This English singer / songwriter / instrumentalist has achieved considerable acclaim on the UK folk circuit. After leaving school at the age of 16, he helped to organise local folk clubs, until turning professional five years later. Taylor attracted the interest of United Artists after supporting Fairport Convention on a national tour. Sometimes was released on the Liberty label, and aroused a degree of interest from the folk media. Backing musicians on the album were Fairport Convention members Dave Mattacks, Dave Pegg, and Dave Swarbrick. Following Taylor´s move to New York from 1972-74, The American Album followed a different course, and included a wealth of respected Nashville and Los Angeles session musicians. In July 1975, Allan formed the group Cajun Moon in order to encompass traditional, Appalachian and Cajun musical styles. The trio, which included Brian Golbey (fiddle), and Jon Gillaspie (keyboards), toured with Steeleye Span and Taylor signed a deal with Chrysalis resulting in Cajun Moon in May 1976. Due to overwork, Taylor damaged his vocal cords, and was forced to rest for three months. This more or less spelt the end of the group and, following an operation, Taylor recommenced solo work, signing a publishing deal with Chrysalis and a recording deal with Rubber Records. His first release, The Traveller, appeared in 1978, and featured John Kirkpatrick on melodeon and accordion. Following an appearance at the Nyon Folk Festival in Switzerland, in July 1980, Allan was presented with the Grand Prix Du Disque De Montreux for the best European folk album of that year. Due to a greater influence of working on the continent, Roll On The Day presented a slightly different style of writing. Circle Round Again consisted of re-recordings of popular songs from previously deleted Taylor albums. Around the time of Win Or Lose, Allan received a BA from Leeds University, and was working on his MA at Lancaster University, when he completed his first novel. Taylor then spent two years touring and working on material for Lines, which was released in March 1988. "It´s Good To See You", written by Taylor, was recorded by Don Williams, and other artists such as Frankie Miller, Francoise Hardy and Fairport Convention have recorded Allan Taylor songs.
Allan Taylor is one of the more literate and sensitive of contemporary songwriters in terms of words and music, and one who is capable of exploring more complex subjects than most of his contemporaries. Less prolific than most, he has so far compensated for lack of quantity by sustained quality, and he should probably be regarded as potentially the most important songwriter of his generation. = Frederick Woods, The Oxford Book of Traditional Verse
His ability to crystallize a mood and evoke an era with the ease of a computer memory access, crafting perfect songs with dramatic changes in the spirit of Brecht, Bierman, Bikel, Brel...is his forte. This album is about people crossing songlines. = Folk Roots
Songs of regret and leavetaking, of lovers and travellers...are invariably finely crafted and he delivers them beguilingly and melodiously, and with every indication of singing straight from the heart. The song for Piaf oozed Paris and although I have always thought Taylor a fine guitarist, he displayed a seemingly new mastery of the instrument. "Choose your time", inspired by Chinese chimes was mesmerizing. A first class performance from a master craftsman, the audience was enraptured, with a compendium of Allan´s eight albums. = Harrigan, Glasgow Herald
Allan Taylor is a singing songwriter with a big following on the folk scene. Just how big is difficult to judge, as he eschews the concert halls in favour of smaller venues like this one at the AMC, which was, as ever, packed solid. There´s no mystery about his appeal: beautifully crafted, worldly-wise songs with beguiling, precision-built guitar accompaniments, delivered in a firm, American-tinged voice that sounds as if it is telling you a story. In the past, Taylor has shown himself to be classy but somewhat one-paced. It was good to find more rhythmic contrast being injected. There was an unusually chirpy rocker, Passing the Time Away, and the throbbing, menacing, bluesy guitar of Cry from the Heart established a great springboard for the song. The highlight of the night, too, was in up-tempo style - Boy is a Nation, with the African freedom chant producing an exciting climax to a faultless performance. = The Scotsman, 1994, Alistair Clark
Songwriting - Workshops and Lectures:
Allan Taylor is often called upon to give lectures or talks about song writing, especially at festivals and Arts/Cultural Centers. Not only is it a chance for members of the audience to get to know what is involved in song writing but it is also a chance for enthusiasts to ask questions about how certain songs of his were written. Combined with anecdotes about life "on the road" and stories behind the songs the sessions illuminate a side of performing and song writing that few people have knowledge of.
Because of his unique experience, both as a practicing song writer with more than forty cover versions of his songs and as an academic the lectures/talks can be either in the form of a casual conversation between friends and enthusiasts or as a formal lecture illustrating the philosophy of artistic creativity.
Allan Taylor- Academic Background
1980-83. Leeds University - degree Bachelor of Arts.
1984-85. Lancaster University - degree Master of Arts.
1986 - 93. Queen´s University, Belfast - degree Doctor of Philosophy.
Allan continued to work as a musician whilst taking the various degrees - the theses for the M.A. and the Ph.D. were partly written in hotel rooms throughout the world (mostly Germany, Italy, Denmark and New Zealand) and finished during a long period of seclusion in Yorkshire.
For three years Allan lectured (part time) at Leeds university on subjects which fall broadly under the heading of Philosophy of the Arts. Occasionally he is called upon to give a lecture/talk/workshop at festivals and Arts centers on song writing, the most recent being at the Edinburgh Book Fair (´98), Chester festival, Darlington festival and Saltburn festival.
Researcher, writer and presenter of "The Alex Campbell Story", a one-hour documentary for BBC radio 2 - 1994.
Presenter and performer of "Shared Experience", a series of six programs for BBC Radio 2 - 1996
Co-writer and presenter of "The Joe Boyd Story" a series of four programs for BBC Radio 2, February ´97
"Live in Concert" from Glasgow festival (with Barnaby Taylor on piano), broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland.
"With Derroll Adams", a one-hour program for BBC Radio Scotland - 1994
"Yule do" - Christmas "Travelling Folk" - BBC Radio Scotland - Dec. 1996
"Live at the Lemon Tree" - BBC Radio Scotland - ´96 and ´98
"The Mike Harding Show" - BBC - November ´98
Several concerts recorded and broadcast on West Deutsch Rundfunk (German National Radio), specifically "Allan Taylor - live in concert", 1991 and 1993, "Allan Taylor with band" - 1994, and "Allan Taylor with his son, Barnaby", 1995.
Several appearances on "Unterhaltung Wochenende", West Deutsch Rundfunk.
Several concerts recorded and broadcast for Danish Radio and T.V.
Several concerts recorded and broadcast for Belgian Radio and T.V.
Several concerts recorded and broadcast for Swiss Radio and T.V.
Live concert broadcast for Slovenian T.V. - June 1995.
Appearance on Croation T.V. "Bravo", specifically to promote the mini CD "Libertas Ragusa" ("Freedom for Dubrovnik"), June 1996.
Musical Compositions for Television
The Buckman Treatment
The Miracle Workers
Narrated the film "The Elephant Man" (Icon Films, Channel 4 Television)
Visit the musicians web site
Send the musician an email