Taylor John Williams, Smokey Brights, plus TBA

Taylor John Williams

Smokey Brights

plus TBA

Fri, November 3, 2017

9:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

Taylor John Williams
Taylor John Williams
There aren't a lot of bells and whistles attached to the music crafted and performed by the 25 year old songwriter from Oregon. He's not what you'd call a working pioneer of sonic experimentation. Instead his allure comes from a certain visceral desperation to make a living as a storyteller; a raconteur through the medium of simple melody and time. His love for music came at a young age, having been drawn to the infectious quality of 90s pop hits. As he transitioned into his teenage years, he developed a deeper passion for music with something honest to say. He began frequently writing poetry, which slowly morphed into songwriting after fiddling with his uncle's old acoustic Yamaha and discovering his natural ability with the instrument. Immersing himself in the albums of impassioned singer-songwriters such as Jeff Buckley, Jack White, and Glen Hansard, Williams was inspired to begin compiling his own pallet of original music. At 18, Taylor took his ambitions 100 miles north of his home town to the quirky Portland music scene. After years of open mics, lounge gigs paying in "exposure", and intoxicated audiences, Williams decided to throw caution to the wind and audition for a spot on the massively viewed singing competition "The Voice". Needless to say, he did a little better than he'd imagined. In an interview with Brass Media, he explains, "I had always had my reservations about reality singing competitions and swore that would never be me, but there was a shift in my thinking and I figured, what the hell? Could be a good time. I attended the open call auditions in LA and had low expectations. I didn't think I was the kind of person they were looking for. ... Low and behold, I ended up doing pretty well." After completing his time on the show, Taylor returned to his first love of songwriting and more personal performances. His highly successful "Racon Tour", which placed him in the living rooms of fans all along the west coast proved to be a very spirit cleansing experience. "I had a wonderful time on "The Voice", but I also desperately missed the magic that happens in a room of 50 or so people that are there simply to hear your stories. It always reminds me of why I do what I do."
Smokey Brights
Smokey Brights
“A little bit Death Cab, a little bit Springsteen, Smokey Brights range from the mellow to the big, bold, and rockin’.”
Seattle Magazine

"This Seattle band’s debut full-length is a promising set of moody, ‘70s-influenced rock and pop with mostly dark, well-crafted songs combining warm, reverberating guitars, eerie keyboards, driving rhythms and gorgeous harmonies."
Don Yates, KEXP

"What the Smokeys have done is find the through line between scruffy blue-collar rock, new wave, Memphis soul, and shoegazer atmospherics. It’s right there on the title track that opens the new record: Michael Kalnoky’s textural guitar and the rush of Kim West’s synths are cut through by Ryan Devlin’s slurred, ragged voice, and it’s like hearing Bruce Springsteen narrate a futuristic film noir. On 'Catacomb,' West and Devlin harmonize with the forlorn beauty of X’s Exene Cervenka and John Doe on a goth tip, as Kalnoky’s six-string switches off between colorful soloing and concise post-punk momentum. Sprinkles of psychedelia ('Windjammer') and swooning folk balladry ('Waiting on a Light') surface as well. An unerring knack for melody and hooks keeps these seemingly contradictory plates spinning. The Smokeys’ formidable technical chops never get in the way of a deep soul groove (as on the gorgeous, slow-burning 'If I Can’t Change Your Mind'), or an anthemic chorus ('Put Your Guns Away'), and they deliver a go-for-broke live experience. I’ve long given up on predicting a Next Big Thing among Northwest bands, but the combination of adventuresome risk-taking and universal catchiness on Taste for Blood could really reach beyond state borders in a big way, if given the chance."
Tony Kay, The Sun Break
Venue Information:
Hotel Utah
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107