Sheffield troubadour Samuel James Taylor returns with a new 13 track album full of Wild Tales and Broken Hearts
Hailing from the land of seven hills, a blue-eyed steel town boy returns with his latest offering to the world – a love letter to life, to art, to music, to love itself, to the journeys that take us away from ourselves and back again.
Sheffield troubadour Samuel James Taylor started his path in music over 20 years ago, beginning with a decade’s worth of adventure with his band Dead Like Harry, who were picked to perform by Q magazine as one of the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent acts in 2009. He then continued on as a solo artist, receiving support from BBC Radio 2’s Steve Lamacq and Graham Norton, with multiple side projects (Taylor & Marie, Ophelia, The Greatest Endangered Thing) and as a guitarist for numerous artists throughout the UK and USA.
After trading in the electric hum of capital city lights to run away into the sunset with a circus queen, he traveled the world, documenting his journey in an EP anthology entitled Tales From A Troubadour before finally taking pause in the quiet landscape of his home in the English countryside. As it sometimes happens with extended journeys, life gives us diversions in the road we weren’t prepared for, and for Samuel this manifested itself in an autoimmune diagnosis, forcing him to hit the brakes on a life of long tours, late nights and heavy lifting. “I couldn’t continue at the pace I was going, it was time to take a step back. I needed to prioritise my health and work out how I was going to move forwards from here.”
In the introspective years that followed, came time for self reflection and questioning. “There was a period of time when I considered giving it all up,” says Taylor. “I couldn’t find myself in my music for the first time in my life. I was always playing shows, touring, connecting with people, I felt lost without that human connection. It was an isolating and lonely place. I wasn’t really sure how to get out of it and, for a while, I questioned whether it would be easier just to let it all go.”
But, as is often the case with stories of love and passion, sometimes the pull of the heart is too strong. Born out of the freedom from expectation that surrounds live performance, Samuel found his muse again. Songs were written, an album formed. “With time away from the constant shuffle and go, I found a new voice, or maybe it was the voice that was there all along. I spent a lot of time listening to the albums that had first inspired me to become a songwriter, albums I remember singing to in the back of the car as a child. I opened up a door to my past through Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Carole King, James Taylor… artists that began the journey for me. I knew it was time to get back in the studio again and I knew exactly how I wanted to make the record.”
Following what seemed like an eternity away from music, Samuel traveled to Nashville in December 2021 to record a full length live album with friend and Grammy nominated producer Neilson Hubbard.
The album, ‘Wild Tales and Broken Hearts’ is a 13 track album that will be released through UK record label Ki An Projects on October 21st, 2022. The album was recorded live over three days at Skinny Elephant Studios in Nashville, TN (USA). The band features musicians Michael Rinne (Miranda Lambert), Juan Solorzano (Ruston Kelly), Neilson Hubbard (Mary Gautier, Amy Speace, Ben Glover) and Rebecca Van Cleave. The album was also engineered by Dylan Alldredge.
After a long journey to the ends of himself and back again, Samuel James Taylor, it seems, is finally bringing it all back home.