Gospel veteran Dave Taylor uses down time to record second solo album; Original songs, original ideas mark new work
By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com
While much of the world seemed to shut down in 2020, Dave Taylor has opened a new musical door just in time for Christmas.
A founding member of The Infinite Realm, a popular gospel group based in the Madison, Indiana area, Taylor recently released his second solo album, “LIving In Harmony.” Produced by longtime Oak Ridge Boys pianist Ron Fairchild, the project relies heavily on Taylor’s skill as a songwriter with seven of the nine cuts coming from his pen.
And the sound Taylor and Fairchild created is decidedly different from the upbeat quartet sound that has become The Infinite Realm’s trademark. It’s a testament to the versatility Taylor has developed in over 50 years of singing and playing gospel.
I have been writing songs since my teenage years,” Taylor says. “Several are not quartet songs per se. I have been accumulating a wealth of material over the years that the Realm has never done, because many of those songs don’t fit the mold of Realm music.”
And with large gatherings largely off limits in 2020, Taylor, with Fairchild’s prodding, hit the studio.
“The Realm only worked four dates in 2020 because of COVID,” Taylor, who spent many years as a Baptist pastor, says. “Under normal circumstances, the Realm works an average of one date per month. I retired from the pastorate in June and felt led to be more active in music ministry, taking on solo dates as the doors open.”
It just so happened that Fairchild, who had engineered The Infinite Realm’s last two albums, was also readily available.
“He had time on his hands since the Oak Ridge Boys had almost all of their appearances between March and November canceled because of COVID,” Taylor says. “Ron has been a close friend for several years. We converse two or three times a week and he has been after me for years to do something apart from The Realm. Finally, I gave in.”
Those Infinite Realm albums, “Message of Love” and “Healing” contain a high-quality sound that often escapes regional groups. That Fairchild would work with Taylor on his solo project was a given. “He is a wizard both on the keyboards and at the recording console,” Taylor says. “I sent him demos in June of what I wanted to do and he began building the sound tracks. He did all of the keyboards — piano, organ and synthesizer.”
In addition, Fairchild brought in two of Nashville’s best for the strings. Greg Jennings, from Restless Heart, came in for the acoustic and lead guitar work, while Rex Wiseman, one of Fairchild’s bandmates in The Mighty Oaks Band, joined in on steel guitar.
Taylor took a unique approach with two of his original songs, “Ain’t No Two Ways About It” and “You Need.” He says they are actually upbeat quartet songs and he took on the task of singing all four parts.
Two of the songs can be traced specifically to certain biblical passages. “So Blinded Eyes Could See” is based on Luke 1:78-79 and John 8:36 while “Daniel” is a ballad drawn from the Old Testament book chronicling the prophet.
Taylor also draws on his own battles with “Keep on Holding His Hand,” which he describes as “a song of encouragement for folks who suffer from depression, which I have struggled with from time to time.”
Another original song, “Stars in Your Eyes,” is one that Taylor has held for a while. “It is one of the earliest songs I wrote and speaks to the condition of so many who put all their investment in material things and make gods of celebrities, reaching for the stars when the One who made the stars has all the answers.”
Taylor adds that Fairchild delivers a stirring solo on “Stars in Your Eyes.”
The two covers are actually pop oldies that deliver powerful messages for today. One, “Get Together,” was a hit by The Youngbloods, but later covered by The Oak Ridge Boys in the early 70s. Taylor says the song “speaks to people getting along with each other and loving one another. It is timely because of the harsh political season we just went through and the racial violence of recent years.
Taylor also cut The Hollies’ “He Aint Heavy He’s My Brother” with Wiseman soloing on the steel and Jennings delivering a powerful guitar solo.
Now that he’s not serving as pastor, Taylor is available for more concert dates and he hopes the CD will open doors for solo dates and dates for The Infinite Realm, in which he will remain active.
Taylor, whose first solo album was a tribute to The Statesmen in 2002, sent a copy of “Living In Harmony” to former Statesmen member Buddy Burton. Taylor says Burton’s reply was very encouraging. Taylor quoted Burton as saying, “LOVE the CD, song selection and vocals. You have a great voice, range and feeling. Soooo glad you did it.”
Taylor adds, “I hope everyone who hears it feels the same and is blessed.”
ORDERING “LIVING IN HARMONY”
Dave Taylor’s “Living in Harmony” is available by contacting Taylor at 10630 West State Road 256, Lexington, IN 47138. He can also be reached on Facebook Messenger.
Cost of the CD is $12, which includes shipping.