Reviews

The Birmingham Sessions: Maria Taylor (bonus video)

Author: Mary Colruso
12/02/2013 | AL.com | al.com | Feature
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Singer-songwriter Maria Taylor selected the producer for her new album, "Something About Knowing," in a rather unconventional way.


"I had a dream about being in Nebraska, working with Mike Mogis," says Taylor, 37. "He, I think, is just a master at what he does. I haven't worked with him since 2008, when we did 'Lady Luck.' But these songs are important to me, and I felt that Mogis would be into these songs. The dream -- I just had to listen to it."

Although Taylor, a folk-rocker, lives in Birmingham with her husband, Ryan Dwyer, and their son, Miles, the trip brought her back to familiar territory. She spent several years in Omaha, Neb., and remains on the artist roster at Saddle Creek Records.

Maria Taylor 120213
Maria Taylor will be joined by brother Macey Taylor, right, on her 2014 tour. Their family is musically inclined; sister Kate Taylor performs in the duo Dead Fingers with her husband, Taylor Hollingsworth. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@AL.com)
Taylor's in good company at the prestigious indie label, based in Omaha and co-founded by Mogis. Its artists include Bright Eyes, Cursive, Tim Kasher, the Mynabirds and the Thermals -- not to mention Azure Ray, Taylor's duo with Orenda Fink.

As it turned out, Taylor's instincts served her well. The sessions for "Something About Knowing" were smooth and successful, with important contributions from her brother, multi-instrumentalist Macey Taylor.

"I put myself out there in the songs," she says. "They're directly reflective of where I am in my life. I've paid my dues. I'm comfortable with who I am. I just went for it."

The record (her sixth studio album) came out Oct. 29; Taylor starts her U.S. tour in January. Appropriately enough, the first date is Jan. 3 at The Waiting Room in Omaha. She'll circle back to Birmingham later that month, playing Jan. 25 at Bottletree Cafe.

The Birmingham Sessions caught up with Taylor in November, shooting two videos at her house in Homewood. The first song, "Up All Night," was inspired by sleep deprivation and the joys of motherhood, two elements that went hand-in-hand after Miles was born.

Today's bonus video, for "You've Got a Way With the Light," showcases another track from "Something About Knowing," with Maria and Macey as a duet. Birmingham's Brad Armstrong (frontman of 13ghosts) co-wrote the song; it's one of two tracks on the album that were recorded here, at Armstrong's garage studio.


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Something About Knowing

Something About Knowing

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Overlook

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In A Bad Way

In A Bad Way

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