By Natasha Purcell
From folk to rock, from blues to country, Taylor James can do it all.
This weekend, the Vancouver artist will be doing it at the Spirit Beach Cantina — a return engagement after a spontaneous concert last summer.
“Love Osoyoos! And love the Wine! You people are really spoiled,” she said earlier this week, recalling the hospitality and charm that is bringing her back to the South Okanagan.
This triple threat of preforming songwriter, guitarist and recording artist has been proving herself a force to be reckoned with in the Vancouver music scene since her breakthrough in the mid 90’s, where she got busy hosting showcases and organizing fundraisers with other local artists.
A small town girl from North Bay, Ont., Taylor was given a guitar some forty years ago by her father and the rest, as they say, is history.
The fire was lit and there was no taming it.
Taylor has such versatility and talent she is able to seamlessly combine her wide range of music styles into a sound that is all her own.
As a country music artist, she has shared concert stages with the likes of Blue Rodeo, Prairie Oyster, and Ronnie Hawkins. Soon after she transitioned into rock, blues, and alternative folk, she honed her craft with many other big name artists such as George Canyon, Paul Brandt, and Doc Walker.
“For as long as I can remember I always surrounded myself with musicians better than myself, it was the best way to learn and grow” she said. “In those environments you can’t just wing it.”
Because of her gift, it was easier to put herself in those environments, all of which made her work harder and become a better artist. Now her undeniable ability to command the stage in any setting makes for a smooth transition from genre to genre and mesmerizes audiences with her talent and trance like voice.
Her albums — available on iTunes or direct from Taylor at the show — contain a mixture of inspired original songs seamlessly blended with carefully chosen covers to create a unique listening experience.
Drawing from the ups and downs of life as her main inspiration, they create relatable music that everyone can enjoy.
“I was born to do this” said Taylor “Connecting with people teaches me so much. We are all on this journey together.”