Opening set by
Dione last played Hugh’s Room as part of Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Sundays and wowed the audience with her fine voice. Hugh’s is happy that she has chosen to launch her CD here.
The prairie sky, expansive and wide, covers a great deal of North American real estate. And of all the emotions contained therein, it’s the prairie blues, a rural feeling that sings louder than all others on Ms. Dione Taylor ’s new EP “Born Free“.
While some may call the recording a “departure,” deep listeners have always dialed in on Ms. Taylor’s roots in the blues and gospel, regardless of the genre being explored.
A spiritual album, “Born Free”, engages in some difficult, but necessary, conversations. In these trying times, personal faith and beliefs are constantly being challenged in the face of the injustice we are confronted with in the world on a daily basis (“Love Is”), temptation (”Resist”), death (“Grandma’s Hands”), love (“Leave Me Alone”), freedom (“Born Free”)”, potential of man (“Higher Ground”) and acceptance (Beer and A Bible’). “Spirituality isn’t about being perfect,” states Taylor, “It’s knowing that the Creator is omnipresent in the midst of our fragmented lives.”
“The word gospel means ‘truth.’” And this is, at its core, a very personal and truthful record, one that does not attempt to be preachy or impose Ms. Taylor’s, or anyone else’s, concept of truth upon listeners, but rather acknowledges that everyone has their own truth to be told and song to be sung. This is her truth.
A pastor’s daughter from Regina Saskatchewan, music has always been an integral part of Ms. Taylor’s life. She was born and raised in a family she describes as “really connected to the gift of song.
My whole family sings and plays instruments in church,” praises Ms. Taylor, who began playing the organ at age four and by ten was the music director and organist at The Shiloh Assembly Church (Apostolic) in Regina.
“Born Free” is dedicated to Pastors kids (PK’s) who deal with the very high standards and expectations that are placed on their shoulders by their families and community to live perfectly within an imperfect world.” explains the Ms. Taylor.
Having first burst onto the music scene with her Juno nominated debut album “Open Your Eyes”, Ms. Taylor’s career trajectory has been truly remarkable. With performances at festivals and concert theatres across the United States, Canada and Asia for audiences that have included the President of the United States and the Queen of England, Ms. Taylor has made a worthy name for herself as one of this country’s most talented jazz musicians. Ms. Taylor was nominated for a Gemini Award for her rendition of Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom,” which she performed alongside Oliver Jones at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala. Ms. Taylor is the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Mentorship Program.
Coming full circle, Ms. Taylor finds herself reconnecting with her childhood. “The sounds and music of my youth are all present on “Born Free”. From the gospel music and blues at church to even the southern country gospel at home on the record player. It’s all in there!”
Multi-instrumentalist Joel Schwartz and Singer Andrea Koziol are musician pals with a great love for wild back porch night music. They own an impressive map filled with push pins on all the big and small places they’ve played, and they own the body memory of all the inspiring company they’ve shared on stage. Tarbelle is what happened when these two people got together to dig for a song that they could call their own, and the first turn of the soil revealed a million more songs lying just below the surface. You might say it’s roots music with a dash of elegant hot sauce…or you could resist the urge to define and just listen.
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