Setting Down Roots with Pam Taylor

Every person on earth has a tale to tell and when it comes to Pam Taylor, it’s one you’re going to want to pull up a chair for. Singing in the classic Americana Roots style, we talked about her days of loving Eminem and Limp Bizkit (we could’ve totally been besties growing up!), a dark moment in her past when music may not have been an option anymore and the lighter roads ahead. Now take more than a minute to get a piece of this rising star’s story.

Kendra: Coming from a family of musicians, did that make it easier to choose that path in life?

Pam Taylor: Although I came from a family of musicians it was never a full-time career for either of them. I followed closely in my father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and had a 15-year long career in the used car business with one foot there and one foot in music, until three years ago, about a year after I released my first record, I lost my job and had no other choice. Honestly, it chose me. It hasn’t always been easy but I haven’t looked back.

Kendra: It’s very clear that you’re a great American Roots artist, but are you a big fan of the genre too? Like would we be surprised to find something way out there on your Spotify?

Pam: I have always been a huge fan, but my overall taste in music is all over the board. Music, in general, has saved me…I was a fan long before I was a musician. My taste in music seems to evolve based on where I’m at in my life.

When you’re a kid you’re stuck listening to whatever your parents listened so luckily for me, my parents had great taste in music. They had me listening to Elvis, James, Brown, Jr. Walker & the Allstars, Wilson Pickett, KT Oslin, beach music, country, classic rock, you name it…I had a really great musical education. During my late teens to early 20’s, it was artists like Steve Miller Band, Janis, Jimi, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Korn, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 3 Doors Down, 311, Phish, etc.

Later on, it was mostly blues like Sean Costello, Tommy Castro, Tab Benoit, Taj Mahal, BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Koko Taylor, & Etta James. I love new blues artists and hearing their interpretation of the blues…Today I am really enjoying this new “old” sound with bands like St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Fitz & The Tantrums, Lee Fields & Alabama Shakes.

I’m also a huge fan of JJ Grey. I would love to do a show with him one day, just so I can hear him live again. It’s so hard to get out to hear live music when you’re out there making it too. But probably the most surprising thing is my love for Indian belly-dancing music and my binaural beats and frequencies. Most of the time when I’m home, this is what I have playing throughout the house. It’s very soothing to me. You will find all this in my playlist.

Kendra: When you were working on “Squeeze Me” where were you mentally?

Pam: I was in a brand new relationship so I was all caught up in that “new relationship energy.” Being in love brought out my playful and sexy side and that’s what sparked this one. Things are flowing when you’re in love and this time was no exception. I was writing a lot of love songs then.

Kendra: Is that where you always are when working on new music?

Pam: I feel that music works on me. Whatever it is I’m going through in my personal life is what creates the need for a song. If you listen to my new record as a whole you can see where my mind has been and how it navigates life. Love and pain are the two biggest motivators to inspire new music. I just recently went through a major heartbreak so my next record will certainly show a different mindset. No matter what I’m going through, the songs tell the story of how I celebrate life when it’s good or how I overcome obstacles when it’s bad. It’s a form of therapy for me. So in the end, it’s all good!

Kendra: How would you compare who you are as an artist now with your upcoming release, Steal Your Heart, to where you were with your 2012 debut Hot Mess?

Pam: To me, and to the folks who’ve heard it, say it’s a far cry from Hot Mess and is a huge level up. I’m so proud of my first record. I mean, it’s topped roots and blues charts all over the world and I had no clue what I was doing. Since then, there are five more years of life experience and guitar mentoring from the legendary blues woman, Debbie Davies, plus I have written a slew of songs. So it makes sense that it surpasses Hot Mess by leaps and bounds. It’s supposed to.

Kendra: Side note, you struggled with some pretty major stuff between then and now. When you went through the paralyzed arm ordeal, were you thinking that music was going to have to be over and done with?

Pam: That was a very dark time for me and of course I had fears that my career, that had literally just started, was over. I had venues that wouldn’t book me back since I had to cancel. It looked bleak. When I’m in pain, my mind can really play tricks on me. The important thing is that I didn’t give up. I didn’t believe the doctors when they said I’d never play guitar again. It just didn’t feel right to me. After everything I’d been through, this could not be how it all ended. So with my positive attitude and help from my acupuncturist, the pain was removed and I recovered all feeling in my fingers again. It was a long road to full recovery but my persistence paid off. I was healed! Plus now, I will never, ever take for granted this wonderful gift God has blessed me with. Thankfully, it is now mine again to give.

Kendra: You’ll be playing in June and July, anything else planned after that?

Pam: I am heading across the pond to Scotland in August where I will be playing some charity events, teaching a kids songwriting workshop and playing the Parkgate Blues Festival in Dumfries. Also, I’m performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 25-26th. It’s the world’s largest art festival and it’s the 70th anniversary. Needless to say, it’s a huge deal for me. When I get back to the US, I will be putting together some tours to help promote my new record. I’m sure there will be lot’s more exciting opportunities developing, but you’ll have to sign up for my Fan lub Newsletter at my website to find out the details. You can also follow me on all social media outlets @pamtaylormusic.

Kendra: Say you were put in charge of making the mixtape for a South Carolina backyard BBQ, what five songs would have to be on it?

Wet Willie “Keep On Smiling
Sean Costello “Can’t Let Go
Wilson Pickett “634-5789
Tommy Castro “My Big Sister’s Radio
And my new single “Squeeze Me,” of course! No backyard BBQ would be complete without it. Turn it up!

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