by Ben Taylor


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Listening, the fourth full-length studio album from singer/songwriter/actor Ben Taylor, the son of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer James Taylor and multiple Grammy Award-winner Carly Simon, is also his first for a record label. Written and recorded over a four-year span, the 11 tracks run the gamut from quiet, introspective folk ("Listening") and shimmery, gospel-infused Americana ("Next Time Around") to soulful, late-night blues rock ("Oh Brother") and breezy, west coast country-pop ("Giulia"). Held together by Taylor's deep, expressive voice and deceptively simple guitar playing, Listening feels less like an amalgamation of styles and more like a guided tour through the genres that have inspired the self-described "kung folk" artist (he has extensive training in multiple martial arts) over the years. Polished but retaining the weathered edges of someone who has spent their career employing a fairly strict, D.I.Y. set of studio ethics, the album plays by its own set of rules within an already established game -- the tuneful title cut is clearly the work of the son of James Taylor, while the sleek, trip-hoppy "America" reflects a more urban, less urbane perspective of the world. That said, incorporating reggae ("You Could Be Mine") and hip-hop ("Dirty") into an already busy cocktail can be a bit jarring, even for fans of the increasingly cosmopolitan world of commercial folk-pop (Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson), but Taylor's laid-back delivery, everyman lyrics, and familiar melodies lend each stylistic digression an air of unpretentiousness that eventually wins the listener over.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/14/2012
Label: Sun Pedal Recordings
UPC: 0857333003099
catalogNumber: 90001
Rank: 143837

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ben Taylor   Primary Artist,Guitar,Autoharp,Vocals,Sampling
Carly Simon   Background Vocals
Sally Taylor   Background Vocals
Larry Ciancia   Percussion,Drums,Keyboards
Christopher Thomas   Upright Bass
Jeff Babko   Piano
Mike Rowe   Keyboards,Clavinet,Hammond B3
John Forté   Vocals
Faith   Background Vocals
David Saw   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Chet Lyster   Pedal Steel Guitar
Koool G Murder   Bass,Strings
Jess Denicola   Background Vocals
Jessica Dinicola   Background Vocals
Holly Martin   Background Vocals
Beatzy   Organ,Bass,Percussion,Strings,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ben Taylor   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Horn Programming
Larry Ciancia   Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer
John Forté   Composer,Lyricist
Ray Garraway   Composer,Lyricist
Russell Klyne   Composer,Lyricist
Dave Williams   Composer,Lyricist
Ben Thomas   Composer,Producer
David Saw   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Koool G Murder   Engineer
Kevin Brereton   Composer,Lyricist
Sam Destefano   Engineer
Beatzy   Engineer,drum programming,Horn Programming

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