Chip Taylor's Road Journal

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MAR 15-19, 2011 – SXSW – Austin, TX



What a great venue to play. It’s located in the upstairs bar area of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. Small stage.. great sound!! – The place was packed.

Note: this was the second of our official SXSW showcase. The first, The Canadian Ladies Night, featured Kendel. Tonight we’re featuring ROCK AND ROLL JOE.



KEVIN SMITH bass, JOHN PLATANIA electric guitar & vocals, KENDEL CARSON fiddle & vocals, CHIP TAYLOR, acoustic guitar, harmonica & vocals

10:00 PM – THE SHOW

It is becoming clear that the songs & message of ROCK & ROLL JOE is as much of a theater type show as YONKERS NEW YORK was. People seem to love the “tribute to the unsung heroes of rock & roll” idea – and the stories & songs as well. There were cheers at every turn, kind of like when you root for an underdog boxer.

Songs like THE SAVOY FILES, COULDN’T WE USE SOME OF THAT NOW (folks LOVE this one!), MALMO NIGHTS, MONICA (based on the “other” JP lick John gave to Van for “DOMINOE”) all were met with the reverence intended. FOLKS GET “JOE” – BIG TIME!!!

note: because we’re limited to 45 minutes, tonight we didn’t get to THE VAN SONG & SUGAR, SUGAREE, two fan favorites from our last JOE presentation on Thursday .. so lots of things to look forward to playing in future JOE shows.

Kendel is so special on all the JOE stuff.. her lead vocals are awesome & her harmonies are SO spontaneous and passionate. And singing duets with John is about the most fun I’ve ever had on stage.

We ended up with ANGEL OF THE MORNING – paying tribute to Evie Sands & her awesome ORIGINAL version – then an awesome WILD THING with great KENDEL/JOHN solos & a spirited sing-a-long by this great group of folks.

We closed the show as usual these days with a special tribute to our Japanese friends – one of whom, Hiroshi, was here – with the song TOKYO GIRL. I wrote the song for Chihana – a talented dobro player & singer from Tokyo. And she & her mom were on my mind as I sang it. There were lots of tears with this one including mine.

This was a special night .. thanks to all who shared it with us.


Great to see Phil Alexander from MOJO & his friends Will .. from the London Times & photographer Piper. Big thanks for filming the Japanese tribute, Piper!! .. great talking to you Will .. & PHIL .. HUGE THANKS!!! See you soon!!

Hi Sonny!! Thanks again & again. Hi to Jennifer!! – missed her! Hi Lincoln!! So great to see you again .. OK .. let’s book a show at Hill Country.. see you soon!

Hi Ed & Sylvia!! – big thanks for coming .. wish we could have spent some time together – next time! .. special hello to the Finland contingent .. Kevin’s friends. Hope to see you in Finland soon!!

Darden.. great to see you. Good to hear you again!! And thanks for the kind words!! Best with all your music!

MAR 17, 2011 – OUTLAWS & GUNSLINGERS – (Canadian Night)


Great to be a part of this Canadian vibe again – this time featuring the great Canadian female artists. When JP & I arrived Kendel was on stage with Suzie from OH SUSANNA Suzie has such a warm magical sound .. loved hearing a bit of that before we took the stage,


Again, this is a tribute to Canadian women, so we started with our ROCK & ROLL JOE tribute to Kendel, HOT ROD CARSON with KEVIN SMITH (BASS) & SCOTT MATTHEWS (DRUMS) locking the rockabilly groove down tight. I could see lots of smiles & foot stomps on this one. It felt so good.

NOTE: Big thanks to Leah, for the great sound. It’s always great to start a song & have the sound so rich & full on stage. That’s the way it was tonight.

Then it was a soulful OH BABY LIE DOWN .. so sweaty & good ..Kendel sounds so great singing this song. TEN LOST MEN, with Kendel’s awesome fiddle solos, followed – which, again, totally rocked with this band. Next, Kendel chose a new one – CHICAGO MAN – from her upcoming fall release, THE LOST TAPES OF SUSANNA HAMILTON. Again.. this felt great.

These three seemed to go by so fast & the vibe in the room was so electric. Then Kendel did a fiddle song – just her. I have no idea what the tune was, but at the end John & I just smiled at each other & the audience went nuts.

Then came our duets of Angel of The Morning – with so many singing along to the chorus – & Wild Thing. It was so good to put the focus on Kendel tonight – & she delivered big time! Big thanks to Scott & Kevin .. they were special.

It was good to wind down with our Canadian friends, Shauna from SIX SHOOTER RECORDS & Susan from Starfish Management & all their co-staffers & friends. The entire Canadian contingent has such a warm vibe.

Hi Jack & Emily & Paul & Sarah, Deider & the rest. Big hello to John & John & Del Cowsill.. great to finally meet you. This was a hell of a night.

MAR 15, 2011

Kendel, John & I arrived at about 6:00PM. We’re staying at the Airport Hilton so it’s just a short shuttle away. (WE LOVE THIS PLACE!)

We arrive just in time for a workout at the heath club, a great dinner at the hotel restaurant and some needed relaxation as we get ready for a busy week.

MAR 16, 2011

– A brief afternoon rehearsal with old friend and brilliant bassist, Kevin Smith and his cohort from The Derailers, we’re all set for our ROCK & ROLL JOE previews and whatever else.

MAR 17, 2011 – G&S LOUNGE – 11:30 AM

John Conquest’s THIRD COAST presentation

This is a yearly thing we’re so proud to be a part of. It is certainly one of my favorite events of the year as it’s the one event where we play for friends from around the globe!! Friends & fans from Sweden, Norway, Holland, Ireland, England, Texas, New York .. just from all over come by to say hello. It’s become somewhat of a tradition now – a great tradition as far as we’re concerned!

In previous years the event was held at Opal Divine’s – for some reason moved to here. Big thanks to Brad & Brad and friend for getting us great sound!! Best sound we’ve had for these type shows!

PRESENTING “ROCK & ROLL JOE” (for the first time!)

R&R JOE is both an album and a web site DEDICATED TO “THE UNSUNG HEROES OF ROCK AND ROLL”. It features JOHN PLATANIA, KENDEL CARSON & ME – sort of like Willy, John, Waylon & Kris did with their “Highwaymen” presentation – John, Kendel & I share vocals throughout R&R JOE.

The CD won’t be released until May 24th. The web site is officially launching on April 25 ., but it is up now as a work in progress. (check it out – “ROCKANDROLLJOE.COM“)


NOTE: John, Kendel & I just returned from our Japan tour. So this show was – with a heavy heart – DEDICATED TO OUR JAPANESE FRIENDS.

We started as usual with my theme song, THE REAL THING. Then we ripped into ROCK AND ROLL JOE songs, which the audience seemed to absolutely LOVE!

What special memory this will be .. playing these songs for the first time & feeling such unity with the audience with each one. From the opening strains of R&R JOE.. I saw the nodding of heads as we paid tribute to guitarists, drummers, bass players, fiddlers, horn players .. and I got such chills every time we sang the chorus.

Then the rocked out SAVOY FILES – dedicated to the great musicians that played on the 50s SAVOY and KING RECORDS sessions. After a chilling and reverent look at the passion of the 60s with COULDN’T WE USE SOME OF THAT NOW (again, lots of affirmative nodding here), it was off to the races with HOT ROD CARSON, tributing the rockabilly gals from the 50s and our own Kendel Carson. There was lots of foot stomping, had clapping and even some dancing on this one!

When we played SUGAR SUGAREE – a TAYLOR/PLATANIA duet of sorts – I caught a certain knowing smile on several of the ladies in the audience (and the men, for that matter). Folks seemed to love this one. Then came the fun highlight of the night, “The VAN SONG”, which had people laughing and clapping at the same time.

THE UNION SONG brought tons of laughter and smiles as well – and more foot stomping. And after a requested, rocking I LIKE TRUCKS (Kendel killed this!) and a beautiful ANGEL OF THE MORNING, we followed with a spirited WILD THING, ending the show with a special tribute to our Japanese friends… as follows:

With a special nod to our young, lovely singer/ dobro player from Tokyo, CHIHANA, we played a song that I wrote for her – which we sang together on our recent JAPAN tour – “GUITAR GIRL” – with this performance, changing it’s name to TOKYO GIRL.

The reaction to this tribute was overwhelming.

This was a very special afternoon. Thanks to all who spent it with us.

Note: Huge thanks to Kevin Smith & Scott Matthews for being SO prepared! Well done, boys!


HI Mike .. a DJ from France.. so nice talking to you!! .. big thanks for your support.. hi to friend Sally Spring!! .. nice talking with you Sally

BIG HELLO TO MY HALDEN, NORWAY FRIENDS.. MAGNA – owner of one of the best pubs on the planet – “Sister Reis”, GEIR, THRONG (alias “BIG DADDY”), & KAI .. my great engineer friend who recorded MY NEXT solo album (“All The Perfect People”) a few months ago in Halden… WHAT A GREAT SURPRISE!

Of course WONDERFUL to see ANDERS .. my great friend from OREBRO, SWEDEN with his warmth and lovely friend CHRISTINE & cohort Johannes… hope to see you all at the festival in September!

So good to see old friend Marc Monday & friend, EDWIN (CABANNIS) .. let’s do this Dallas thing Edwin… BIG hello TO FRED (Shmalle) from The Real Roots Café in Holland.. Thanks for the kind words and the spins, Fred.. see you soon!… BIG HELLO TO GINEKE .. so great to meet you before and after the show!

BIG HI TO MY OLD FRIEND, SONNY RHODES.. & lovely daughter .. and my old friend – JENNIFER! .. and Sonny’s friend, TOM .. like old-home-week when you’re around, Sonny .. thanks! … Hi to Alfred.. from Holland.. .. and RUDOLPH .. From Leiden. Holland… HI TO JAN from just below TRONDHEIM, Norway .. say hi to my great CREDO friends there! … Hi to David, my Americana Board friend (actually good-guy head of AMA) and Andy from the great label THIRTY TIGERS.

Thanks to all who were here to say hi and welcome in ROCK AND ROLL JOE … Special thoughts & prayers for our Japanese friends. You were all here in spirit.