Steve Taylor (musician)
|Genres||Singer songwriter, indie rock, R&B, hip hop|
|Instruments||Keyboard, Guitar, Guitorgan|
|Associated acts||Steve Taylor Band, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason McGerr, Zion I, Rogue Wave, Rhye|
Steve Taylor is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was the keyboardist for Oakland band Rogue Wave, in addition to performing solo locally and internationally. He was born in the College Greens ghetto of Sacramento, California, where he attended Saint Ignatius Catholic School followed by a period at the Sacramento Waldorf School, attending at the same time as Daniel Gorman of !!!. Dropping out in 10th grade following a period of misdiagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), he later enrolled at Sacramento High School.
He then moved to Seattle and attended the University of Washington. On the side he began playing with various local musicians, including Jason McGerr, future drummer of Death Cab for Cutie. In 2001, he recorded his debut self titled EP with Martin Feveyear. Still searching for his niche, he moved to New York, attending The New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program, where his fellow students included Georgia Ann Muldrow. While in NYC, he joined the Afrobeat band Akoya, playing tenor guitar. While getting settled in New York, tragedy struck when the one story building he was living in in Williamsburg, Brooklyn collapsed while he was sleeping. While Steve was unhurt, it destroyed many of his belongings, including rare musical equipment. Never regaining his footing, he left New York, settling in Nevada City for a time, and eventually San Francisco, CA.
It was here that after listening to gospel music outside of a Baptist church in the Western Addition neighborhood, he was invited inside to join in a jam session. After this chance meeting, he become a sought after guitarist, and sometime pianist, in various African American churches, often being the only white person present.
In 2008 he did a tour playing keyboards with hip hop bands Zion I and The Mighty Underdogs, and in 2009 began playing keyboards and guitorgan with Rogue Wave, contributing to their 2010 album, Permalight. In February 2008, after recording off and on for four years, Taylor released his first full length CD Has The Size of The Road Got The Better of You?, a mixture of Laurel Canyon folk, Brill Building soul, and psych rock arrangements. The album was performed entirely by Steve Taylor on guitar, organ, piano, Crumar Orchestrator, bass and drums, except for a couple of tracks, which featured Marco Benevento and Joe Russo on organ and drums, respectively. The album is currently out of print after selling out of the initial pressing of 1000 copies.
Taylor is an active busker, playing at Fisherman's Wharf and farmer's markets when not on tour with Rogue Wave. His next album, an acoustic guitar based set called "The Land of Milk and Honey" is due in the summer of 2010. He's also concurrently working on an electric gospel and psych rock influenced album.
When in town on Tuesday nights, he leads the Oakland Improv Collective at The Layover, which features a rotating cast of musicians from Rogue Wave, Bright Eyes, Crown City Rockers, and others, playing improvised krautrock grooves.