You surely know big brother James, but have ya met Sister Kate? As unpredictable a career as you could imagine, and as sweet a soul as you could meet, Kate Taylor reunited with an amazing who's who crew in 2021 to release her latest record "Why Wait!"
But Kate also was the first to record several well-known favorites, and we're going to dig into a couple on this week's episode. Gilmore Girls, anyone?
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(This episode was transcribed by baby robots, so please forgive any errors.)
Turn up the radio and sing along. It's time for another Great Song. This is the Great Song Podcast. Last season's greetings and welcome once again to the Great Song Podcast. I'm Rob Alley, J.P. motor, and we're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music history. We're going to tell you what makes them.
Why we think they're awesome and why you should too. J.P. how are you doing today, man? I am doing fantastic. Today. We are talking with a seventies artists who has turned back into the into the Zeit guys back around a lady by the name of Kate Taylor as we're here in ladies month, sister Kate. So in classic J.P.
and Rob fash. We prepped different things. So we each picked a different Kate Taylor song that we did our prep work on midway through the week before. We're about to record this. Rob's like, so we're doing this one, right? And I'm like, no, we're doing this one. And I was like, you know what? I'll just, I'll just prep yours and we'll go with it.
But. Ah, I think I'm going to do it this way, where we're going to start talking about robs and then midway we'll shift to mine. Okay. So we're going to do meet the band sections on one. It's going to be a hodgepodge of goodness, but it all is going to wrap up with some good Kate Taylor love and the common theme that we're going to go with.
Katie Taylor did it. She did it first. And you guys are going to know this stuff. But Kate Taylor did it first. That is the theme of ours. So Rob let's play yours first. Okay. Because Kate dailer did this one first, as well as another one. And and let's, let's talk about Kate Taylor. All right, let's start it off with this one.
This is where you lead by Katie.
so let's start there. That's where you lead by Kate Taylor. You may also recognize it as the theme song to one of the all time favorite, like female. Shows, and I don't mean only loved by females or for females. I just mean like one of the female lead shows and that would be the Gilmore girls. My wife's sister's favorite show.
Okay. There it's a lot of people's sister's favorite shows. Right? Let's hear the reworked version that appeared as the theme song to Gilmore girls. And then we'll kind of talk about what happened, but here's the version you may know if you only know this song from the. Loving you the way I do. I know we're gone of naked
to the other drum loop.
you tell me if you need
yeah. It's time for Lorelei and Rory. To chat about things over some coffee and Melissa McCarthy with her early, probably her earliest thing that I knew her from Melissa McCarthy on Gilmore girls, something about this song makes my shoulder shimmy. I don't know if you notice my shoulders get into it. I took my bra off.
It was crazy. It was crazy. Just something about this song, dude. Do you hear that song and immediately think that's the devil. That's the C w it's been so long since I've even thought of that network as being called the WB, but you're absolutely right. Kids, if you only know the CW, just remember that we had the WB, the WPS was the WB.
It was different from UPN, right? UPI was a different, but it used to be the WB and the frog, the Leon Redbone frog. Right. There you go home. I buy my the WB. How about that? Taking it back. So where are you lead first appeared on Kate Taylor's debut album, sister, Kate in 1971. And it went on to be recorded by Carol King.
It was a top 40 hit for Barbara Streisand. Lauren Alaina recorded it for American idol and it was the theme song of course, to Gilmore girls. And that version was reworked by Carol King and Louise Goffin and recorded by them for the show Louise Goffin hosts her own podcast, the Great Song adventure, by the way.
Great name. I know. Right. Although I think it might've changed names and she's also the daughter of fame songwriter, Gerry Goffin, who we've talked about before, when we did pleasant valley Sunday, he co-wrote pleasant valley. With Carol King. So like lots of interesting strings to tie into the middle of the, it's gonna be so many names that tie in with Kate Taylor, your legendary Cal.
She is. And we haven't even touched on the fact that her brother is a, is a guy by the name of James Taylor. You may have heard, or you may have heard of, yeah, he's got some hits that we'll talk about later and made the band section. You may have heard him. You may have heard he, they play him a lot on like indie stations and college radio.
I, you know, I think he's going to be able to scratch out a living doing this music thing. He's playing down at the pizza hut tomorrow. Yeah, exactly. Make sure and give him some changes. That's all he gets. He doesn't get any money at the door. He just believes in the music he's there. So the whole Taylor family, it turns out.
Crazy musical. And we'll, you know, we'll talk about that a little bit, but so the, and that, by the way, is where the album title sister Kate came from. James has sort of just established himself in burst onto the scene. And Kate ends up recording sister Kate in 1971. So it is, it is mint in the family way, not like the church way where you'd like call somebody, sister, Kate, how you doing sister Katie?
That's the churches we grew up in. That's how it was. I don't know if like, if y'all, if you go to church. I don't know if, if that's the kind of church you go to where you call each other brother and sister, but that's what we did somehow about that scene. So maybe it's that mixed with the PA the fact that we talked about the WB, the way you said that I just smelled a combination of hairspray and red door perfume.
I don't know why that just hit me that way. It smells like a choir. So does. I got to say, first of all, by the way, we're in the middle of women's month and we're doing all, you know, all female focused episodes this month, but I'm very distracted by your shirt. Okay. You're wearing a spice girls shirt in honor of lady.
And sporty spice is she's airing right into my soul. I mean, they're all looking at the camera, but sporty is right in my life. She sat, staring into my heart learning. My secret. Rob keeps listening, looking at my chest area all day. It's not that he's like amazed by my pectorals. It's that? It's that the spice girls are glaring.
J.P. usually wears a shirt that has sort of something to do with something we're recording on a recording day. And I was so shocked to see them with a spice girls. Could you go get that just for this session, found it on sale. And it was like, man, I kinda need that for ladies month. It's $5. Well-spent ladies and gentlemen.
That's fantastic. Oh, my buddy's playing a show tonight too. That's like, he's like 90 things. Everybody. I get to break out the bucket hat. So he's like everybody's wearing bucket hats and Nandi stuff. And I was like, dude, I've got the perfect 90 there. Spice up your life, spice up your life. Love the world.
Tell me what you want. Tate Taylor let me, let's, let's listen to the bridge of where you lead because I want to point out a rather funny change to the lyrics.
so that's that, that line, honey, you want to live in New York city, honey? You know, I will the original draft as written by Tony stern was if you want to live in. Effing New York city, honey, you know, I will, that was the original. Here's what we're going to, but they chose to take that out, you know, 1971 radio was not ready for for that kind of lyric yet.
So they softened it a little bit. But the idea, so I'm going to read this from Wikipedia, which I don't do a lot, but, but this is, this is pretty well said. It says where you lead was described by rolling stone magazine critic, John. As an integration, wittingly, witty song. That's a good word.
Ingratiating li ingratiating liquidy song that seems to parody the romantic extremes of some of Carol's earlier work. Landale also praises the power of Russ Kunkel is drumming on the song that would be on, on Carol King's version. Author James Parone states that a superficial reading of the lyrics could suggest that the song reinforces stereotypes, that a woman should not put her desire for.
Ahead of pleasing her husband, the old, like, you know, what do I need a job for? I've got you. I've got my man, but he goes on to say that the singer has actually made an informed and empowered decision to follow her man, because of the life-changing impact the relationship has had on her. But apparently that wasn't good enough for Carol King because she didn't perform the song live for almost 30 years after it came out, she stopped doing it live because she felt the lyric partially promoted stereotypes.
She didn't want to reinforce when she reworked it in 2000 with Louise Goffin, for the Gilmore girls version, she changed the litter. She changed the lyrics and added it back into her live performances. Here, Carol King. You may hear the song off of her mammoth album, tapestry, landmark album, which we'll get to one day.
We've done fi almost five years of this show now, and not done a Carol King episode, which is kind of like insane. Right. But it's because we're trying to get. We pose a tough lady. It's like, it's like trying to talk to, you could almost talk to like George Washington as easily as you can talk to Carol Payne.
We got, we got as close to the doorstep as we could, and we're knocking and we're just going to keep keep visiting every now and then keep dropping off cookies. Jehovah's witness pamphlets and. Oh, elder. Rob's going to be like, well, you just let us inside for seven minutes. We're friends with sister Kate.
That's when you let us down. That's it, man. That's it. That's our way, Kate. Taylor's going to get us in that's that's our way. Yeah. So yeah, so you gotta stick around to the end key, so kind, you're really gonna enjoy your time. So much fun, so fun. She's great. She's great. Very sweet. I want to listen before.
I know you've got, I know you've got other stuff you want to cover, but I do want to point out the. The sort of key change thing that happens in the middle of the verse heading toward the chorus. I just want to point out, cause this is really it's subtle. You don't go, oh, that was a key change, really?
Unless you're like a songwriter, you know what I mean? That's used to hearing these kinds of things, but listen to the way listen to the way the, the, the chords move.
let me go back a little farther. So what we're doing is the, I don't know what key we're in here. But we're starting the, the, the vs based on the one, right? Whatever keyword. And we're doing a neat little transition. We were doing a, an alternate set of chords that sinned your ear naturally to the four chord.
And the four chord becomes the key of the chorus. So what would be the four chord of the verse is actually the key, the one, the root of the chorus. Okay. So take a listen here. I'm going to just sing you bass notes. Once that's the one love that little turn antenna. So 1 6, 2, 5, 1 7 to the four four, and that becomes our new key.
Does that make sense? So really interesting thing, but it's, it's one of those things that like, If you don't know what you're listening to, you may not even notice that something happened. The melody works over in such a way that it's almost, you almost don't even notice. Let's see. I think that's all I have specifically really on that song.
This is a great pivot place because I would like to play. If you'll play a little of, you can close your eyes. This is from sister Kate. This is the one that I initially thought we were talking about. So I want to jump here for a minute because I definitely want to talk about the band on this section and a little bit about the history of this song.
So you're kind of getting a Kate Taylor double feature, not to be confused with don't close your eyes by the late Keith Whitley. This is, this is permission to close. You can close Keith Whitley. Thanks for stopping.
And some fan, the only thing, the only person that sticks around longer than Aaron Neville is the late Keith darlin. That's right. Yeah. Okay. Okay. We're good. This is you can close your eyes by Kate Taylor. I was a terrible Keith Whitley. Never tried. Oh, completely different feel by the way than what we just came up.
All the history. This is after the and the moon is
So many little riffs all throughout this production.
Okay. We can fight it out here a little bit, but I want you to, I want you to play now play the James Taylor. So just for a minute, because I want you to hit, this was the one that chartered a little bit, a little bit higher, but Kate Taylor did it first. There we go. First, Kate did it first. And this is the one that you may be a little more familiar with.
He's got tons of versions. I mean, tons versions. Carly Saman versions with, I mean, if this is,
this is off of a sweet baby James, right? I'm sorry.
If you're not paying attention, you might even, not even relative to the same song, you know what I mean? Cause it's like completely different field.
So this whole. And his voice is slightly deeper than Kate's and in the,
so, okay. We don't have to listen to the whole course or anything, but I want you to get a little sampling of it now there's this is a good time to talk on covers because there's so many different versions of this. Sheryl Crow has a version that's a little more uptempo with heavy drum. Staying got a great love version that he does, that he played at Wenk Fest for James Taylor.
And he's got a great line. Yeah. Yeah. It was for James Taylor. Okay. Sorry to our UK listeners. That's right. Yeah. The set a great line. He says Before he plays the song that James Taylor wrote for James Taylor. He's like, sorry. If I mess it up, it's not that I haven't practiced. I'm just really nervous to play in front of you.
Isn't that wild. It's crazy because that makes me think. Wow, that makes me think. I think we might've talked about this way back in our James Taylor episode from whatever season that was he's in wonder season two. Where we talked about Garth Brooks saying the same thing. Do you remember that in his Garth Brooks storytellers, he's already the biggest artist in the world.
And season two, episode three. There you go. How about that? He's trying to play something in, in front of James Taylor and he's like breaking down crying. Do you remember this? Yeah, he's talking about tears popping on strings on a guitar. It's just wild. That's the kind of, you know, that's the kind of status, right?
That the Taylors have. Musical your musical heroes get goosebumps when they think about, you know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. Well, then that's a good way to segue in, let's meet the band that played on the sister Kate version of that song, and you guys are going to be like, what just happened?
Yeah. It's dumping me. Hey, my mother beat the man.
all right, guys, we're going to meet the band that played on. You can close your eyes by sister Kate, because goodness gracious. Hang on and let's do this, then don't close your ears. Right. I'm going to just name the background vocalist to start, because it's a weird way to start, but why not? Peter Asher? I mean, come on totally.
Right, exactly. Mary Clayton, she was the Stone's backing vocalists for awhile. Yeah. Did she sing the part? Did she sing the part on gimme shelter? The famous? I think she might have. She may have Linda Ronstadt. What? Carol King. There you go. So there's you four little star struggling background, not a bad, a bad run of background vocals.
Well, we don't lose any momentum when we go to base because Leland Sklar is on base. Arguably I mean, he's in the conversation for best session-based players ever and loud based pilot check out his YouTube. He just breaks down like all these tracks that he's played on and, and shows his, you know, whatever.
And it's, and he's the coolest looking good dude. He uses a 62 jazz bass on this sounds so good. Probably the best beard I've ever seen stuff with Jackson brown, Carol King, Phil Collins. Pete on by the dog and something happened on the way to heaven. Can we just here, let's take a minute and hear the horn section of 2 59 on something happened on the way to heaven, because why not into one of my FA and here's a little hot take for you, maybe.
Maybe my favorite field Collins drum hit even over in the air tonight. So to get back to 59, here we go. Oh,
stuck in this whole song again.
Yeah, that right there. And then you're going to have a, and then there's going to be just the coming out called man. Leland just means fricking nasty.
I'll come on. Let's just get it twice. One
double flam, the guitar so thick underneath. Darryl Strummer, long time, Phil Collins guitar player underneath. And I told Rob this the other day, but the countermelody is on guitar, Dominic Miller Stang's guitar player, another stink talent tie in, and of course, Leland on bass. Let me, I want you to hear my favorite thing that Leland does as a bass player, which is weird because he's super.
He's got great tasty feels. Yeah. But listen to, let's go to, don't lose my number, which is another field Collin song. Let's play minute, two, 19 to 2 49 and hear what Leland does. And I'm going to tell you why I like this. Okay. So two 19 to 2 49, about 30 seconds. We don't have to listen to the whole thing, but.
First of all coming in hot
okay. Listen, nothing. He has nothing. I mean, everything is his nothingness. If that makes sense. Yeah.
It's pocket it's space. It's the most selfless bass player. That's right. He kind of, he kind of fades into the background in a, in a beautiful way. Wonderful. And he's like, here's what I can do. I'm going to set up. Here's why I could do this the whole time, but I'm going to give you a taste and then I'm going to let them do their thing.
You know, I can resisting the urge to be like Bob, Bob, Bob do Dubin through. Yeah. It's like the guy with just huge arms that comes in and is like, would you like to arm wrestle? You know what? Nevermind. I can show you what I could do, but I don't have to retired. I don't do that. Yeah, exactly. Oh, I freaking love it.
Love it so much. He in that song, he's playing a Warwick star based too. Anyway, who. Somebody that looks like Gandalf is supposed to play a Warwick face. Right. That's it. So anyway, and we go on guitar guitar, one J Sal there, come on. Goodness gracious. Co-wrote heartache tonight. Best of my love.
New kid in town for the Eagles. I mean, come on. No big deal. Just three little songs you may have heard of. Yeah. So that's guitar, one guitar to James Taylor, right? One solo debut with such great hits is don't talk about. Taking it all in rainy day, man. Just kidding. That radio just completely overplayed.
Everybody's saying, and everybody say, I know every time you're like, ah, more rainy day, man. Here we go. And obviously fire and rain, which we discussed in season two, episode three, Kara Carolina, my mind from his debut album. Also, do you know who plays bass on Carolina? My mind, no. I learned this this week.
Edwin McCain nailed it. Paul freaking McCartney. What plays bass Carolina. My mind take that. Well, I didn't know that till this week, Peter Asher connection in just a moment. Exactly. Yeah. Right. On drums, Russ Kunkel with everybody. So let's just hit some highlights. These are fun. Linda Ronstadt, Harry Jimmy buffet.
Okay. But how about the fact that he wrote Tinder's the night Jackson brown. He rubbed that. So drummer right in Tinder is the night. And my favorite person, he played drums with out of all that list. Harry Scheer, he's Harry shares drummer. Really? If you're going to play bass, you want to play Eric play drums.
You want to play drums with Derek smalls, Eric smalls from spinal town. My gosh, just read by the way. Literally right before we started recording, I just read that that Harry Shearer, Christopher guest, Michael McKeon, and Rob Rauner have all signed on for a spinal tap SQL. They're making a spinal tap to a proper sequel to spinal.
So kablam Cub lamb, a lamb on piano, somebody we've touched base on a little bit Carol freaking cake. So we talked about tapestry. I mean, you could just listen to tapestry and that's all you need from Carol King. Not to mention the other stuff. I mean, you got so far away, it's too late. You made me feel like a natural woman.
I feel the earth move. Monster album. Yeah. One of those like Seminole albums and disgrace. Yeah. Goodness gracious. And then the Memphis horn section, Wayne Jackson played with Neil diamond, Elvis Al green, and Andrew Love played with Albert King, Bonnie Raitt. On, is that all, I mean, come on. Goodness gracious.
Yeah, you know, I got stuff that you could check out from them. That's really good, but that's a man. That's, that's the band that plays with. Kate Taylor, let's talk a little, just a little bit about the sister Kate album from 1971. And then we're going to play you a little bit from Kate Taylor's latest album, which came out late last year, which is called.
Why wait? But sister Kate in 1971, Winton number 88 on the billboard 200, it included two songs that would appear on Carol King's tapestry album where you lead and home again. Which were the track ones of both sides of the album. So like side a, you've got a, you know, side a track one, you've got a song that ends up on tapestry side B track one.
You've got another song that ends up on tapestry to monster songs. It also has to Elton John and Bernie Toppan songs that would be country comfort and ballot of a well-known gun which is one of my favorites off. And then it has three tunes by members of the Taylor family. It has one by Livingston Taylor and two by James.
So like the songwriting alone on the sister, Kate album is insane. And then you add this crazy band on top of it. And you, you kind of got to see the reunification of this fan, so, and yeah, that was a lot of fun. Sister, Kate Taylor and Peter Asher, come do a show together in Nashville. I got to see them at the city winery, which was a, me and Robin seen some shows there.
We saw toad the wet Sprocket there, but it's a good venue cause it's not too big. And she, I got to meet her afterwards, the person that, and I want to say this with a compliment, like. She has an old soul and she had an old soul van. Like, if that makes sense, like she had an old soul in the seventies when she put out sister Kate, but now it's even said she's so, so kind.
And she's like, I don't want to use the word hippie. Cause that sounds bad. I don't want to, or I don't wanna put a bad connotation on that, if that makes sense. But like, She's what you would want from somebody from that era when you meet them now. So like huggy, KA, and huggy, and all love and love. And it's love in the COVID era, which you don't see a lot of, but like, you know, every.
Tighten it close knit and the way her and Peter interact. It's wonderful on stage. You can see them. They're super close. Caring, right? Hey, Ari is a good word and that's it. Thank you. That's what I'm carrying case, man. That's good. And she did it first, so that's right. She was the first person to ever care.
Ever care, care bears. Fantastic. No, no, no. Kate Taylor, let me play you a couple little spots from her latest album. First, she opens up with this really unique version of good day. Sunshine. Check this out.
I think she opened her show with this. Oh yeah.
And she knows she's got that sort of like
Th that like very, you know, and James has the same thing. It's like a soulful you know, it's like this RNB influenced or R and B flavored singer songwriter style. Right. It's got, it's got, you know that one of my favorites is she does a I guess we'll call it a gender bent version of, she caught the Katy classic blues tune.
He called the Katie. And so here's our version of that. I really liked.
Well, he called a Katie and , I believe this is Taj Mahal originally, is it? I think so blood brothers did it. I think Taj Mahal wrote it. If I'm not mistaken.
But the train
fell off, so that's big, fun. And now here it is.
so this is James has done this song I will follow. So this is completing the lyric of where you live. Right. That's great.
Kate, Ruth Taylor. There you go. Just kidding. I don't ever middle name, but. Great latest album for her. Her, her releases have been very sporadic. It was like, don't hold your breath for another Kate Taylor album. You know what I mean? Years and years and years, decades. And then 78 was her next one. Yeah, 79.
And then 2003. Yeah. It's like, come on. And then, and then 2021 or 2009, and it's just like, whatever, I'll put out new music when I want to. Yeah. This isn't my whole life. It's part of my life, but it's not my whole life and I'll do it when I'm ready to do it. Right. It's great. I've got to stop the genius before we jump into the interview.
Okay. So let's play stuff, the genius real quick, play the jingle, and then we'll hang out with Kate.
I think your part, we're going to say this one's going to be fun. This one's going to be name this famous. Okay, last name. So five of them. I'm thinking you're going to go five for five. So I'm cheering for you to go five for five. So Luke and Leia Skywalker, Skywalker, Bart, and Lisa Simpson, Simpson, Wednesday and Pugsley, Adam, Ron.
And. Burgundy. I'm just getting a Weasley Ross and Monica Geller gala. I got a little harder five for five. I'm not much of a friends gods. It took me a second. That was good. Nailed it. Friends. Harry Potter. Adam's family Sampson star wars. I got to tell you, I got to give a shout out to my son, David, who is 16.
And at the time of recording still a junior he's about to be a senior, but he just played fair. And the Adams family musical at his school and just crushed it, like you know, anyway, that's good musical got to like, hear him, like sing saying, you know, when he doesn't just do at home. And so that was a lot of fun.
He'll be, we need to just have him on for an episode. He's got the best musical taste of any 16 year old that, you know, like he's taken my, you know, my input and then moved it into his own thing. The other day I could have, I got to just tear it up. He just said, he said that. I think mammoth WVA is the best I've ever heard them.
It's got love it because that love it so much. That's wonderful. We'll have him on to discuss the mammoth album. That'll be fun. Well, if you need me to send an email to him to get the ball rolling just let me know. I can take the lead on that one. I gotta, I got to throw in one. Let me throw in just a couple notes on Peter Asher, because we talked about him a little bit or maybe a lot of bit, I don't remember in our James Taylor episode.
But one thing that we did not yet know about this, that I, that, that I discovered in research for this and other, other stuff we talked about, he was the head of ANR for apple records in the late sixties. That's the Beatles. As part of Applecore there he signed James Taylor and produced much of his most lauded work.
Right. But the thing that we didn't know initially, when we talked about Peter Asher, is that he is, I kid you not do visual inspiration for Austin. If you just Google search Peter Asher, you'll find a couple of pictures from him in the sixties and it's not just like, oh, he, he looks like Austin Powers. Now he literally is.
Mike Meyer says, is the visual. So like, he looks exactly like Austin Powers in, in these older, you know, and these older photos. But the, we talking about Paul McCartney connection. So he was Peter was dating. Paul's sister. Is that how I'm getting that right? That's right. And that's how that's how he originally got connected with with, with Paul McCartney and with the Beatles.
And then so then James Taylor becomes connected with Peter. Paul ends up playing on the thing. James Taylor signed audition for apple records. We talk about this and they didn't sign him at the time, but then Peter Asher left apple records too. It's it's all a big story. We'll go back and listen to it.
The fire and rape episode, season two, episode three, beat gracious. It's been a long time, right? Where we're still getting our sea legs under us there. And still trying to figure out what we're doing with the salient point to walk away with is next time you look at Austin Powers, think that's based on a real person.
And his name is Peter Asher. Hey Taylor. And he did a lot of things in the music. Yes. And he's still doing a lot of things, right. Okay, let's go now to our interview. We're going to talk to sister, Kate and have a good time with her and we'll be back to tuck you in at the end, but first, no matter what you're doing right now, I don't care if you're planting a tree outside to save the environment.
I don't care if you're working on last minute digital effects for the new avatar movie, it can wait. Okay. Stop. Whatever you're doing. And go right now to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Give us that follow at Great Song pod. And if you want to be just a real friend to the world, go to patrion.com/ Great Song pod and volunteer a cup of coffee a month to help out your boys produce the show and to be able to cover our costs and do more things with it.
We really appreciate everyone who listens, supports shares in any kind of way. Yeah. And particularly our Facebook group shouts out to you guys facebook.com/groups/ Great Song pod, or you can just search for the group, great songs and the great people who love them greatly. We have such a good time in there, and it's really blossomed in its own sort of community that we don't have to like push and run anymore.
We don't have to make stuff happen in there. People get. We're just here. Just like, oh, that's a great idea. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You guys are giving us great ideas for blogs and posts of your own mysteries. You know, like here's a, oh, here's a hot tag, blah, blah, blah. I love it. So thanks to everybody who has engaged with us in any way and on a pinball wizard.
You're welcome. He's a pinball wizard. Yeah. Anyway, we're going to get the cup. We're going to go talk to Kate Taylor and we'll be back on the other side to tuck you in. This is the Great Song pod. All right, ladies and gentlemen, as promised we are here with the one and only Kate Taylor. Kate, thank you so much for joining us today on the Great Song Podcast.
Hi there. How are you guys doing? It's so nice to see you. It's it's really fun to meet you and meet you again. That's right. Oh yeah. We go way back a couple of weeks to city winery show. Yeah, the city winery in. Was that in Nashville? That's correct. Yes. I went to the one in Nashville to that show. I love that show.
I love, I loved being there in Nashville and putting that show together with those amazing players. Well, it's like good. You're you're no stranger to surrounding yourself with good players. We'll just start there, I guess. So, since you mentioned it, we'll start there. I watched a great interview with Leland Sklar the other day on the sister Kate album, but let's talk about the people that played on the original sister, Kate.
I mean, you got Sandra crouch on who's under cat crouches, sister on percussion background vocals, Peter Asher, Mary Clayton, stuffed with stones, Linda Ronstadt, Carol King. I mean that's background vocals, like. Whom gets some such stuff. I mean, on the label, Leland on base Leland, Sklar, we're huge fans, guitar JDS out there, and a Gavi might've heard of named James Taylor.
I don't know if you know, he played a little guitar on there. Russ Kunkel on drums and the Memphis horns with Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love. So how do you put together such a great supporting cast? Kate? What's your, do you put that together or is that assistance. Those are my angels, you know, from another realm, they're there, they're watching out for me, but you know, making that sister Kate record, that was that was Peter Asher.
And you know, the magic of Peter Asher. He's an amazing musician and producer and good friend of yours too. I saw you guys y'all still do a lot of stuff together. Singing songs together. You look like the best friends up there on stage. It's wonderful. Yeah, my God. He is the dearest man. I'll tell you.
He's hilarious. And he's brilliant and he's not bad looking either. Hey, there you go. You can, you know, it's a great gumbo. We have a good time, but you know, I really feel like Peterik. My family because, you know, not only did he, well, he worked with me. I was, he was my producer and manager for that first, that first record, he kind of discovered me, I guess you'd say.
But he worked with James for 20, 25 years. And so, you know, concerts, I'd see Peter, you know, we were really, you know, part of the fabric of. The life, you know, so I always watched from afar thinking someday, you, or maybe I'll get to work with theater again. And, and but, but admiring, we, you know, his beautiful work that he's done for all these incredible artists, you know, through the years.
So, you know, he, he has won three Grammys as producer of the year, but he's also. Had albums that, that, that he produced become there. 23, we have 1 23 Grammys. The guy is, you know, I mean, he's brilliant. And so I, I, and I had been doing a few shows with him. I had the good fortune of. Kind of meeting up with him and it was just a bit of a story, but I'm seeing him again after it was quite a stretch.
I invited him to a show I was doing at the Feinstein's. Okay. Really nice club in a hotel in Manhattan. So I invited Peter to the show. He hadn't seen me sing in like decades and I invited him to the show in dang, if he didn't come, but you know what? I had the, I had the. Intense laryngitis that I had ever during the center.
I'm thinking I'm not, I'm not going to not do the show. I mean, Peter is coming. I'm not, not doing it. But when I got on sound, it was like, you know, and the waiters are kind of walking around and looking at me kind of, you know, so, so, but then the doctor stage light. You know, you get out there when the show is on and the adrenaline hit yet.
And we kicked into gear. I had to say, well, you're going to have to imagine some of the beautiful tones that I'm not going to be able to make. It goes up, but but anyway we had a good time and and then Peter, I came to his memoir show and then we did a couple of shows together and I got together with his, the, the same player C users.
And I use them when I'm out on the west coast and they are wonderful. And so, you know, Peter and I were doing some sh you know, few appearances together, Heather and here and there, and then Peter's manager. Kind of Keith Putney, you said dumb, you know, turns out this is the 50th anniversary coming up of your working together with sister gate, like, you know and and so Peter said, yes, let's do, let's make a, you know, make another record.
So we set two and it's been, you know, it's been such a treat. That's great. Well, I, you know, one of the things that strikes me about you from your music and now seeing you in person is you just sort of have this like joy that just sort of radiates and it really comes through. You can. I mean, you know, they always say sometimes you can hear it when people sing when they're smiling, you know, you can really hear a smile.
And I find that to be true, you know, through the new. That just sort of I mean, you're just, you're just having a great time. Obviously you could have put any songs on this new record that you wanted. What was it about this collection that felt right? Well, that's a good question because you know, Peter and I sat down, once we decided we were going to move forward with this, we sat down to start thinking about the songs and the first one that he brought to the table was that good.
The sunshine, that version that he'd heard by kind of rod Oh, jeepers Crow. We're going to have to get back to you on that. It's a, it's a great RNB version. And Peter had sort of had an in his back pocket for a lot of, you said this, the other brilliant thing about Peter is that he hears. Songs and, but he knows someday are going to fit with just the right singer.
And then he waits for that singer to swing by and he drags it on. And so that happened with a good day, said version a good day. Sunshine was that R V. Version, and it's so much fun to sing, and those are theaters that, that background vocal that's Peter's daughter. Oh, really cool. I love those. Those vocals kind of caught me off guard.
They were, it was a, it was, it's sort of a very modern styling for those, for those vocals. And I don't know, it just, it just surprised me. I loved it. And they're kind of, they're present in several places throughout the record. I thought I really loved that. I love that touch. And that's Victoria Asher that's Peter's daughter, and he knows how to, you know, get, you know, he has a vision about from what she can deliver, you know, with her voice, because she has this beautiful, incredible intonation steady, you know, you know, you'd think it was like a, like, not a, well, I don't wanna say it sounds electronic cause it doesn't, but it's steady.
She's got this. No virbrato and it's a great modern tone. Yeah, it does have that great feel to it. And she's awesome. I mean, she's an amazing person and a wonderful musician and she does film another thing. But so, so anyway, so he brought that to the table, so that's great. And then I, what did I, I guess I brought a couple of those you know, over time we each ended up there 14 songs on the record and we each.
I think suggesting seven each that's a good balance. It works really worked out nicely and you know, I'd bring something and he'd say, yeah, that's that's, that would really be great. And then he'd bring something in, I'd say that. And then there were a few places where we, you know we steered each other away from particular tuner or other, but got to have that in your corner.
Somebody that says, nah, let's not do that one. Like that's a good friend. That's good. A good helper, right? Yeah. And so, you know, but it was so it's so much fun working with him and he's really, you know, he's been doing this masterfully for what, you know, 60 years. And so and then also to play again with Russel and Leila and Danny, and to get a chance to play with, to the same with Waddy and Alberta, Albert Lee, a guitar, I mean, come on and ed and Jeff Allen Ross on keys.
I mean, those are, those are bangers right there. That's big bangers. They are, you are talking about. The real McCoy. I mean, it doesn't get any deeper than that. I'll tell you. So I, I really, I wouldn't Scarlett Rivera plays on a fiddle on. The staple singers tune. We do. Yeah. It's kind of, it's a great touch to have the fiddle on there.
It's like, you know, I've a left field. That was Peter's idea. You know, he's brilliant. He's just brilliant. Let's pick it. Speaking of fiddles and tidy things and the Nashville show. You actually did an amazing cover of country comfort, the Elton John song. So that's, and I'll I'll kind of tie in there's parts of these, where we just kinda gush over things that we love about the artists.
So I loved your version of country comfort. I thought it was fantastic. That was, that was very good. Going back through your discography for a little bit. I'll listen through beautiful road. The other day from 2003, it's got heat waiting, which is written by you. I saw you playing it on the Barry Noland show, and it's got that backbeat and the guitar that cooks and you even do a little Yodel with my
is off the cuff. Didn't even have. Don't get me. I mean, you will regret it, that beautiful roads got a great video on your official YouTube page two with awesome photos of you and James and Peter. And everybody said, I love that video on there. You did a pretty big hiatus in 79 through 2003. What kind of prompt tell a little bit of the listeners to kind of about what prompted the.
I had my greatest hits, namely my two daughters
and, and you know, there was just lots to do at home. I, I, you know, so I had the great and wonderful, beautiful life with these, you know, this family and doing, doing what, you know, making it work and all the way. There was music, you know, on the back burner a lot of the time, but there was, you know, the occasional gig.
I had this amazing the I, you, when you said the thing about the players that I've had a chance to play with, I mean, every band that I've ever had has. It's just the ultimate. I can't tell you. I, these players have all been so good. And I put, we had together a little band in those days when I was home with the kids and it had Arlen Roth on guitar, amazing guitar player, Tony Garnier on bass, my friend, Tommy Hambridge on the drums.
And. You know what I mean? You know, occasionally we'd have some, some guests things from it and this beautiful fiddle player and Mindy Johnston before she died, she played with us. But we had this little combo and we'd do shows when we could, and they lived off island. Most of them, I live on an island and so that they would come and visit and we'd do shows here and we'd do shows.
But Tony, the bass player, he is the music director and bass player from Bob Dylan. So he always on the road with Bob Dylan. So for me to get a chance to play with him was like rare indeed. Well, one day we heard about how Dylan had canceled gate dates because. He had some serious infection around his heart.
So of course it's a terrible news for Bob Dylan, Bob, but great for Kay. Right. So anyway, we, we, we, you know, we got to make a record. So we, we pulled in the gear and pulled up the band, you know, who came to play on that, on those first tracks, Chuck Leavelle oh man, the keyboard player. He. He's, she's unbelievable.
And, and I, he was a good friend of my brother Alex's and my late husband, Charlie, who was co-producing this record that we ended up sort of starting to make with Tony in the band. And Tony ended up co-producing it. Anyway. So Charlie had written a song about Alex because Alex had passed on a few years earlier.
So Charlie wrote the song called blue tin suitcase. And Chuck was really had been a really good friend of Alex's. And so we entirely. Chuck up to Martha's vineyard, to where I live to, where we live to to record you know, blue tins, a suitcase with us. And and he did it. He was played on a lot of the other tracks do, oh my God, that was, that was incredible.
And then, you know thankfully Dylan got better. And so that meant Tony's back out of the Roseville. It took us from 95 until 2000 and. I would think it might've come out in 2002 or three, we finished the recording and stuff of it in 2002, I guess, anyways. So you know these things take time, you know, And but, but since that release of that road, that's, that was beautiful road.
And since the release of that record, you know, we've gone on to do, do shows, you know, and kind of crank the gear back into place. And, and and, and there's been so much fun. It's been a beautiful, beautiful ride, you know, and to have this. You know this moment to work with Peter and the boys is just, you know, I don't know.
I, you know it, I don't know if I deserve it, but Well, it just sounds like you, you consider them family, you know, all these, all these players and all these guys and girls that you've been around for so long. It just sounds like you, you, it just feels like you're having a conversation about family. That's really sweet.
What's what's different about making a record. For you, what's, what's different about making a record now versus making a record, you know, as long as 50 years ago, what do you have to do different even vocally or just preparation wise? How how's the process different if it is? Yeah, that's a really good question.
Well, when I first started, when I made sister Kate, I was so green. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just like a girl with her finger in the socket. That's all I was, was pure buzz. I was, you know, and so, so when I was in the studio, you know, it was a range of emotions from, you know, terror to total excitement, you know it was the ran the gamut and.
I kind of learned to calm down a little bit and and show, you know, so over time that's made a difference. It's interesting to see how you can, the techniques of recording, just the tech, you know, all those, the technology, you know, I mean, basically you don't even have to sing anymore. You just sort of sit there and think it, and I give.
And then what else? I, you know, I just feel more at ease. I feel so much more at ease, you know, through the years, I, you know, I learned something about that and, and well you look comfortable on stage. Like, it looks like that's your right at home up there. Like it's not, and I know a lot of people that maybe haven't been out on stage in a long time could look a little rusty, but you you never missed a beat, like you're right back at home.
So it was. Like brother Livingston says we're circus folk. Yeah. You put on the show, you do it. But you know, what it really is fun is just, you know, con you know, to have an audience and to be, you know, to be able to, to have that experience together. Yeah. You know, it's really nice. I love it. And I'm, can't, I'm sort of spinning my wheels now because I got so.
Addicted to the little show, the little number of shows that we did this summer, and then to have things be a kind of, you know, slowed down. It, it it's I'm sure there's some improvement I can, I can do in the meantime. Well, it was, it was wonderful getting to see it. You've been so kind with your time. I hope you've had a good time.
There is one question that we ask everybody and then we'll let you enjoy your day. So you're on tour. You go into a gas station. What is your gas station? Snack, food of choice. And while you're thinking of that, I'll tell you mine. I would get a three Musketeers candy bar. When I was growing up, my mom would say, you could have any candy bar you want.
The most ounces, they're all the same price. So I would get a three Musketeers bar. What is Kate Taylor's desk station food of choice. That is a great question. And I've tried to talk myself out of this because you know, these it's, I know that these, I can feed myself better, but I really, if I'm driving, sure.
I gotta have a Coca-Cola. Yes. Hi task Coca-Cola and you know what? I love those cheese crackers with the peanut butter in there. Yeah. Oh, there we go. That's a good one. That's a, that's a staple. You can't go wrong with that old faithful. That's a good lunch. Well, thanks so much, Kate. Thank you. We're getting me in your, in your lineup.
I'm honored to be with you. Hope you had a good time. You bet the pleasure to meet you. Thanks. Thanks again and congratulations on the release of why wait and for 50 years of bringing some joy to the music world, we appreciate it. Thank you so much, guys. Thanks. We'll talk to you soon. Thank you, Ms.
Kate, this is the Great Song Podcast. And that was Kate Taylor, who was so kind to spend a few minutes with us and hang out. She just welcomed us right into her living room. You couldn't see the zoom call, but we were just right there in her. Literally her living room looks comfy, a F just, I mean, the, the, the what do you call it?
The, the whole, oh my gosh. What do you call the thing that like, it's like a blanket, but it's got a lot of holes in it. Afghan, like an Afghan Afghan of the century for real. It was. So my chair that I'm sitting in, that I sit in every time somehow got a little softer, it just felt a little more comfortable.
Yeah, you're right. And the man, the Afgan that's great. Every now and then we talked to somebody, you know, we'll S we'll do like a full day's worth of. Interviews, basically pull back the curtain here a little bit. We'll schedule four or five interviews for a day and do them all back to back. And every now and then somebody just surprises us.
Like we just, you know, we, we don't really know what to expect going into each interview, but every now and then we walk away at the end of the day going, wow. How about so-and-so coming out of nowhere to be the interview of the day that was Kate, right? We were like, dude had no idea that that was going to go that well and be so much she's on a list with mega powerhouses that we have lined up for the day.
And. Man, we can hang out with her a lot longer. Yeah, she was great. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Thanks so much for ladies month. Hope y'all are enjoying ladies month. Don't worry. There's still one more week this week, one more. And it's going to kick your teeth out. I'm so excited for this next week. We'll be back to close out ladies month with a huge song from an awesome, awesome, awesome female artists.
And we can't wait to get it to you. So we're going to go now, get that ready. And we'll see you next week until then. I'm Rob. J.P. go listen to some music.