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Allan Taylor

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Allan Taylor is one of England's most-respected singer/songwriters. His songs have been covered by artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including Don Williams, Frankie Miller, Fairport Convention, Dick Gaughan, the McCalmans, the Fureys, the Clancy Brothers, and De Dannan.
Folk Roots praised him for 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, Bikel, and Brel." The Oxford Book of Traditional Verse felt as strongly, writing that Taylor was "one of the most 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." Inspired by the folk revival that swept the United Kingdom in the mid-'60s, Taylor left school at the age of 16 to run a local folk club. Stepping out as a professional musician five years later, he was greatly supported by members of Fairport Convention. Their friendship was cemented when he toured as opening act for the group's national tour. His 1971 debut album, Sometimes, featured instrumental accompaniment from Fairport's drummer Dave Mattacks, fiddler Dave Swarbrick, and bassist Dave Pegg. Moving to New York in 1972, Taylor recorded The American Album with Nashville and Los Angeles session players. He remained in the United States through 1974. Returning to England, Taylor formed a group, Cajun Moon, featuring fiddler Brian Golbey and keyboard player Jon Gillaspie, to perform American folk and roots music. Signed by Chrysalis in May 1976 following a tour with Steeleye Span, the future seemed secure for Taylor and the group. Their dreams faded, however, when Taylor damaged his vocal cords and was forced to rest for three months. The hiatus put an end to the band's momentum. By the time he had healed from surgery and was ready to return, the group had folded. Resuming his solo career, Taylor signed a publishing deal with Chrysalis and a recording deal with Rubber Records. His first new album, The Traveller, featured instrumental backing by melodeon and accordion player John Kirkpatrick. The album received the Grand Prix du Disque de Montreux for Best European Folk Album in 1980. Taylor spent much of the '80s and early '90s as a student. Although he continued to record, much of his focus was devoted to his studies. He received a bachelor's degree from Leeds University in 1983, a master's from Lancaster University in 1985, and a doctorate from Queens University in Belfast in 1993. His thesis explored the creative process and the power and aesthetics of song. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi

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