Eric Taylor: Hollywood Pocketknife

There's a great story about Eric Taylor being intoxicated at a party a few years back when one of our local folkies was expounding ad infinitum about "being on the road." The guy went on and on until, according to my sources, Taylor finally had enough, got off the couch and without a word knocked the folkie flat on his back. True or not, I find this story terribly endearing because it matches so well with Taylor's music. Hollywood Pocketknife, recorded at Rock Romano's Houston studio, is chockablock with dangerous, Jim Thompson-ish short-story songs that teeter along the edge between heartbreak and hope, loneliness and light. From the very beginning, lines like "I wish I had my pocketknife and the hands that could, I'd make myself a different life, carve it out of Hollywood" testify to Taylor's status as a Zen master Texas — he calls Weimar home — singer-songwriter. And Taylor knows Houston, too; "Olney's Poison and the Houston Blues" name-checks Little Joe Washington and takes us down Stratford Street, through the Third Ward with Lightnin Hopkins via the kind of down-and-out lyrics Pat Green and his army of Robo-spawn wish they could write. On "Postcards, 3 For a Dime," "Carnival Jim and Jean" or Townes Van Zandt's "Highway Kind," Taylor makes musician life seem effortless and brutally realistic — without ever once mentioning "the road."


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