Chip Taylor's Road Journal

Read Chip's words about life on the road, recording in the studio and much more...
Older Road Journal Entries are in the Archive


LOVE THIS PLACE! This is a town that totally rallied around the Chip Taylor / Carrie Rodriguez thing a few years ago. We were fan favorites on the big Mass station WRSI (The River) for two years in a row. It’s great to be back.


Big thanks to pro sound man Jim for a quick / great sound check.. & hi & thanks to the lovely girls who took our dinner orders & served us the good food, ERIN & BLUE.. GREAT TO MEET YOU BOTH! .. Hi Neil.. great to see you. Tell Eric we missed seeing him.. we’ll catch him next time!


Great to have the A-TEAM with me. Tony Mercadante on bass.. Tony Leone on drums .. & the legendary & AWESOME, John Platania, on guitar.

This was some show! After THE REAL THING & a tribute to the still persecuted FORMER AMERICAN SOLDIERS, the Hmong – we drifted in story & song – as usual these days – back to Yonkers with my brothers Jon & Barry & mom & dad (Barbara & Elmer) .. all based on my current album, YONKERS NY

And I loved all of that.. but somewhere in the middle this show took a turn & became one of my favorite shows ever. Not sure exactly how that happened. But at some point the folks in the audience started calling out for songs… like RED, RED ROSE.. which I hadn’t done in a long time… & after that came the request for the song I wrote for Kendel Carson.. I LIKE TRUCKS.. which I had NEVER sung by myself. And many in the audience started singing long with these.. I particularly LOVED seeing our waitress, Erin, & the girls in the back smiling & singing along with TRUCKS.. great stuff!! .. & all of a sudden this became a total loose – “in your living room” – show.

For the first time EVER I sang the song that WILLIE NELSON recorded of mine (one of the first songs of mine recorded by another artist)… & that was chill-time..

& the audience seemed to LOVE it.. then .., the first song I ever wrote FADED BLUE .. including mentions of brother Jon’s usual hysterical commentary about it… then.. the song that was most responsible for GETTING ME IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS… “SPRINGTIME”… which Chet Atkins heard & loved & produced with THE BROWN FAMILY (one of my favorite all time vocal groups!!.. never had done this song before!!

Then another BRAND NEW love song.. inspired by events at a concert in Greenfield (just up the road) about 6 years ago.. called “CUT OFF MY HANDS”.. which everyone seemed TOTALLY into.. with most singing along.. loved singing this for the first time..

and recalling that magic

and then there was WILD THING.. that totally rock… & then a requested HOLY SHIT.. with everyone singing like we were in church… then it was over.. Thanks so much for all who helped lift this show in those directions.. that was some very special journey!


So good to see old friends .. SANDY.. will definitely sing HERE I AM for you next time!!! That’s an absolute promise. BIG JOHN.. wonderful to see you again & again!! Stay feeling good!! Hi Gerry.. thanks for all the kind words & the R&R memories.

Hi to Maggie (her dad knew my dad from Sunningdale Country Club.. where he was the golf pro) & John.. great seeing my Yonkers friends!! Hope to see you soon.

Hi Chris.. yeah Bobby Fuller’s Julie is my song.. haven’t heard that in a while!! .. Hi Joe .. good seeing you boys!! … Hi Dan.. send regards to Al .. tell him I wish him good things & hope to see him next time.. Hi Wayne.. good to see you downstairs & later.. looking forward to the article about the new NY golf course.. good stuff!! .. Hi Dana .. good talking to you

So good to see Sue & Al at the bar (Fitz??? ) later.. thanks for the kind words see you in the fall.



Carrie Rodriguez & I are planning to record a few more songs in a few weeks. The plan is to release them with a “best of” in the fall & play a few venues. THE IRON HORSE is the first one that popped into our heads.. so… see you here in the fall!! CAN’T WAIT!!!!



We sound checked at the venue with excellent sound-person, Julianne. After some order-in Thai food .. we were on stage at 8:05.

Big thanks for the warm intro by my old friend, TOM JACKSON.. legendary roots DJ at a LOYOLA U radio station for many years. We dedicated this show to the memory of his late wife & my friend, Belle – an awesome lady. .. so good to meet Belle’s sister Linda.. and other relatives & friends of Tom & Belle’s.


I LOVE THIS PLACE & I LOVED THIS SHOW!! .. From the very start I knew it was going to be another special OLD TOWN night. And Belle’s spirit was so with me the entire journey. It was like a bunch of friends sitting around a fireside & sharing intimate memories & thoughts.

We laughed, we got serious.. we went all over the place.. without a guide .. & that made it so rewarding for me & I think for all of us. And what an awesome audience!!! We were total partners in a journey tonight.

It was YONKERS stuff & KENDEL’S STUFF & LAST CHANCE STUFF (by request) & some hits & LOTS AND LOTS OF STORIES.. & anywhere we leaned we went.. whatever I was thinking I said.. it was that comfortable!

After all was said & done, we ended with a wonderfully inspired sing-along of HOLY SHIT. The perfect ending for an amazing night.

Big THANKS to all who attended


Said hi to several after the show .. including:

Estelle from YONKERS.. & friend, M??? .. sorry .. can’t read my writing.. but, yes .. I did go to that music store in Yonkers. Hi to Michael .. Jim & Kathy.. Hi Rob .. saw last at The Hideout.. great to see you again.. Hi Dennis –

BIG hi to Mary & Gary .. please send my best regards to John (14) & daughter JAMIE (11) – tell them I hope to see them next time through (I’ll invite them back stage if I know they’re there)

HI RUSS & CATHY HAPPY 16 & ½ ANNIVERSARY.. so glad you celebrated here!! Hi Sheryll & Lawrence .. hope to hear from you Lawrence re: AMOEBA.. would love to do an in-store there.. also look forward to hearing about the other “house” thing .. let me know

Special hi to Tom’s sis, Maureen.. & bro in law Don.. & cousins Kevin?? & Joan?? & all Tom’s other friends.. & BIG HI TO .. Dave Jacques friends, Holly, Jamie & Mack.. Jamie .. look forward to seeing that JP picture you mentioned.

SEE YOU SOON TOM .. & LINDA.. I’ll always look forward to that.. Hi Belle .. much love!!

Jan 14 – 15, 2010 – AMERICANA BOARD cocktail gathering & meeting

The board members are great folks. The meetings were VERY productive. I think we set a good agenda & I’m confident we can forward our cause big-time this year. We voted David Macias from THIRTY TIGERS (a record company/ record distributor & more) as our new AMA Board president. He’s a GREAT guy .. with good ideas. He’ll be a great leader.


.. with legendary hosts Bill Cody & Charlie Mattos

Radio doesn’t get better than this. The hosts are fun & extremely knowledgeable – about the music they play .. current events etc John, Kendel & I performed several LIVE songs.. I don’t think Charcoal Sky ever sounded more passionate.. check it out.

We were filmed .. so.. if you want to see GREAT radio .. go to WSM & check the archives. I think the MUSIC CITY ROOTS SHOW is there as well


Kendel & I walked a few blocks from our hotel to the Sirius Offices. It’s a promo for Yonkers, but Kendel has been invited to hang out.. we’re both glad she did. The show was taped for airing on Elizabeth’s “Apron Strings” show – which airs on Sirius’s OUTLAW COUNTRY channel in a couple of days.

I loved doing this! Elizabeth is a terrific artist in her own rite …. she had a big country/Americana hit with “Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman” She’s the real deal as a singer (country through & through).. & the real deal as a DJ/ host.. honest & warm .. knowledgeable & fun.. REAL FUN!!!! .. You’ve got to hear her!! She will DEFINITELY WAKE YOU UP & MAKE YOU SMILE!!

We talked about the YONKERS experience .. growing up there.. family etc.. each little discussion led to one of the tracks.. NO DICE, YONKERS GIRLS (which Sirius has been playing).. then Elizabeth’s choice “WITHOUT HORSES”.. Big thanks Elizabeth!! – it was so great

PS .. Elizabeth gave Kendel rough mixes of her soon to be released album .. just listened. IT IS AWESOME!!!! My new friend is truly a one-of-a-kind!


The venue is on the outskirts of town – about 30 minutes from the hotel. We need to be there at about 4:30 for sound check.

Kendel arrives at the hotel about 1:00. We rehearse a bit & head for the venue at about 4:00 PM. We’re so fortunate tonight to be joined by two great friend & brilliant musicians.. Dave Jacques (bassist from John Prine’s band) – & Marco Giovino (Drummer for Alison Krauss & Robert Plant).

When John, Kendel & I arrive at the LOVELESS CAFÉ at about 4:30, we’re greeted by the nicest folks – including one of the producers, Todd, & sound crew & staff – GABE, NICO. David Jacques & Marco join us shortly

The barn is so cool & the folks running the event, Todd, John, Laurie, Nico, Craig & all – are as pro as you can get – & nice people! The sound check goes smooth as silk.. big thanks to Dan & the monitor engineer & stage guy.. all terrific & efficient.


Five acts comprise the nights show (Will Hoge, Jason Ringenberg, Viktor Krauss & Angel Snow, The Dirt Daubers & us) – WHAT A TALENTED BUNCH OF ARTISTS – kind of like the old Louisiana Hayride.. each artist does 4 or 5 songs. THE PLACE IS PACKED (500 plus) .. THE AUDIENCE IS AWESOME!!

David, Marco, John & Kendel were amazing!! We played THE REAL THING, SEVEN SHADOWS ON YOUR GOLDEN ROSES, HEY JONNY (DID YOU FEEL THAT MOVIE), CHARCOAL SKY, ANGEL OF THE MORNING & WILD THING .. & left to an awesome standing ovation!

Oh man, did WE LOVE this!!! Todd & John (the promoters) gave us an open invitation to return ASAP – & we’re talking about getting Kendel back in the VERY near future to do her own show.

Great to see old friend & brilliant bassist, Viktor Krauss .. who accompanied the wonderful artist, Angel Snow. Also great to see legendary bassist Bobby Moore – one of THE most revered bassist of all times (played on many of my country “hits”) – who was in attendance with a bunch of nice friends.. including Chips Moman’s friend “Judge”.. Big hi to you guys .. & lovely Whitney ( a big STONEY EDWARDS “BLACKBIRD” FAN.. which I wrote & produced back in the day).. you made my night Whitney.. much love!! .. see you soon.

Big hello to all the fans who had such kind words after the show.. look forward to seeing you all soon!

Jan 12, 2010 – NASHVILLE

The purpose of my visit is twofold. First, having just been elected to the AMERICANA BOARD – a proud thing for me – I am coming to attend the first Board meeting. Secondly, I have been invited to do a “special guest” slot at what I’ve heard is one of the coolest weekly events on the planet.

The event is called “Music City Roots” & it takes place every Wednesday in a large barn, part of a world famous road stop called The Loveless Café (known for their amazing home-cooking – biscuits, barbecue, jams etc.). The multitalented, Jim Lauderdale, co-hosts the event with Eddie Stubbs (THE legendary voice of THE GRAND OLD OPRY). It is aired LIVE on WSM, the most famous country radio station in the word. THIS A BIG DEAL!! Big thanks to friend Jim Lauderdale for telling us about this & helping hook it up.

AMERICANA (The AMA) is the home of such great artist such as John Prine, Steve Earle, Justin Earle, Lucinda Williams, Roseanne Cash, Lyle Lovett, Eliza Gilkyson, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wiley Hubbard, David Rawlings, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Tift Merrit, Kendel Carson, Carrie Rodriguez, Elizabeth Cook, Sun Volt, Wilco and a host of others who don’t compromise their artistry and are constantly striving to raise the bar on artistic achievement. I’m extremely proud to hang my hat there as well.

John Platania & I arrive in Nashville on Jan 12 at about 5:00 PM.. John from Albany.. me from LA. Kendel Carson will arrive tomorrow.

We are staying at the Sheraton Hotel, which will host the AMA Board meeting on Friday (Jan 15). We arrive at about 6:00.. in time to freshen up .. & have a good meal. It’s very cold .. so it’s a plus to be staying at a hotel with a VG restaurant. Great to be with my buddy John, and catch up with stuff. So.. a very good night!