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

Oct 19, 2014 – Mountain Stage

Just back from an awesome Mountain Stage show (the most important and best live musical radio show in the US) in Charleston WVA .. it will air on NPR stations in mid November.. every time i go there to do a show, it feels somewhat like I’m visiting family .. the house band and the folks that organize the shows are good friends and have been for a while.

The band .. Michael Lipton, Ryan Kennedy, Bob Thomson, Steve Hill, Ammed Solomon & Ron Sowell are special, great musicians and great guys. Ron, sorry you couldn’t be there – all the best with your wife’s operation .. hope to see you soon

Host Larry Gross is so one-of-a-kind as a performer/ spokesman .. and I LOVE his family .. wife Sandra .. and great awesome & TALENTED (piano viola, dance!) daughters .. Virginia (12) and Bonnie (8) .. so personal  and “there” .. LOVED talking to both of them! Can you imagine, after our show I’m talking to Bonnie – no-one else in the “green” room – and having a great conversation.  Virginia walks in the room, walks straight up to me , points a finger at me and says, crystal clear, “YOU were great!” .. and walked to a chair & sat down .. I said .. “Wait .. I was?!”  She turned and looked me in the eye and said , “Yes, you were!” .. Bonnie nodded and smiled. WOW!

HUGE THANKS TO MY FRIEND AND PRODUCER OF MT. STAGE, ANDY HARRIS and his staff .. Jeff ..  &  Vas .. great to see you guys. And Woogie (good luck with that insane video!) and all the behind the scenes folks .. just a special group.


What a lineup .. newcomers Sons Of Bill did great .. Sam & James and the other brothers .. good guys .. real good music .. a little like early Jay Farrar .. love that! … Then THE SECRET SISTERS .. wow!.. saw them once before in Nashville .. loved em then and now!  Then renowned producer Ethan Johns – now doing his own, so interesting, thing – just him and his guitar – so magical.  Then the Great Todd Snider .. so nuts special .. off the wall loose .. absolutely loved his set which ended in an awesome story/song tribute to Jerry Jeff Walker.

Each artist did four or five songs .. after a great intro by Larry, the awesome Goran Grini (keyboards) and revered John Platania (guitar) joined me .. we connected with this great audience right away with songs from the new album, The Little Prayers Trilogy… first we played Tryin To Let The Angels Know (first time we ever played it for an audience)  next came Track 224 (with the house band) .. then Czechoslovakian Heaven .. we finished our set with a great, band augmented, version of Johnny Cash’s great Big River and a duet of Angel Of The Morning with Mt. Stage legend Julie Adams … YOU WERE GREAT JULIE!

Said hi to some folks just before leaving for the hotel, including:

Hi Chuck & Lars & Miceh.. & John & Leslie .. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Dianne.. hope to see you next time .. and Jeremy & Holly .. and all the kind folks that bought the CDs .. sorry it took us so long to get to meet and greet area.

Hi JW .. great to see you again .. good hanging with you and Ethan .. hope our paths cross soon.

October 8 – 11, 2014 – Western Canada Tour

n preparation for the tour, our booker / host and great friend, Neil MacGonigill, lined up several exclusive newspaper interviews and a great interview with revered radio station CKUA’s legendary DJ, Allison Brock. The result was astounding!! Folks knew that John & I were coming!! And knew all John’s great work over the years with Van & others, and knew about our “heralded” new album, The Little Prayers Trilogy, that would not be  officially released until the following week. The 30 or so CDs we did manage to bring sold out immediately. Huge thanks to Neil and all involved for these amazing promotional efforts.

Oct 8, 2014

John Platania & I arrive in Calgary at around 9:30 PM. Despite the fact that my tour papers are in my stage name, Chip Taylor, and not my given (passport) name, James Voight, we enter Canada without incident! What a blessing.

Neil takes us to the outskirts of Calgary to a good hotel for some late night food and wine. We get a late check out and head for Red Deer at 2:00 PM.

Oct 9, 2014

We arrive at the humble Elks Lodge at about 4:30 .. host Mike & his kind co-host Shannon (an awesome cook as well as revered electronic sound painter?!), greet us .. a young guy, Doug, gets us good sound rather fast. We have a great early dinner of pork chops, corn & salad courtesy of Sharon! What a meal .. choice of sweet or spicy pork chops .. I never tasted anything better. Enjoyed eating dinner with Shannon, Mike, John, the Elks Lodge’s Grand Wizard (great, sweet guy) and Nick, the active VP there.. they both donate their time on behalf of the Elk’s club, to raising money for good causes. Avery nice thing!

The show

We started promptly at 8:00, dividing the show into halves. The first half focused on the Yonkers Story – growing up in the Voight household and becoming a hit songwriter –  with each story accompanied by songs: The Real Thing, Yonkers, NY, Bastard Bros., Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky, Just A Little Bit Later On Down The Line, I Can’t Let Go and Angel Of The Morning.

The audience loved this Yonkers story set. It seemed to fly by. John and I made a connection with these kind folks immediately that would last the entire night

Set Two

On this set, we drifted off to some of my favorite songs .. many from the new album. Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe (from New Songs Of Freedom) really struck a chord with these folks .. as did Queen Of The World, Track 224, Czech Heaven.. all from THE LITTLE PRAYERS TRILOGY.. we totally rocked Big River.. then came the story and song of Merry F’n Christmas.. which really hit home.. as did F**K All The Perfect People .. with everybody singing along .. then came the total therapeutic sing of  Wild Thing.. followed by a driving I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee.  & followed by an immediate standing O.


Hi To:

Hi Shannon .. huge thanks for your kindness .. you are now, officially “legendary Shannon from Red Deer” with us forever! Great job Mike .. hope to see you soon!! .. Doug.. thanks for your efforts .. terrific sound!

Hi to .. Tom, Bob & Jay, & Theresa & Mike.. Hi Alvin!! .. best with your work! .. Hi Illa & Terry (accent on the “I”) .. so nice to see you.. Hi Richard .. thanks for bringing LAST CHANCE .. nice!!! .. and Cathryn .. nice to see you as well.

Hi Malcolm & Vivian & Carol & Lynn & guitarist Barry .. Hi Tom & Karen & Rob.. and Hillary .. & Dawn & Brian.. best with your “art” shop .. hope to see you soon..Hi to Conne & Queen Bea, Sheila!! .. great to see you .. thanks yo all for the kind words!!! … Hi To Kevin & Jamie? & Willa .. the nice group of young teachers .. thanks for saying hello .. such important stuff you do!!

This was  special .. John & I  hope to see you all again!

EDMONTON – with Neil at the helm, we left Red Deer loaded with great food for a late night dinner compliments of Shannon.. we arrived at our cool hotel in Edmonton where one of the bus boys found us some utensils.. Neil had the wine .. it was that great pork chops dinner again .. with Shannon’s home made apple pie to finish it off .. what a feast! .. then goodnight.

Oct 10, 2014 – THE VENUE – BLUE MOON FOLK CLUB (actually housed in a Ukrainian Church)

Great to see our host and old friend Peter when we arrived .. Dave had us good sound rather fast, in time to head back to the hotel for a bit of rest before show time


Again another awesome audience to play for .. It was the Yonkers Story for the first set .. which totally connected .. folks loved the stuff about my bastard Brothers .. and rock n roll’s start with Rock Around The Clock from Blackboard Jungle .. and the trip to Nepperhan with mom & dad & my brothers with Charcoal Sky .. we ended the first set with such a warm and soulful Angel Of The Morning.. John Platania was magic!


A total connection here .. lots from the new album, The Little Prayers Trilogy .. Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe (from New Songs Of Freedom) again.. hit home.. Trilogy songs Queen Of The World, Track 224, Czech Heaven.. were all highlights.. after a rockin BIG RIVER .. folks LOVED this, the story of my grandkids at a restaurant near the bar totally connected as did the passion of   the song inspired by that event,  Merry F’n Christmas.. folks totally got the spirit of this as well as the song I wrote for prisoners, F**K All The Perfect People .. which had everybody singing along .. then came a totally rockin’  Wild Thing.. and then maybe for me.. the highlight of the night .. a spontaneous version of our UKRAINIAN GIRLS with the entire “congregation” singing along!!

We closed with a driving I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee.  another standing O and it was off to the CD table to say hello to some folks..


Linda & Bob .. who love 7 Days in May .. nice thought guys .. thanks .. Hi Marne .. I love We Come Up Shining as well!! .. one of my all time favorites .. I’ll sing it for you next time .. Hi Helen .. hope Ralph & Margo enjoy the CD.. Hi Robin ..& Dan & Ivy & Isaak .. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Ian .. congrats on the 50/50 win .. see you soon!.. Hi Steph .. a Ukrainian girl .. great to see you .. & Cheyne .. nice to meet you as well!! .. Hi Shirley .. & Eric & Jan .. nice memory from the festival! see you soon.

Thanks to PETER & DAVE .. and the kitchen crew .. for their good vibes and the late night snack!!

A Golf Lesson for Peter .. relax the left hand Peter and push both hands gently lower .. and hold your finish!


We left Edmonton at 11:30 AM and arrived at our beautiful old school-classic hotel, The Fairmont Palliser, in Calgary at about 4:00 .. in time to check in and head for the venue for sound check.


The owner Pat – a great guy – was there to meet us. Another good guy, John, was doing the sound and lights and had us sounding good in short order. The venue is a converted theater.. a very vibey place.

Opening Act

Neil had asked a few days before if he could invite a local artist to do a few songs before our show. Neil has extraordinarily good taste when it comes to songs and artists, so I said, of course, that would be fine. But I wasn’t quite prepared for what I heard. Her name is Shaye Zadravec. I met her at sound check where she shyly sang a verse or two of a Roy Orbison song, I think it was Only The Lonely,  accompanying herself on a ukulele which she was just learning how to play .. then she was accompanied briefly by a terrific guitarist, Tim Leacock, who I had met years ago when he was an integral part of a very cool band formed by the great Billy Cowsill, The Co-Dependants.

Shaye & Tim’s sound check lasted only about 10 minutes. I asked Neil to ask her if she’d like to sing Angel Of The Morning with me. He reported that she was afraid that she wouldn’t do it justice .. might forget the words etc. I went into the dressing room and wrote her part in big letters on the back of a poster, then invited her in to give it a try. She sounded warm, humble & great. We rehearsed it two or three times .. and she was ready!

Neil dropped John & I back at the hotel for a bit of rest.. then picked us up an hour later to head back to the venue.


My great friend Allison Brock gave a beautiful intro to the show. Thanks so much for the kind words Allison.. great seeing you & Martyn again!!!


First Shaye took the stage and accompanied herself on the ukulele for two songs .. then Tim joined in. I can’t remember hearing an opening act that I liked more… simple heartfelt .. sort of garage country .. reminded me of country from the 50s. Shaye’s voice is so warm and honest and good. And Tim’s playing is so organic .. just a great 25 minutes! Well done!

Such interesting selections, including:

Ukulele Lady .. a 50s country song
It’s Over Now (Billy Cowsill song – she sang it on her own)
Love Me Like A Song (Kimmie Rhodes song) duet with Tim
110 In the Shade (John Fogerty)


We started later than the other shows, hitting the stage at 9:45. This great audience was with us from start to finish.   Again, we dividing the show into halves. The first half focusing on the Yonkers Story – growing up in the Voight household and becoming a hit songwriter –  with each story accompanied by a song. It felt great on stage with the audience with us at every turn.. inspired by the audience there were, for some reason, there were more fun gambling stories in this set. Song highlights were too many to mention.. let’s go with Bastard Brothers,  Hey Jonny, Charcoal Sky and the final killer of this set, A DUET WITH SHAYE ON ANGEL OF THE MORNING. Shaye was honest and so soulful .. the sound of our voices together felt magical. John’s playing was awesome and inspired throughout set. Angel brought the house down!!! .. Great Shaye!

Set Two

Again, on this set we drifted to some of my favorite songs .. several from the new album. Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe (from New Songs Of Freedom) hit home with these folks.. my friend Allison has been playing Queen Of The World on her CKUA radio show. The result being that at every show the audience greets it with a sort of over the top reaction. And John & I love playing it. John is just so soulful on this and the rest. Next came the soulful groove of Track 224, the a warm Czech Heaven.. ending with the invite to Parnell’s bar in new York..  all from THE LITTLE PRAYERS TRILOGY.. after a rockin’ Big River came the story and song of Merry F’n Christmas.. the story about my Grandkids witnessing a Christmas celebration at a hometown bar really hit home..  then came another huge highlight as Shaye joined us on stage for the total therapeutic Wild Thing.. Again .. her addition brought the house down

After Shaye left the stage to heroic applause John & I followed with the song I wrote for the prisoners, F**K All The Perfect People .. with everybody reverently singing along at the end ..then came our final song.. a driving I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee .. again followed by a standing O.

What a show!!! What a great Alberta tour! Thanks to all .. special thanks to our friend Neil MacGonigill for putting it all together! Hope to see you all soon!

Said hi to several, including:

Hi to:

Allison & Martyn & friends.. great to see you guys again.. huge thanks Allison.. thank the other folks at CKUA for me. So great to see my friends Suzanne & Rachel.. such great memories of our Turner Valley shows.. best regards to “must be the whiskey”  John .. look forward to seeing him next time.. wonderful catching up with you Raechel .. best with the studies and the music .. and the boyfriend (darn it!)

Special hi to Shaye’s mom, Michelle & sister Sydney (best with your musical stuff).. & boyfriend Brady .. good to meet you .. Shaye .. tell your dad hello .. I heard nice stuff about him from Rick ..

Hi Jeanne .. nice to see you …….. BIG HELLO TO NEIL’S BETH!! .. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!! .. hi to co-worker Jacqueline & Jacob .. great talking to you.. Hi Marino!!! great to see you again!! .. & Lou.. good talking to you as well .. Hi Kathy & Fran .. thanks for the kind words..

Great to see John’s wonderful niece Anna’s brother & sister-in-law, Jim & Jan ..good to see you again!.. hi Sheryll & Boris .. sorry I forgot the other names at the table. But thanks for coming hope to see you again.