Here’s a brief review of Kim Taylor’s So Black, So Bright that I originally posted on Amazon earlier this year:
Cincinnati’s music community doesn’t provide much for me to get excited about. We currently have the Hiders and Wussy, but there aren’t many other local bands worth listening to. Kim Taylor is a bright spot on this otherwise lackluster scene. She’s probably the brightest of them all and the artist that seems most capable of making an impact on a national level.
I first heard Kim Taylor perform at the Southgate House in Newport, KY in early 2007. I was very impressed with her performance and tracked down So Black, So Bright a couple days later. It’s a wonderful CD all the way through. It’s well-written, beautifully sung, and manages to have a lot of soul for what is essentially a folk or singer-songwriter release. Everything here is genuine, heartfelt, and a pleasure to listen to.
In a world where Norah Jones can sell millions of CDs, there’s no reason why Kim Taylor’s releases shouldn’t at least go gold. Help her on her way and pick up a copy of So Black, So Bright. There’s no way that you’ll regret it.
I was excited to learn that Kim Taylor and the Hiders were scheduled to put on a free concert Thursday evening as part of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Tunes & Blooms series, a program that features local musicians performing after-hour concerts at the zoo. I went on down at around 6:00. It was rainy, so the concert had been changed to an indoor building within the zoo compound. I had to wander around to find the proper building, but I didn’t mind; I saw a few peacocks, two ducks, two brown bears, a swimming polar bear, a rhino…and two lions.
I found the building just as the rain began pouring. It was a strange venue, to say the least. There were little kids running around dancing and a lot of unusual things that I’m not used to seeing at a concert. They sold pizza and cotton candy, but no CDs. Tropical bird noises were occasionally heard in the background.
Kim Taylor went on first. She was accompanied by a guy who played keyboards, the French horn, and the musical saw. She played mostly from her new CD, I Feel Like a Fading Light, which somehow manages to be even better than the one I raved about on Amazon. She also threw in some brand new songs and a cover of Tom Waits’ “Chocolate Jesus”. It was all good music.
The Hiders came on next. The Hiders are a band featuring Billy Alletzhauser, a singer and guitarist who used to be in the Ass Ponys. I first heard the Hiders last fall when they opened for the Pernice Brothers down in Kentucky. They weren’t even on the bill that night, and I remember being angry that I had to sit through another band to get to the good stuff. It only took me half a song to realize the Hiders themselves were the good stuff. Their music reminds me of Neil Young fronting the Kingsbury Manx (a comparison that will probably make sense to three people in the entire world). They released a wonderful CD last year called Valentine. They played a lot of songs from that at the zoo, but mixed it up by throwing in some new or unrecorded songs. One of the new songs was particularly good. I didn’t keep a setlist, though, so the title and lyrics are lost to me.
Taken as a whole, Tunes & Blooms was two hours and forty-five minutes of great local music in a fun, unique environment. On top of that, it was all free. If you’d like to learn more about either of these local musicians, both Kim Taylor and the Hiders have websites full of music, concert schedules, etc.
Here’s the free-range peacock I saw while looking for the concert venue: