“If home is somewhere here
But also everywhere
Then I can rest my head and heart
On something in the air”
– Paul “Snowflake” Taylor, “On Something (In the Air)”
Paul and I have been working since February to find a house show date that made sense amidst the ever-expanding list of Memphis activities, and I think it’s fair to say that after all that time and effort, we couldn’t have picked one much worse. Saturday’s show was in competition with everything from Art on Fire to Zoo Boo, including two other things that your faithful host herself was supposed to be attending. But as is always the case, the guests who joined us on Saturday were the cream of the crop.
One bonus of having an extra-tech-friendly musician in the house is that they can set up their own pre-show music, so we had a vibe-y loop playing as the guests arrived, socialized, and settled in. I skipped my customary introductions and house rules and just let Paul transition right into his set, which began with several songs from his 2006 release Open Closed, reworked and reshaped to reflect a decade’s growth and perspective. He then moved somewhat chronologically through the evening, stopping to talk openly and vulnerably about his songs.
Our intimate setting always creates a stronger connection between artist and audience, and Saturday’s show felt especially congenial. Some guests were good friends of Paul’s and some were total strangers, but all were treated as trusted companions along the evening’s journey. The focus wasn’t the rousing, rambling rockers that Paul tends to put into his bar and outdoor shows to play over the crowd, but rather the more introspective, personal pieces that reflect his own perspective. The room sat in appreciative silence through every song, but during works like “The Old Forest Trail” (parts 1 and 2) that had a particularly emotional tie, the sense of shared humanity was palpable. And then just when we were getting real heavy in our feelings, he rounded things out with a little kicker about babies (see below).
Saturday night was a keen reminder that our local well of talent is so deep it’s impossible to see the bottom. Those who have heard Paul “Snowflake” Taylor play in Memphis throughout the last 25 years have probably never been to a show like this one, and that’s exactly why we do what we do.
If you were a guest at this or any other show, be sure to sign the guest book. And of course, if you want to support what we’re doing, you can make a donation from the button over there on the right.