Earlier this week, Paul Taylor took his band The Merry Mobile down to Hernando and recorded 14 songs in 16 hours over two days at the late Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch studio. Kevin Houston engineered and Luther Dickinson is coproducing the project.
Taylor, known mainly for his work as a sideman on drums and bass, is a multi-instrumentalist and is held in the highest esteem by musicians local and national. The Merry Mobile is his first project in the leadership role.
“Over the past year and a half I’ve realized that I’m getting old quick. So I made a firm decision to form a band as an outlet for my songs. And I play guitar, which is mostly what I do at home. I’ve spent my whole life as a sideman. So it’s been a huge lesson in the amount of work that goes into it.”
Taylor’s goal has been to take advantage of his hard-working band’s gigging experience. The band has played 155 shows over the past year. A spooky fact: the band’s first gig was on July 29, 2012, and the first session was exactly one year later, on July 29, 2013. [Cue dissonant strings.]
Taylor’s goal was to make a live-sounding record hampered by few decisions.
“We did it live on the floor. Ninety-five percent of what you hear is complete band takes. We plan to mix it quickly. So, that’s even less deliberation. It keeps it way fresh. I didn’t want to open up the can of worms and get bogged down in decision-making. These are healthy limitations.”
Taylor plans to self-release the album to 180-gram vinyl and digital download and to have the product in-hand by the end of the year.
“This is totally unlike the solo records. People can tell when one person has played all the parts. This sounds fresher than anything I have ever done.”
Twelve things to look forward to this month:The film starts at 7 p.m.
2. The Hi-Tone Relaunches (Saturday, August 3rd): After a soft opening earlier in the summer, the main stage at the new Hi-Tone is christened in a double-bill of two newish, rootsy local bands, Dead Soldiers and Bottom of the Bottle. J.D. Reager has more here.
3. Pink Flamingos at the Brooks (Thursday, August 8th): John Waters' 1972 midnight-movie outrage goes respectable with a local museum screening. If you want to watch a 300-pound transvestite eat dog shit at a fine-art museum, this is your chance. You can make your own pink flamingo lawn ornament at 6 p.m. and stay for the film at 7 p.m. for this “Art & a Movie” event.
4. The Oblivians at the Hi-Tone (Friday, August 9th): The living-legend Memphis garage-punk trio play their first local show since the late summer release of their 16-years-in-coming reunion album Desperation. Chris Davis profiled the band in this recent Flyer cover story. I reviewed the album here.