody, emusic and napster July 10th..

Posted Aug 4 2010, 02:35 PM in In Pursuit of the Dream/ TTHC Interviews

[size=150][color=#9300C4]BRAD GUIN - ORANGE BEACH, FLORABAMA [/color][/size]


Brad was born on Oct 5, 1974 in Moores Bridge, AL He was a R&B Saxophone with the Bobby Blue Bland and a member of Muscle Shoals Soul Revue

Brad Guin is the Tenor Sax player for DejaBlue. Brad has a long and storied history of performance with many great musical icons of our time. Brad has performed with Greg Allman, Bobby "Blue" Bland, BB King, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Ojays, Percy Sledge, Little Milton, Eddie Floyd, T.Graham Brown, Jimmy Hall, Johnny Taylor and Dr. Hook.

Brad's hot licks and tremendous tenor sounds adds a lot to the blue's horn section. Brad also sings backup and contributes to the arrangements of the band.

Source: [url=][/url]

[size=150][color=#9300C4]GUTHRIE TRAPP - ORE BENEFIT FOR TOYS FOR TOTS , BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA [/color][/size]


Guthrie Trapp was born Feb 3 1979 in Pensacola, FL. and raised on the Florida/Alabama gulf coast. His family had a great love for music and was exposed to many genres from a young age. Guthrie started playing blues harmonica at age 7 with his uncle and at 10 moved on to guitar with mandolin following soon after. At 13 he joined a local bluegrass group playing lead guitar and mandolin. They played local and regional festivals and clubs up and down the gulf coast.

At 15 and 16 Guthrie won the Alabama guitar and mandolin competitions two years in a row. Also at 16, he accompanied folk legend Tom Paxton and opened for John McCutchen with uncle Jerry Trapp. Guthrie started playing with Gove Scrivenor in 1995. They played for several years together doing club dates college concerts and opened for such acts as Richie Havens and Al Stewart. In 1997 Guthrie did his first master session in Nashville on Gove's "Shine on" album for No Age records. Young Guthrie was in good company on this record with John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Lari White and Ray Flacke.

Also in 1997, Guthrie joined up with Nick Branch to form the Filthy Rich band. This band ruled the gulf coast for years playing original music and blues, swing and roots covers. They headlined festivals and clubs regionally and overseas. At age 22 guthrie moved to Nashville. He soon began playing with the Don Kelley band at Roberts on Broadway. During this time he got picked up by country artist Patty Loveless. Playing with her for two years landed him in the studio on two of her latest records the latest one was nominated for a Grammy this year. Guthrie then joined the Jerry Douglas band. Touring with Jerry for three years also landed him in the studio on two records.One of which, "Glide", was nominated for a Grammy this year. The JDB supported Paul Simon for a three month tour as well as touring extensively through out the US, Canada and the UK. Doing such venues as the Blue Note in NYC, the Monteal Jazz fest and Radio City Music Hall in NYC. In 1995, Trapp began a lengthy stint with noted artist Gove Scrivenor, playing club, college and opening-slot shows together for several years.

Guthrie continues to live in Nashville where he is in demand as a performing and session musician on acoustic/electric guitars and mandolin. Playing many styles with incredible authenticity and taste have landed him on stage or in the studio with a whos who of artists and musicians such as; Garth Brooks, Alison Krauss, John Oates, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, George Jones, Bobby Bare, Jerry Douglas, Roseanne Cash, Vassar Clements, John Cowan, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Earl Skruggs, Albert Lee, "Cowboy" Jack Clement, Taylor Hicks, Gary Nicholson, Carl Jackson, Emory Gordy Jr., Barry Beckett, Bob Babbit, Willie Weeks, Danny Flowers, Greg Brown, Tom Paxton, Shanna Morrison, and The Sweet Hearts of the Rodeo.

Trapp recorded four albums with Branch and the Filthy Rich and has made numerous U.S. and European television and radio appearances. Currently playing full-time with Jerry Douglas, Trapp can also be found—when he’s actually in Nashville, that is—playing with country, swing and blues institution the Don Kelley Band.


Guthrie Trapp Live :

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