Huck Notari generally refers to his music as original country folk. It is steeped in the authenticity of times gone by, drawing his listeners into old values and timelessness. Huck grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire which had a tremendous impact on him and his appreciation for simpler times, the country, and down to earth people. His childhood home graces the cover of his newest album, Huck Notari and the River, and his song titled,Home, serves as the anthem for the album. The mountain life shaped the foundation of the man on stage, and though he has traveled many adventurous mile since leaving those mountains, his roots and values are quickly apparent in his genuine smile and heart breaking melodies.
Huck felt drawn to the Pacific Northwest and big changes; he jumped a Greyhound bus, wrote some songs and found himself hanging out with musicians and playing open mics in Oregon. It wasn't long before he was on the road again, landing as a Charlie Chaplin mime on Royal Street in New Orleans. Huck heightened his dedication to his craft, joining up with a country blues and ragtime jug band, the Kitchen Syncopators; he played alongside Gill Landry, currently with Old Crow Medicine Show, Woody Pines, and Felix Hatfield of Oz St. Fossils and Cardboard Songsters.
Again called to Oregon, Huck headed on to a new adventure, where he found himself in a drafty old farm house on Highland Road out in the country; the country magic took him in and nurtured what would soon be the birth of Huck in his own voice. After some time, he moved into the city, Portland, and spent days painting and writing songs on guitar and piano with absolute dedication. He released his first album, Highland in 2007 and followed it with Very Long Dream in 2009. He was often joined by Karin Nystrom, also with the Portland Symphonic Choir, who sings and plays snare drum, and Joel Shimmin who performs on a variety of guitars. Karin and Joel came to be the core of the River, also joining Huck on his new album released in the fall of 2013, titled as such.
On his recent collection of songs, Huck Notari and the River, Huck comments, “I wanted a beautiful, flowing sound all the way through… I feel I was able to capture the warmth I was looking for.” The close listener of Huck's lyrics and finger-picked melodies will find themselves drifting into nostalgia, the beauty of a broken heart, and meaningful stories we all treasure in our own minds.
Born from the broken branch of a name tree and found in the shadows of celery and slang. Oscar Fang, Prince in training and his Gang of Refusion make no claims. Songs about affairs, pre-historic animals, Scary Lakes and Dopplegangers.
Willy Tea Taylor is a father, brother, and son. His remarkable ability to sing about profound subjects in a simple way makes his songs a great place to lose yourself. Much of that comes from his upbringing.
Willy grew up surrounded by rolling hills and horses in the small town of Oakdale, California. Known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” for breeding so many world champion rodeo cowboys, Oakdale is still Willy’s home and the setting for many of his songs.
Despite coming from a long line of cattlemen – his grandfather Walt was one of the most respected of his generation – Willy’s first love was baseball. As a catcher, he had a gift for the nuances of calling a game from behind the plate. When a knee injury ended his ability to catch, Willy turned his attention to music.
At the age of 18, a discerning and intimate set by Greg Brown at the Strawberry Music Festival inspired Willy to pursue life as a folk singer. Strawberry would play an integral role in Willy’s development as a musician, going from spectator to stagehand, to performer. He made his main stage debut with his band the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit at the 2009 festival. In 2015, Willy made his solo debut on the main stage. Willy has charmed fans at some of the best festivals in the country.
Willy calls John Hartford, Roscoe Holcomb, Bob Dylan, KISS, Weird Al Yankovic and Willie Nelson his biggest influences, but is always quick to advocate for his favorite contemporary songwriters which include Tom VandenAvond, Nathan Moore, and his Good Luck partner in crime, Chris Doud. He and VandenAvond have travelled the country together on a series of tours they call “Searchin’ for Guy Clark’s Kitchen” where each evening’s show is just a precursor to an endless quest for the kind of serene late night scene depicted in the cult classic documentary Heartworn Highways.
On his new release Knuckleball Prime, Willy received support from greats like Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton), and Gabe Witcher and Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers. Of the album’s title, Taylor says “most baseball players peak in their twenties, but knuckleball pitchers tend to blossom in their late thirties and early forties. I’m staring down my knuckleball prime.”
Led by producer Michael Witcher, the songs on Knuckleball Prime are arranged and accompanied magnificently by a first rate team of musicians and engineers. If you’re a fan of well-written lyrics, alluring melodies, and a voice that ties them together with emotion as deep as the artist’s own roots, you’ll savor Knuckleball Prime, and just about anything else Willy Tea Taylor has ever done.