anti music - Singled Out: Rory Taillon's Welcome June 2020
Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Rory Taillon has released his new album "Drifting" and to celebrate we asked Rory to tell us about the song "Welcome".
Here is the story:
Welcome started as a basic riff with a lone verse years ago while I was trying to work through the idea of dealing with my own struggles with mental health by imagery in songwriting. I felt like my personality was split between the person I was normally and the person who was consumed by the darkness. It felt nice to let the "darkness" take over instead of fighting it, but it was really easy to see how unhealthy it was not only for myself, but for my relationships when looking back on the times I let it take the reins.
The song never went anywhere when I originally wrote it until one night last year I was a little bored and could feel the mental health habits creeping in. I set up my loop pedal and started building layers through guitar parts, percussion and heavily stacked vocal harmonies. I eventually ended up at the loop combination that is now at the climax of the final song and turned it up really loud and sat in it. My wife had come home later and I was laying on the floor in the dark with this heavily layered loop playing. I told her I thought I had something that was different for me sonically and she said it had been a long time since she had seen me that happy and excited with something that I had written. Welcome was the first song off of my album that was written and it set the tone for the writing of the rest of the album. I became more concerned about the vibe and strength of the song over writing something that fit a certain format or that relied heavily on the size of my voice.
When I sat down to record this with audio engineer and producer Dean Watson and co-producer Theo Posthumus I could see they were unsure what I was working towards when we started to build the layers in the studio. Once I created the foundation of what I was thinking, it became a really fun idea collaboration between all of us to add to the vibe and feel of the song. This song is the first single off of my new album Drifting that was released May 16th, 2020.
- Michael Angulia & Rory Taillon. View Article HERE
From The Strait - Freshly Pressed: Rory Taillon "Drifting" June 2020
Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Rory Taillon is no stranger to the road – under normal circumstances, you’ll find him at venues all over Ontario and beyond (including stops in Niagara, when we had the chance to shoot videos with him last summer). He’s just released his latest album, Drifting – so we caught up with Rory to chat about the new music, his advice for musicians, and his deserted island picks. From The Strait: Tell us about the making of your new album, Drifting. Rory Taillon: For Drifting I really wanted to dive further down the path that I started on with my last album Only Whispers. With Only Whispers, I had stopped trying to write music that fit into a classification or that was very obviously influenced by music I liked or artists I wanted to emulate. Drifting also expanded on a lot of darker themes that mean a lot to me. There’s a lot of mental health struggle, remorse, frustration with the world, and my curiosity with the concept of death. Writing music for me has become a cathartic exercise in expressing things that I have trouble with just saying in conversation or outloud in general. The recording experience of this record was an amazing one. I once again worked with Dean Watson who recorded, co-produced and mixed Only Whispers and Theo Posthumus who I’ve been making music with since I was a teenager. We recorded this album at Dean’s new studio which was above a workshop in the middle of nowhere in Québec with my favourite people in the world surrounding me.
FTS: Who were your musical influences growing up, and how do they differ from your current influences? Rory: In high school I was a huge classic rock fan. The first time I heard Jimi Hendrix, it blew my mind and made me realize that music could be an expression of yourself and that you didn’t have to follow the rules when creating music. I got really into Pink Floyd and old blues masters like BB King, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker as well. Funnily enough, I was the singer in a heavy metal band in high school as well and was really heavily influenced by Killswitch Engage, Rage Against the Machine and System Of A Down. All of these influences definitely started the trajectory of my sound today, but I have stopped trying to emulate the sounds I was influenced by and actually did what Hendrix, Rage and Pink Floyd did by trying to discover my own sound.
FTS: You’re an extremely hard-working musician, it seems as though you’re often on the road (during normal circumstances). What advice would you give another musician starting out? Rory: I live for touring, it’s where I spend most of my time working. It’s been really strange not being able to tour during these times, but if that’s the price to keep people safe and to make sure our health care system isn’t overwhelmed, I am happy to stay home. For younger artists, I would say work hard on figuring out who you are and what your sound is. It’s going to take a lot of time to get there, but if you put in the work it’s satisfying as hell. Also, work hard. Listen to people, but apply it to your situation. Always be planning ahead for the next tour (when we can), release, etc. but don’t forget to live in the present at the same time and appreciate what you are currently experiencing. A support system is crucial too. My amazing and wonderful wife has been critical to my musical lifestyle in every way and I wouldn’t be still making music if not for her support.
FTS: What’s your favourite venue to play? Rory: That’s tough because there are a lot of great stages I’ve played and also a bunch have closed down over the years. Favourite closed venue would be The Moustache Club (RIP) that was in Oshawa ON. LIVE on Elgin up here in Ottawa ON is a great room and From the Grind Up in Fort Frances ON is always a treat.
FTS: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 albums would you want with you? Rory: I always spend way too much time deciding the answer to questions like this. This morning I would say: Wintersleep – Wintersleep At Last – Etta James Twin Solitude – Leif Vollebekk Heligoland – Massive Attack God’s Favourite Customer- Father John Misty And I’d sneak Dan Mangan’s More Or Less in under my shirt.
SlowCity Magazine - Rory Taillon's new album 'Drifting' : A review and An interview June 2020
Rory Taillon is a big lad with a big voice. Anyone who has seen the Port Perry raised Ottawa based singer songwriter perform will attest to his presence live. He can fill up the outside all by himself but on his new album, “ Drifting’, he is introspective. He is going inside himself and the album asks many questions. The title is apt.
With the world on pause we are all kinda drifting now. There is no force propelling us, no one steering. We are carried along on the streams of social media. ‘Drifting’ is an exploration of Rory’s time at his time and it is also now of ours in this time. Rory started this journey before the pandemic hit the world. This virus has been an enormous financial hit on musicians as venues close, tours are cancelled and the production of physical product delayed. The virality of the internet allowed music to spread quickly and freely. Freely been the apt word, musicians had been doubling-down on live performances and physical releases to generate some income. Now the virality of Covid-19 has removed those options for quite some time. So we drift. This maybe the worst time for a new release but perhaps the best time for ‘Drifting’ because it speaks to the time.
As a new and independent Taillon has a difficult time on at least two fronts; fitting into the smallness of a rock song and worming his show into the back corners of tea houses and breweries, the only venues available to new acts. Rory is operatic and needs a stage as larger than life as his voice is, to properly carry his art.
On this new record RT has decided to strip away all the clutter in the small and take what little room was available and give it over to his voice. Instrumentation is sparse and the songs are recorded to sit right inside your ear. They are close enough to enter the infinite space of your own head and its in there they find room to stretch and unwind, to swell and loosen. His croon enters your cocoon and he asks questions maybe others are asking as the drifting lulls us; the Whys of this time; in the case of Rory, the whys of touring, of writing, recording, the value of song, of life as an artist. And yet the value lies in his voice quietening those other voices, squeezing them out. Contemplating his doubt overcomes our doubt. In his voice we hear possibility, in his doubt we hear hope.
There seems to be something prog-rock-ish afoot in Durham Region musicians. It may be in part to the success of the operatics of heavy metal heroes Protest The Hero it maybe just the times, it maybe just me. But acts such as Deep Dark River, Mappe Of, Lindsay Schoolcraft, Punchu, and Chastity are pushing against the boundaries of the pop song, going higher, lower, wider, louder and in the case of Mappe Of filling an entire album with his own imaginary world. Perhaps its the boundlessness of the online, the restriction-less world of their spent youth. Whatever it is music in the Region is getting bigger, grander, going global. And JT on new album is wandering that same landscape and singing his not so little heart out. Slowcity.ca sent Rory some questions, answers below.
Slowcity.ca: Drifting - its an interesting title, it can be good, bad, which way are you drifting? Rory Taillon: ” I’m not really sure which way I’m drifting. I really liked Drifting as a title because it illustrated a lot of the themes of the album, as well as the flow of the feel throughout the album. It gave an image of a lot of the ideas and themes seeming like a sort of fog that one is drifting through as they listen to the record. I also like it as a sort of state of mind as a viewer of the issues I’ve written about, observing them through the music at a safe distance as they drift past them through the album.
SC: There seems to be a questioning element to much of it, what was the impetus behind the album? RT: There were a few things. A lot of the album is putting down my ideas and struggles with mental health as a sort of cathartic practice. I find I can put things into better words through writing songs than I can sometimes in conversations. There’s a lot of remorse about how I handled my issues in the past and anger in this album as well. I also was trying to work through my grasp and fascination of the concept of death as someone who grew up with a religious definition being presented as the answer for the early part of my life. SC: How do you think you have evolved musically on this album, and if you agree you have where were you hoping to go? RT: I definitely think there has been an evolution on this album. Only Whispers and Drifting have stepped away from trying to write music that fit a certain genre or style and attempting to write music that wasn’t being shoved into a genre box. I wanted to write songs that came together as they were instead of trying to chase someone else’s success with a sound. I also wanted to rely less on the bigness of my voice with this album and challenge myself with vocal techniques that I’m not as comfortable with and spend more time on the songs.
Drifting is the newest album from Ottawa based artist, Rory Taillon.
Drifting is like a dark back alley cafe, lit only by sparse candlelight and Taillon’s voice. The deep timbre of Tallon’s vocals echo off the smoke-filled room, resonating with your bones, urging you to connect with the music. Even if there are others in this imagined ‘cafe,’ Taillon builds a space just for him and the listener with minimalistic accompaniment that is only used to enforce the power of Taillon’s vocals. Instruments on Drifting include piano, percussion, upright bass, and electric bass, but the album most heavily leans on Taillon’s strumming acoustic guitar. So what does Taillon want to say once he has invited us into this rich space? It seems Taillon does not want to waste our time with anything but the big stuff: existential themes of remorse, acknowledgment, mental health, depression, frustration with the status quo, loneliness, and love. Using mostly free form lyrics, almost stream of consciousness, Drifting provokes the listener to present and mindful while exploring these essential ideas with the artist in real-time.
Standout tracks to me were “Wonder” and “Wilful & Blind”. “Wonder” starts with Taillon’s voice, almost a whisper, with the rhythm of a lullaby. However, this track is not for children as much as it is to lay the dead to rest. Taillon almost seems to be musing next to a passed loved one as he remarks in refrain; “I wonder if it’s like going to sleep… after a well-spent life.” There’s no more apt description for this track than ‘haunting.’ “Wilful & Blind” has an excellent sense of drama to it that almost put me in the mind of a gothic epic. With a constant, ominous chime throughout, Taillon’s voice takes on the effect of a gregorian chant, raising to emotional wails as the lyrics muse on the inevitability of death — and the human tendency to be willful and blind to these facts. There are other ‘lighter’ tracks on the album, but these two tracks really connected with me in this particular dark time.
Roots & Soul Music - Album Review Rory Taillon June 2020
So I have been waiting to listen to this album so I had time to dive in yesterday I got to listen 3 times through uninterrupted.. If you are looking for a feel good summer record this is not it, but if you need a punch in the gut this is your ticket. As you would expect from Rory there are the big vocal parts to this album. There are some very relevant subject matter. I have been a fan of Rory for a few years now and this is my favorite collection of pieces. I feel that this album will hit you differently depending on how you are feeling and your mindset when you listen, so multiple listens are encouraged and listen loud. Rory is a true Canadian talent that needs to be heard. my key tracks; Does it matter?, Float, Tether
- Eddie Young
JP's Music Blog - Discover New Music From Indie Artists The Jerry Cans, Rory Taillon, Fonkynson and Alexandra Lost May 2020
Canadian singer/songwriter Rory Taillon recently released his new album "Drifting." It features nine tracks, beginning with the gentle, folk ballad "Wonder," as his vocals are soothing among the song's quiet backdrop. Rory shows more passion in his vocals during "Alone," as you can tell he wants to rock out to the blues. He slowly climbs his way to your heart with the emotionally driven "Does It Matter?" and the poetic/classical nature of "Wilful & Blind." Rory Taillon finishes his new album with the stark, acoustic strumming of "Breathing" and the powerful delivery of "Welcome." To find out more about Rory Taillon and his latest release "Drifting," please visit rorytaillon.com.
“Wonder,” the opening song on this Rory Taillon album is slow moving, thoughtful and collective. It allows the vocals to really shine through and deliver on their promise. A song that captures the imagination.
“Alone,” is slow and thoughtful.
“Scapegoat,” works into the melodies of time. A song that captures the wonder of the world. Rory Taillon truly shines through here.
“Does It Matter?” is led by the acoustic guitar, which delivers a mournful tune throughout the song and encourages introspection.
“Float,” shimmers on the ground, delivering a pushing sensation. A song that captures the world through and through.
“Wilful and Blind,” is haunting and mournful.
“Breathing,” ups the ante slightly, making the words move off the page and into the listener’s mind.
“Tether,” shifts the body through and ensures the listener is left wanting more. Rory Taillon has truly delivered.
“Welcome,” finishes things off on a more upbeat frequency.
Canadian Beats - Rory Taillon releases new single, “Float” April 2020
Rory Taillon has unveiled an ASMR-inspired track, “Float.” The song, featuring Taillon’s soft murmurs and emotional guitar and piano playing, is sure to make the listener feel some sort of way. The unplugged ballad still manages to electrocute the listener with a wave of gloominess as Taillon highlights the struggles of mental illness. His voice breaks out of its soft shell near the single’s close, delivering a passionate rendition of his personal struggles.
Tinnitist - Indie Roundup (Double Score Edition) | 40 Songs For Your Weekend April 2020
32 | Rory Taillon | FloatTHE PRESS RELEASE: “Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Rory Taillon is a road warrior, touring across the country and back again. He has the soul of the East coast but the sound of the West in his songs, with a voice to match the majesty of the Rockies. Originally from Port Perry in the GTA, his new home allows him to capitalise on the touring opportunities available, crisscrossing the country. Rory Taillon is not just an entertainer, he is a performer. He is a classically trained singer, a multi-instrumentalist and vocally can turn his hand to a variety of genres. Rory’s new single Float is an intimate, stripped-back acoustic folk track that mimics the feeling of him playing in front of the listener. Inspired by the constant struggle one can have with keeping your demons and your mental health under control, the song is about wondering if it would just be easier to let go and ride the wave.”
A Chat With Matt - Matt's 5 Picks April 21 - April 27, 2020 April 2020
Rory Taillon is a storyteller. Every song feels like an adventure. I never know where I’m going end up, what I’m gonna hear or what I’m going to feel. But I always feel his emotional connection to his music. Currently in the midst of the build up to his next album release, Float is an absolutely breathtaking song that makes me beyond excited for this new collection of music. Instrumentation is stunning, vocals are unique and powerful. When the rest of the world discovers Rory, Canada is going to have a hard time holding onto him.
Slowcity.ca - New single 'Float' from Rory Taillon bridges social distancing April 2020
"Our very good pal Rory Taillon has released another track and if you ever wanted your very own in-person concert by the personable Taillon well snuggle up with “Float”. Listening to the song is like having the Rory croon in your ear. “Float” is about contemplating giving up, floating away, - a real issue at this time with so many indoors in uncomfortable circumstance, but “Float” speaks too to the exit strategy from such thoughts. Stay at home yes but let Rory in."
The block with Bryson - Monday March 31st on CIvl Radio March 2020
"...I think I can just say for all of us right now: Wow. Again, I'd known about Rory for a while after following him on Instagram, however this track (Welcome) especially impressed me with its passionate delivery, and its increasing intensity. As it builds and builds and builds arriving at this climax where Rory is just alight with this fire unmatched by most artists in the field today. Regardless of their stature. I think I can speak at least for myself that I haven't heard anything that's been that intense in a long while...I implore you to definitely give a listen to this artist because I really think he's going to blow up soon."
- Bryson Worden, The Block with Bryson on CIVL 101.7FM Listen HERE
From the Strait - 8 tracks collection XX March 2020
Find A Song - Find a song about dealing with your demons March 2020
Find A Song about dealing with your demons Rory Taillon - Welcome
I was exhausted dealing with my relationship with darkness, just wishing he would leave me and not return. I want people to feel like they aren’t alone in dealing with their demons. Mental health is heavily stigmatized and it’s really easy to feel like you’re the only one struggling and that darkness is all that is there.
SlowCity Magazine - Welcome a new song from rory taillon March 2020
Could be a lover, could be a virus, either/or you are not welcome here sings our pal Rory Taillon. Now based in Ottawa but originally from the Puerto Perry, Taillon has released a new single, “Welcome'“ from his upcoming album due to drop in May. The song was produced by Rory, Dean Watson and Theo Posthumus. There is a campfire jam band base to it, Blind Melon or Phish -ish but as one watches the sparks flicker upwards its Rory’s voice that soars with them and its a voice that could carry us all out of this mess here in this global village of ours. Dig into this prog-folk number and maybe we can all sing it from our balconies and raise our antennae like skinny fists in solidarity. If Rory joins in I’m pretty sure no matter where the subject hides in the world it would hear him loud and clear, “You’re not welcome here!”
Independent Music Reviews - Welcome by Rory Taillon March 2020
Great soft opening guitar and vocal. It’s a slight bit eerie, the lyric is opened up and complex. I think the softness in the percussion really builds the power in the song’s lyric. The track is layered and has such a brooding tone. This track is anthemic, and really deserves a focused listen. Singer Rory Taillon has been touring across the country showcasing his eloquent songwriting and powerful voice. I look forward to a EP or upcoming album release in the future.
Live in limbo - Song Premiere: "Welcome" by Rory Taillon March 2020
From The Artist : This song was inspired by the exhaustion of dealing with the darkness inside my mental struggle and just wishing “he” would leave me and not return. There’s acknowledgement of a “relationship” we have had over the years. This track was produced by Theo Posthumus, Dean Watson (who also recorded and mixed the album) and myself. It was a great experience because I had all these pieces for this song ready to go for the recording and once we had them all together we sat in it and talked about other little flavours we could add to make it even cooler. Dean ended up playing upright bass with a bow for the exit of the song and Theo played some cool sounding bass notes on an electric bass to fill out some of the bottom end. I want people to feel like they aren’t alone with dealing with their demons on a constant basis. Mental health is heavily stigmatized and it’s really easy to feel like you’re alone in your feelings and that the “darkness” is all that is there.
Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Rory Taillon is a road warrior, touring across the country and back again. He has the soul of the East coast but the sound of the West in his songs with a voice to match the majesty of the Rockies. Originally from Port Perry in the GTA his new home allows him to capitalise of the touring opportunities available, crisscrossing the country, one coffee shop at a time, one brew pub at a time to build up a following of fans. Rory Taillon is not just an entertainer, he is a performer. It’s just that simple, when Rory Taillon sings everything stops and when it starts again it’s all changed. It’s just that simple, like folk. He has charted; earshot, community radio, hitting number three on the National Folk Charts with his last album, “Only Whispers” – sitting next to Buffy St. Marie. But like Buffy, Rory Taillon is no coffeehouse kat seeking accolades over lattes. He is no beatless poet. He is a classically trained singer, a multi-instrumentalist and vocally can turn his hand to a variety of genres. The acoustic is for touring, there’s only so much room in a civic for gear, merch afterall and that voice, that voice needs its own tour bus. It is a band unto itself.
CKDJ 107.9FM - Ottawa's New Music Interview & Performance November 2019
Live interview and performance on CKDJ 107.9FM in Ottawa on Thursday November 21, 2019.
Lac la biche Post - Music in the Park at Churchill September 2019
If a song falls in the forest … and everyone is there
Area music lovers, or anyone looking for a unique night out are invited to grab tickets for tonight’s installment of the Alberta Parks Music in the Park series. Throughout the summer, intimate concerts have been held in Lac La Biche and Cold Lake parks, bringing unique musicians from across Canada to the area. Tonight’s show features Ontario-based Rory Taillon.
The guitar-centric performer is known for his light, but penetrating voice and meaningful lyrics. Many of his songs have a style that may remind some of Chris Isaac’s multi-tones in Wicked Games. In reviews, Taillon’s voice has been called “haunting,” and his fans are considered more to be ‘listeners” of his lyrical stories.
Classified more closely as a folk singer, his song catalogue crosses several genres. “I don’t think most folk listeners would consider me folk, even though I’m just one guy and an acoustic guitar,” said Taillon in an interview for New Brunswick’s Grid City.com magazine last year promoting his most recent album Only Whispers. “I can be a little more intense and aggressive than what most would consider folk, but it’s not rock either. When deciding on what genre we could tell people the album is, we decided to go with alternative-folk.”
Known as a touring road warrior, Taillon’s show at the new Alberta Parks Community Facility on the causeway to Sir Winston Churchill Park is a pit-stop on a fast-paced tour that is taking the singer to all corners of the country. Last night, Taillon was in Regina. Tomorrow night he’s in Calgary. He starts the next week in Golden, BC, before heading to Lethbridge then Medicine Hat and finishing the week in Kenora, Ontario.
Tickets for the Lac La Biche show are $15. The show goes from 6:30 to 10:30 pm.
Taillon’s concert is also the kickoff to the Alberta Parks Dark Sky Celebration weekend. On Saturday, Alberta Parks staff will be at the Shaw Lake Recreation Area from 6:30 pm. to 10:30pm for displays and activities. Alberta Parks development officer Jaclyn Denman says Saturday’s Dark Sky presentations will include nocturnal wildlife displays, fireside stories and astronomy sessions.
On Sunday at Sir Winston Churchill Park, the weekend’s events continue with an afternoon session inside the Star Lab for digital star gazing and information on the area’s Dark Sky designation.
The East - Craft Breweries of the east coast with Brooklyn Doran & ROry Taillon July 2019
Brooklyn Doran and Rory Taillon are two extraordinary musicians from Ontario. Brooklyn is a songwriter of incredible charm and talent, and Rory is a powerhouse vocalist and performer. Their careers has brought them to the East Coast so often that they may as well be honorary Maritimers. The pair have made a habit of touring craft breweries across the East Coast, exploring the natural synergy between music and craft beer, and have become enthusiastic experts. So, we asked them about their favourite East Coast craft beers and their favourite East Coast craft breweries.
Railcar Brewing Company (Perth-Andover, NB): Brooklyn: One of my favourite places to visit in the East Coast of Canada is Railcar Brewing Company. Not only is it a beautiful space, but it is helmed by one of the best humans on this earth. Brewmaster, Mitch Biggar, has a passion for brewing, one that is evident in any of the craft pints he serves up on tap. My favourite is the Blonde Ale, my introductory beer in 2018 when I visited Railcar for the first time. This July, I will be brewing alongside him and performing in the taproom afterwards. Come visit us on Monday July 22nd to see what we brew up.
Rory: Oh man, Railcar is so great, it’s always a good time! The Train Wreck IPA that we had on that first tour through when we stopped and played at the brewery was wonderful. A nice hoppy kick in the pint at 7% abv it checks all my boxes. This spot is a must for everyone visiting or driving past Perth/Andover. Mitch and Sarah are wonderful hosts with a lovely brewery to sit and have a pint as you take in the beautiful view of the St. John river! Just watch out for ducks as you go into the brewery, Brooklyn tried to make friends with one on our first trip to Railcar.
Grimross Brewing Company (Fredericton, NB): B:Grimross Brewing is not only a craft beer staple for the east coast, it is also the home base for both a local and touring music scene. I was first introduced to the Grimross stage as a performer for the Living Roots Music Festival. As a result, I am partial to their Living Roots Lager, but this time I toured through, I fell head over heels for the Scratch #21 Session IPA. I am normally a big of IPAs, and this one was unique. With a light hop, and a citrusy flavour profile, this one was my choice to bring home with me in my growler. R:Grimross is one of those places in the east coast that has a special place in my heart. I have played many a show in this brewery, met many of my Fredericton friends there and have had some tasty beers on my many visits to this amazing city. I would have to say that I am a fan of their Maritime Pale Ale, especially when it can be enjoyed on their patio with some vegan tacos. It’s a clean and light easy drinking beer that’s perfect for some sunshine and tour buddies.
Trider’s Craft Brewing (Amherst, NS): B: OPTION 1) The Mean Joe Bean is absolutely my favourite beer from the Amherst, NS micro brewery, Trider’s Craft Brewing. It is the only Blonde Ale I have ever had that seamlessly blends the flavours of coffee in with their recipe to create a smooth, aromatic experience. I am such a fan of coffee introductions in the world of beer, but before this have only seen them in darker varieties like porters and stouts. This Blonde Ale perfectly captures the essence of coffee, without feeling heavy. Shout out to the album art which features and incredibly tall coffee bean playing a stand-up bass. OPTION 2) If you are looking for a radler with a high percentage, the 25 to Life is a mean 7.5% and is a crisp, delicious choice that will knock you off of your feet. Described as “prison grog” both the 25 to Life and the 25 to Life (no parole) were the highest percentage shandy or radler that I have ever tasted. Dangerous. R:Trider’s is one of those places for me that I had been recommended several times by beer drinker friends who saw that I was touring through Nova Scotia. I was never travelling through Amherst, NS at an appropriate time to stop in on any previous tours, but we lucked out with timing this past trip. Am I ever glad that we stopped in! This place is a little off the beaten path, but holy smokes can they brew tasty beers with lots of flavour! Their flight boards are large pieces of a tree trunk with cup spaces carved into the surface of them. For my choice of beer I am going to have to go with the White Ogre white IPA. This was the first time that I had ever tried a Belgian IPA (these are two of my favourite styles of beer) and it was exactly what I was hoping for. The best of both of those styles’ flavours harmoniously mixed into one delicious, hoppy, smooth and slightly sweet beer. Also, the album artwork for this particular beer features an ogre’s face that does not look dissimilar to my own mug. According to Brooklyn, the ogre is also making my “drunk smile” face in the illustration.
Brasseurs Petit Sault (Edmunston, NB): B:La Renous is one of my favourite discoveries from Petit Sault this tour. Rory and I often like to stop in Edmunston for a flight after a long drive east. What initially drew me to this brewery was their artwork, often depicting characters as clay images on their labels. Until recently, Bob LeBoeuf was one of those beers that I picked up because of its label and then was pleasantly surprised by it’s full-bodied flavour. However, this time through, I was introduced to La Renous, a dopplebock, with a dark malty flavour that carries across the entire pint. Hot tip; next time you stop by the brewery try mixing La Renous with Buckmousse for an entirely new experience. So tasty. R: For me this time through, the beer I was most attached to was the Spoutnique IPA. This was a collaboration beer that Petit Sault did with a prog-rock band from Edmundston. The beer was a deliciously, crisp, citrusy IPA at 6.2% abv that made me all kinds of happy after the long drive through Québec. Seeing the clay character portrayals of the beer names on the labels was what drew me to this beer initially as well. It’s such an original and entertaining way to brand these bottles. Part of me wants to see these characters in an animation about brewing or maybe in a show about a small beer themed town where everyone has to deal with Bob LeBouef’s absent minded shenanigans on a day-to-day basis.
Pump House (Moncton, NB): B: I LOVE blueberry beers, and one of my top rated beers of all time is the Pump House Blueberry Ale served onsite with actual blueberries floating inside the pint glass. Not only is this a delicious beer that has held up for me, tour after tour as my absolute favourite from this brewery, but it is also such a fun treat to have actual blueberries inside of the glass. Take a case home and try it for yourself! R: My favourite thing about this brewery is just how happy and excited Brooklyn gets about the blueberries in her Blueberry Ale. That and their membership mugs that are shaped like fire hydrants.
Maybee Brewing Company (Fredericton, NB): B: As a fan of IPAs, Maybee Brewing Company’s Work Horse is a stand out. It is hoppy, flavourful, and perfect for a summer’s day on the porch. R: Maybee Brewing Company’s Elevensies Espresso Stout brings together three awesome things for me: Stout’s, coffee and Tolkien references (if that’s not meant to be a Lord of the Rings reference, I’m still taking it as one). A nice dark stout with delicious coffee flavours that is perfect for a growler fill.
Hammond River Brewing Company (Hammond River, NB): B: My first time visiting Hammond River Brewing Company was in 2019 on tour with Rory Taillon and I am so sad that I haven’t made it out to the brewery before. Not only is the Blood Orange Hefeweizen one of the most beautiful, tart, crisp, tasty beers in existence; they also have many incredible beers on tap- including a blueberry ale. It is clear to see that this beer is brewed with love and passion. Not to mention, the Assistant Brewmaster is the cutest little doggo I have ever met, and she loves pets. R: Hammond River Brewing is a brewery for me that I really wanted to get back to. A few years ago when I was touring the east coast by myself I played a gig in Rothesay and I had this incredibly flavourful milk stout. It was just so damn good I had to find out where it was made so that I could take some home to my Ontario beer people to try. After some searching and a chat with the bartender, I found out the name of this brewery and the next day I set out to find this wonderful place. Unfortunately at the time of this tour, the brewery was still in the brewer’s basement at his home and being that I’m a large bearded man who had been on the road for a while, I decided not to terrify the homeowner with an unsolicited knock on his door on a Tuesday afternoon. Hammond River now has a full blown brewery location in the town of Rothesay where you can sit and have a flight, which Brooklyn and I obviously did. This time for me, the Paisley Park sour was a stand out on my flight. A deliciously sour, raspberry infused Berliner Weisse was just what I needed while sitting on that back patio in the sunshine.
On the Road Back Home: R: As for Ontario breweries that anyone coming here should check out I will give you three. Dominion City Brewingin Ottawa is one of my favourite breweries ever. There is soo much flavour in their beers and they are a politically active community engaging company as well. Check out what they did for the “Buck-a-Beer” initiative alone. I love this place. Their Sunsplit IPA is absolute sunshine in a glass. A perfectly cloudy and citrusy IPA that makes me all kinds of happy. 5 Paddles Brewing Co.in Whitby is a must stop for anyone who enjoys as much flavour in a beer as they can handle. Their Midnight Paddleris a Canadian Imperial Stout that is so dark, thick and delicious you could put it on pancakes. If you can get down around Christmas time, you might even get a wine barrel aged version which is heavenly. These guys are a must stop for me anytime I’m driving the 401. Fairweather Brewing Co.in Hamilton is a newer recommendation from me. I stopped in here on a southern Ontario tour a couple of months ago and was blown away by the flavour and the range in their beers! They have mastered putting flavours that you wouldn’t think would go together in their beer and then blending them perfectly in the most complimentary way. Apsara is a Pale Sour with peach, vanilla and chai that I tried when I was there recently on tour. I honestly thought based on the description of flavours that this beer was not going to be great, but it blew me away! B: All of those Ontario beers are boss choices, and sound so delicious I could cry. Let me give you another three to round out a visit to our neck of the woods, should you ever venture our way on a beer journey. Firstly, one of Rory’s tour traditions, that over these past million tours we’ve done together, he’s kindly shared with me is a trip to Beau’s All Naturalon our way eastward. Based in Vankleek Hill, just outside of Ottawa, the patio is a great first stop on our way to get gas, tour snacks and a few growlers to bring to our east coast pals before we hit the road. My all time favourite beer from these guys is the Blood Simple. Clean, bursting with citrus flavour and that blood orange taste that won’t quit. I could drink this beer for eons, straight out of the tap. Secondly, the High Grass Saison from Second Wedge Brewing Co.is always a beautiful pint that I could empty a keg of so fast. Plus, Rob and Joanne have created an amazing taproom space and are such kind and passionate teammates that elevate the meaning of community in their space, and in all of their programming- including being such an incredible support to independent and touring artists. And for a beer that tastes like you could pour it over ice cream and call it a sundae is the Chocolate Manifesto Stout from Flying Monkeys Brewerybased in Barrie, ON. Every year for Christmas I always ask for one in my stocking and it is one of my absolute favourite beers to drink on a cozy evening by the fire. P.S. Rory also has two collaboration beers with 5 Paddles Brewing Co. that are outstanding. Jukebox and A Reason were both limited edition batches that feature music by Rory Taillon right on the label. I am not joking. You can peel the label right off of your beer and put it right onto a record player – the perfect musical pairing to a delicious pint.
-Alex Cook, Brooklyn Doran & Rory Taillon View article HERE
From the Strait - This or that with Rory Taillon July 2019
Rory Taillon stopped by FTS HQ to play a little “This or That” with us, despite a few technical difficulties. (Dang cameras move on their own!) Check out the clip to see how he feels about Nu-Metal, hometown gigs, and a badass Muppet named Janice. - Kris & Nolan View Article HERE
Grid City Magazine - The Capital Project: Week 1 May 2019
This week’s episodes from The Capital Project featured performances by Wangled Teb and Rory Taillon, and explore the history of Fredericton’s premier live music venue.
With the long-awaited rollout of The Capital Project web series now underway, I think we can all agree this project has been well worth the wait. Hundreds of hours of collected performances and interviews are now being syphoned onto the World Wide Web for our collective enjoyment with new videos dropping every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.With the intent of helping you stay on top of this series, we’ve teamed up Raynemaker Productions to deliver our own weekly series recapping the week’s shared content. From now until the end of the series rollout, we’ll be bringing you a weekly update each Friday that recaps the week’s posts and the content therein. So let’s get at it... ... Spotlight series – Rory Taillon
This week rounded out with a performance video featuring Ottawa musician Rory Taillon, one of several performers who have become regulars on the east coast circuit thanks to the work of promoters like Eddie Young (Roots and Soul Promo).
Taillon will be in the city next week performing as part of this year’s Living Roots Music Festival.
Slowcity Magazine - Hey Oshawa scensters, Saturday's choices include Greenbank, Garnet or Horseshoe March 2019
All or nothing to reference a brewery, feast or famine etc; Oshawa scenesters have a choice to make on Saturday Mar 23. So much goodness, so much high rock-ness but one can only choose one folks, (possibly two). Demographics may determine what show y’all end up at.
...Rory Taillon, Stephen Fearing at the Greenbank Folk Club: Dang, this is a gig and a half!! Oshawa kats from the Wasted Space/Moustache Club times will be digging this pretty rad show for Rory Taillon. Now based in Ottawa Taillon is in many ways on a line with Tom Wilson of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings which features Colin Linden Stephen Fearing who is the headliner here. The Greenbank FC is a gem, always a great night, always an attentive audience, and one should go if only to see Fearing’s reaction when he hears the Taillon no mic required voice."
therecord.com - Singer-songwriter Rory Taillon to play show at Moonshine Juicery February 2019
The hard-touring Taillon promoted the album with a marathon 52-day trek across Canada, playing 36 shows from Sydney, N.S., to Whistler, B.C.
When The Record last chatted with singer-songwriter Rory Taillon a year and a half ago, he was getting ready to release a new album, 2017's "Only Whispers," a stripped-down solo effort that showcased the Ottawa-based musician's alt-folk songwriting and powerful voice.
Since then, Taillon's hard work and commitment to touring earned the album a 17-week run on the Canadian campus radio charts, including No. 1 positions in stations as far apart as Fredericton and Thunder Bay. "Only Whispers" also reached number three on the national folk chart, where it peaked just behind a Canadian legend.
"I was number three behind Buffy Sainte-Marie. That was pretty sweet to see our names together," Taillon said in a phone interview this week, adding jokingly that "I was OK that she was beating me. I accept that."
The album's nationwide success on campus radio helped Taillon continue to grow his profile and his fan base. "I wasn't sure what to expect with it, because you never know with the way radio is these days. Campus (radio) seems to be the best way for stuff that's not Top 40, and it kind of took off in some places, which was great and which turned into interviews when I was on the road in the areas we were playing in," he said. "That also turned into people coming out to shows, which was really cool."
The hard-touring Taillon promoted the album with a marathon 52-day trek across Canada, playing 36 shows from Sydney, N.S., to Whistler, B.C. Though most of the tour found Taillon driving his car across Canada by himself, he was joined by a welcome tour mate on the West Coast.
"I was lucky, I did three weeks out west and fortunately my wife came for two of those weeks, so we kind of made it a little bit of a trip, too, which was nice. She came all the way out to Vancouver but then flew back, so I had to drive all the way back by myself. The rest of that was all solo, but it's kind of nice — you get to know yourself maybe a little too well," he said with a laugh. "It's wild to do it, for sure."
Taillon said he's currently working on new material and hopes to head into the studio to record his next album in late spring. Taillon said the lyrics on his new material continue to probe the darker themes found on "Only Whispers," and he hopes to again recreate the sound of his solo live performances, as he did for the first time on his previous record.
"It was really cool to record that way, because it was more honest," he said. "I tour that way, so it was really cool to have albums that sounded more like that. My albums prior to that were combinations with bands and stuff, whereas 'Only Whispers' was what you get when you see me."
Prior to the release of "Only Whispers," Taillon collaborated with 5 Paddles Brewing Company from Whitby, Ont., to create a beer named after one of his songs whose label could also be peeled off and played on a turntable. They then did the same for the song, "A Reason," and Taillon said he'd be happy to continue working with the brewery on future releases.
"It's really weird to have a beer with your face and your name on it, but it's been kind of cool, too, because it was almost cross-contamination with them and myself, like people that know my stuff are going there to go get it, but also people that are really into their beer are like, 'Who the hell's this guy?' and check it out," he said. "I would love to do it again."
Taillon's next appearance locally will be at the Moonshine Juicery, which is located in a restored 19th-century barn in Waterloo. The show was booked via Side Door, a musical network co-founded by Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan to help small venues and people looking to host house shows connect with touring musicians. As both a solo touring artist and a Mangan fan, Taillon said using the service was a no-brainer.
"I'm a big Dan Mangan fan, as a listener, and he announced he was working on this new platform to connect house show hosts with musicians, and it sounded awesome so I looked it up and got involved as soon as I could," he said, adding that the process benefits everyone involved. "It's not just artists looking for places, it's people wanting music in their space, which is wicked."
The East Magazine - FREDERICTON’S LIVING ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL ADDS PERFORMERS TO 2019 LINEUP January 2019
Not all festival announcements are big surprises. Some, like today’s announcement of a rather unsurprising addition to Living Roots Music Festival’s 2019 lineup are pleasant returns and a gentle reminders that some things are still right with the world… or at least this part of New Brunswick’s music festival scene.
The two new additions to the festival’s 2019 lineup announced today are Brooklyn Doran of Toronto, Ontario and Rory Taillon of Ottawa, Ontario. Both are returning and welcome veterans of past Living Roots lineups.
“Brooklyn and Rory are an example of what this festival is all about, great artists but more importantly great humans the come and interact with other artists, fans and really add a great deal of positivity to anything they are involved with,” says Living Roots organizer Eddie Young.
Doran first encountered Young while touring her debut full-length album in 2016, travelling with Taillon on the East Coast tour. Young had booked Doran to perform at Grimross Brewing Co. in Fredericton, but quickly discovered he had bigger plans for the pair of crowd pleasers.
“Eddie asked us to play the festival the following spring and then we just kept coming back,”says Doran. “Now, it has sort of become a tradition for Rory and I to travel to Living Roots every year!?”
“I have travelled to almost everywhere in Canada, but Fredericton is one of my favourite places in to visit. I especially love the community of artists, creators and local businesses that continually support one another.
I have never left Bellwether without buying some amazing vintage threads, or Backstreet Records without vinyl in my hand. So many great breweries to visit in town and I’ve made almost more friends here than I have in Toronto!”
Doran is currently in the writing phase of her next album and sitting on a plenty new material which will, at the very least, be primed for performing at Living Roots, if not fully recorded.
“I am really excited about what I do have, and I think it’s going in a really cool direction,” says Doran.
Living Roots Music Festival happens in Fredericton (and Harvey Station), New Brunswick between May 30th and June 1st, 2019. The Hawksley Workman show on Saturday, June 1st is being co-presented with Shivering Songs at the Wilmot United Church and tickets can be purchased individually or as part of a festival pass bundle. Tickets and passes are available through etixnow.com.
Soundcheck Entertainment - Beers, Beards AND Making Music: q&A with rory taillon September 2018
Nicknames being slapped onto a musician are nothing new. We’ve got Kings and Killers, the Chairman of the Board, a Pope of Mope and even a Prince of Darkness. However, only one dude can lay claim to being named after one of the most popular characters from a galaxy far, far away. The Chewbacca of Alt. Rock doesn’t live on Kashyyyk. Rory Taillon’s making music right here in Ottawa!
Though he was first musically inspired by classic rockers before the first hairs sprouted on his chinny chin chin, the now bearded musician doesn’t quite agree with the rocker moniker. He prefers to call his music alternative-folk but he’s totally down with the Wookie connection. That beard ain’t going anywhere. And what pairs itself perfectly with some good tunes? Some fine brews, of course! Not satisfied simply sipping suds while penning some new tunes, Taillon joined up with Whitby, Ontario’s 5 Paddles Brewing Company to unveil a truly unique blend of brewskie. Now he’s entering into local craft beer territory with a gig this weekend at Beau’s Oktoberfest with a Folkin’ Wake up Saturday at 12:45 PM.
Soundcheck’s Andre Gagne talks beer, beards and making music ahead of Taillon’s weekend gig at Vankleek Hill’s ultimate beer bash!
Andre Gagne: You were drawn to one particular style of music back in high school you’ve cited as being influential to you wanting to become a musician and that’s classic rock. What was it about the older stuff that grabbed? Rory Taillon: There were a couple factors I think that drew me towards classic rock at the beginning. I bought a Jimi Hendrix record on a whim because I thought he looked interesting in the photo on the front of the CD. I was immediately intrigued and blown away by his unorthodox approach to guitar playing and it seemed like he was writing music purely out of passion and emotion. My father is also a huge classic rock fan, so as soon as I showed any interest in the genre, he got excited and starting showing me more and more from his own collection. I still enjoy that era because a lot of the biggest and most popular bands were writing ground breaking, original and passionate music.
That said, how would you describe your own style? I slapped the term “alternative-folk” on the latest album as a genre because there’s definitely a folk base to my music with me being a solo musician with an acoustic guitar, but I can be louder and more aggressive than most would consider folk. I’ve also been called Chamber Folk recently which I also thought was interesting and poetic. Though it’s easier to get your music out there these days with social media, streaming sites, etc., what would you say are some of the hurdles new musicians face in getting their songs discovered? I think the volume of music out there due to the ease of getting one’s songs out has created this vast ocean where everyone’s music gets lost. Most people have to have their music recommended by a mutual third party it seems to get attention from industry people, bookers, writers, etc. I can’t blame the people for this either. There is so much music out there I barely even come across an act I like on my own anymore. I get most of my new music through recommendations from friends, or bands I play with. I’ve also found being original or different doesn’t always help you anymore either. A lot of listeners these days –and I’m sure this has been true for a long time– don’t want to try out something new. Some prefer to hear something like everything else that they listen to.
You’ve said “The Last Iris” from your first release is one of your favourites of your own tunes. Can you share how that one came to light? I wrote that song shortly after losing someone very important to me and I was distraught. I wrote the song to try and make myself get past it a bit. My best friend got me into his home studio to record it shortly after and worked on the song with me to also help with the grieving process. It always reminds me of the person I wrote it about, so I love playing it or hearing it whenever I want to be taken back.
Now you actually started out in Toronto, right? What had you packing up and setting up here in O-town? I spent a little time in Toronto and never really liked it. It just wasn’t me, so I spent a few years in Oshawa before finally being able to move up to Ottawa. This city had always been on the top of my wife and I’s list of places we’d like to live. Oshawa’s music and art scene was amazing for me and I love so many people and places involved in it, but it was time for me to move on. My wife got an offer for a job up here and as long as there’s a highway, I can still get out and tour.
You’ve been rolling around the Ottawa scene now for a bit. What are some of your favourite places to play? Ottawa is rich with really cool live music venues. I’ve played LIVE! on Elgin a number of times, and I just love the feel of that room, the owners are great people and the beer on tap is all craft beer. Bar Robo is one of the most interesting looking little venues I’ve ever been to, I’ve had some amazing evenings in that little room. House of Targ is a gem and a blast from the past. There’s something special about loading in early to a show so that you have enough time for perogies and pinball. Pressed is beautiful in its own way and I’ve had some incredible shows there where one even ended with me playing up on their bar because the speakers cut out. Irene’s is a staple, Atomic Rooster is always fun and Happy Goat is one of the most warm places in the city with the best damn coffee.
Only Whispers is your third album. Did you approach this one differently from the previous two? There were a couple things that we did differently with this album compared to the first two. First off, the entire album was recorded live off the floor. I set up like I would at a show and mics were set up around me and I did the guitar, vocals and kick drum at the same time like a show so that our recordings could be as true to stage sound as possible. The other difference was that with the exception of friends of mine playing violin and upright bass on Strings and my wife doing a piano part on With Grace, the entire album was all solo. My other albums had both solo and band tracks, this is the first one that’s strictly a solo album.
It’s been called much darker than the other albums. Why do you think that is and was a darker tone something you were aiming for? My music has always been dark leaning, but this album is definitely darker as a whole than the other two. When I was picking the songs for the album, I chose the ones that I did because they all fit together and worked as a whole. It touches on dark subjects like death, loss and battling personal demons and mental health. I like music with heavy subjects and it helps me express myself when I write music like that. I also find the concept of death completely fascinating. It’s something that we all share and yet no one really has any factual knowledge about what happens to us when we die.
Now, while musicians often have unique collaborations yours really “hops”. Ok, bad pun. Seriously, though, what got you involved with 5 Paddles Brewing Company to create a beer? I love 5 Paddles and everyone there. When I lived in Oshawa, I started going to the brewery because I really enjoyed a number of their beers. I became friends with a number of the owners from being a regular and once it finally came out that I was musician, they started asking me to play for them at special occasions. At one of my shows, one of the owners approached me about collaborating on a beer with them that had a label that would play a song on a record player. I of course was onboard right away and we released Jukebox, a Coffee Vanilla Stout, in March of 2017 and most recently A Reason, an Imperial Wit, in June 2018.
How did you find the Coffee Vanilla Stout on first taste? It was so good! Mike, the brewer I worked on the beer with, absolutely nailed it! It was such a treat.
As a coffee lover who usually puts vanilla soy in my java I totally have to try this! Did you find pairing up with the beer company introduced your music to a different audience that may not have discovered you before? It did seem to attract a lot of press. Definitely! It was really awesome to see people go and check the beer and 5 Paddles out because they were fans of mine, but also to see all the people be introduced to me because of their love of 5 Paddles and all the awesome beers they produce.
Speaking of beers, you’ve been asked to play Beau’s Oktoberfest this year. That’s always a party. What are you expecting from this gig? Beer! (laughs) Oh so much delicious beer. I am ecstatic to be playing Oktoberfest again. It’s one of my favourite parties of the year and to be asked to come back and play again is a real honour. Last time I played it was one of my favourite show experiences I’ve ever had. I’m also really excited to check out a lot of the other bands on the bill for the event. I’m expecting delicious new beers, lots of awesome food, great tunes and an awesome couple of days.
Ok, so you’ve been called the Chewbacca of Alt rock. Any beard grooming tips for us facial haired dudes? Keep it trimmed and make sure you’ve got some good oil to keep it moist and a balm to keep its shape. Beards always look better, thicker and are healthier if you keep top of them with regular trimming. (Insert Chewbacca growl)
When you look back on 2018 what do you most remember? 2018 has been insane. I’ve played a number of awesome festivals such as the Dragon Boat Festival in Ottawa this past June and the Tay Creek Folk Festival in Fredericton in July. I’ve gotten the chance to play with some great Canadian artists like Matt Mays, Craig Cardiff, Amos the Transparent and Julian Taylor to name a few. I’ve had a lot of fun touring around including two trips to the east coast, and I had my second collaboration beer with 5 Paddles come out. I’m looking forward to a strong finish to this year as well with two more festivals and some more touring in the coming months.
Awesome! What’s in store for ya’ in 2019? I’m currently writing some new music, so hopefully I’ll get back into the studio either at the end of this year or the spring of 2019. I also want to tour Canada again this spring and hopefully head over to do Europe as well.
visit kingston - 9 Can't miss concerts this august in kingston August 2018
This month’s hottest tickets include Cold Creek County at Springer Market Square, Yukon Blonde at Wolfe Island Music Festival, and The Rural Alberta Advantage at MacKinnon Brothers Brewing’s annual field party...
... Friday, August 31, 2018, 8 pm - Musiikki Café - Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Rory Taillon has been crisscrossing the country for months now in support of his third full-length album, “Only Whispers,” a dark, alternative-rock gem. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and classically-trained vocals, he manages to channel a raw, layered sound that hints at Wintersleep, Tea Party and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
Rory Taillon (RT) has been busy this summer, playing bigger festival shows in Ottawa and many other shows all across Ontario and New Brunswick. His latest album is called Only Whispers and you should check it out while reading about his influences, favourite local band, and favourite show he’s ever played.
Upcoming shows: August 31 - Musiikki Cafe, Kingston, ON September 1 - Manantler Brewing Co, Bowmanville, ON September 2 - The 2nd Wedge Brewing Co., Uxbridge, ON September 8 - Pembroke Patio Party, Pembroke, ON September 9 - Vibration Studios, Osgoode, ON September 14 - Mulberry Café (Supercrawl), Hamilton, ON
SA: How did you get your start in music? RT: I started singing in choirs as a very young kid. I grew up singing in church and in choral groups all through grade school and high school while also taking classical voice lessons. Once in high school though, I really got into classic rock music and decided to picked up a guitar. From there I started singing and playing guitar and bass in a number of different blues, rock, soul and metal bands. I was hooked. Music got put on the back burner a bit for me after high school, but a couple years ago I was laid off from my day job and my wife and best friend convinced me to give music another go and I’ve been doing it ever since. SA: What bands would you cite as biggest influences on your sound? RT: My first big musical influence was Jimi Hendrix. His music was the first time in any sort of popular music where my mind was blown by the obvious love of writing music and making it something completely your own. It was such an expression of himself. My biggest influence on my music right now would definitely be Tom Waits. I’m also really heavily influenced by Dan Mangan, Shakey Graves, Nina Simone, Ryan Adams, Kendrick Lamar, Father John Misty and Nora Jones these days. SA: Thus far in your career, what has been your biggest success? RT: I’m not sure what I would consider my biggest success. I’ve played some really awesome stages with some incredible bands. I’ve done two collaborations with 5 Paddles Brewing Co. out of Whitby ON. where the beer label was a playable vinyl 45 with my music on them. That was pretty awesome. I’m also always incredibly grateful to still be touring and playing all over the place. SA: On the other hand, what is the biggest challenge you have faced, and how have you dealt with it? RT: Honestly, sometimes the biggest challenge is just to keep at it. I mean, I get to play MY music for a living and get to travel more than most people and see things and places multiple times that most people don’t get to see in their lifetime, but there is definitely a trade off. The highs are matched by the lows with the doubt and the constant hustle to get shows, opportunities, etc. I’m very fortunate though to have an incredibly supportive and amazing wife who has my back and encourages me forward when I some times want to stop. I wouldn’t trade what I do in for anything else and I love it so much; it’s just not always a party. SA: How do you approach the song-writing process? RT: I don’t really have a set way of writing to be honest. Sometimes the melody comes first, sometimes it’s the lyrics, but a lot of times I will come up with a riff on guitar first. Once I’ve got a piece of something that I find interesting I usually grab a glass of whiskey, beer or tea and sit and play with it until I get somewhere or it drives me so insane that I have to leave it alone for a bit. After I’ve got something I’m a little happy with, I “road test” it at shows and try to flesh it out/trim it or decide if it should just get stripped for parts for other songs. SA: What are your thoughts on the Ottawa music scene? RT: The Ottawa music scene is definitely a unique and interesting one. There are a lot of talented people in this city and a lot of really interesting and sometimes unorthodox venues to play their original music in. Something that has set this city apart for me too is the amount of support that the city seems to give to the arts and music community here. There are a great number of festivals big and small here and there always seems to be some sort of initiative encouraging some chapter of the Ottawa art community where a lot of other cities that I’ve lived in either don’t know where to put support properly or have no idea how to support their own scene and go elsewhere for art instalments and music for functions and festivals. SA: In your opinion: What is the best song you have written? RT: That’s an awkward one for me. I don’t know if I could say what my best song is, but I have favourite songs for different reasons. The Last Iris off of my first EP I love because it was therapeutic for me to write and reminds of my why I wrote it every time I sing it. With Grace was written for my wife and I’m not good at love songs so that’s always going to be her’s. End Game was the first time I think I dabbled in finding my own sound both sonically and lyrically. Smile makes me happy because when I released it a friend of mine told me that I was the only one who could write a song that sad and then have the audacity to call it Smile, haha. SA: If you had to choose, what is your favourite show you’ve ever played (venue, city, other bands)? RT: That’s a tough one to answer because I’ve had some awesome shows with some incredible bands in amazing venues over the years. My favourite might have to be from a couple years ago when I helped put together a Tom Waits tribute night with a bunch of my favourite musician friends from groups like Hairy Holler, Benjamin Reines, Fish Head Phil, The Volume Academy, etc. at my favourite venue, The Moustache Club in Oshawa. It was incredible because I not only got to hear some of the best musicians I know play our collectively favourite songs by Mr. Waits, but I also got to jam with them on one of the best stages around. Sadly, The Moustache Club is no longer around, but I had some of the best nights of my life on that stage and in that bar.
SA: A question for fun: If you had to pick your favourite local band in Ottawa, who would you choose and why? RT: I really enjoy The Heavy Medicine Band. Keturah is an incredible singer, songwriter and performer. The band is just really solid and their shows are always a great time. SA: What do you have in store in 2018? Best wishes for a great rest of the year, Rory! RT: Thanks so much! For the rest of the year I’ve got a couple more festivals to play like Supercrawl in Hamilton and Beau’s Oktoberfest. I’ve got a few tours to do as well and I’m starting to write my next album. It was a pleasure talking with you, hopefully we can share a pint or something some time.
Gridcity Magazine - Rory Taillon Brings ‘Only Whispers’ to Fredericton May 2018
Ottawa’s Rory Taillon returns to Fredericton this week for performances under the Living Roots Music Festival banner. A past performer of the festival, Taillon is back again this year in support of his latest album, Only Whispers, his third full-length album and possibly his darkest to date.
“It was my first album in a few years and it’s a collection of songs that I thought would work best with how I wanted to put the album together and record it,” said Taillon. “It’s a very dark album, which is not uncommon for me, but I wanted to put it all out there in a way that suited this particular collection of songs best.”
Following the opening track Smile, with its dark and menacing mix of heavy guitar and vocals that offer Taillon a chance to showcase his powerful depth and range as a singer, the album continues on through a range of stripped-down instrumentation guided more often than not by a considerably softer dynamic.
“This album is different for me because it’s the first ‘solo’ album,” said Taillon. “My other releases where a combination of band and solo tracks, but this one is strictly solo with some guest musicians adding character to some tracks.”
With the exception of just two tracks, the bulk of Only Whispers was recorded by live-off-the-floor in the back room of a church.
“I wanted the album to be able to capture what my live show is like, but because of my volume and dynamics it has always been a challenge,” said Taillon. “To record, I set up the way I would at a show and performed. I then plugged in a few extra parts afterward over the foundation of guitar, vocals and drum.”
Taillon has three performances at this year’s festival with shows at Grimross Brewing Co., Wilser’s Room and the Barnhouse Pub Family Restaurant in Keswick. Performing on bills with TWIN, Irish Mythen, Colin Fowlie and others, Taillon’s mix of folk and alt-rock influences are a perfect fit for the festival’s diverse lineup.
“I don’t think most folk listeners would consider me folk, even though I’m just one guy and an acoustic guitar,” said Taillon. “I can be a little more intense and aggressive than what most would consider folk, but it’s not rock either. When deciding on what genre we could tell people the album is, we decided to go with alternative-folk.”
Upcoming Performances: May 24 | Barnhouse Pub Family Restaurant | Keswick, NB May 25 | Grimross Brewing Co | Fredericton, NB May 26 | Wilser’s Room | Fredericton, NB May 27 | Railcar Brewing Co. | Perth-Andover, NB
First time seeing Mountain Eyes perform. Nice stripped down acoustic folk-pop set.
So the speakers wasn’t working during Rory Taillon’s set. He just sang without the mic. Never thought I'd see a musician perform on the bar.
The show ended it off with Vancouver’s The Long War. So the band won 2017 CBC Searchlight contest. Wonderful set of tunes from their album Landscapes which came out on April 20th. A band you should check plus they are back this Saturday at the Blacksheep Inn.
Interview and performance on CKCU FM's weekly Ottawa Live Music show. Listen to HERE
Toronto Star - Opportunity for local musicians November 2017
Here's a question. Why would a musician move for the Centre of The Universe to Ottawa?
Rory Taillon, a full-time professional musician, and his wife, Julie, who works in the health sector, moved from the GTA to the 'TWA over a year ago. He says they made the move to our Nation's Capital because the city offers more opportunity for work, hers as well as his.
"I've personally had a lot more opportunity in Ottawa than I did in Toronto," he says. "There's a lot of over saturation in Toronto because it was very much the place to move if you were a musician in Canada."
"The city of Ottawa also gives more opportunity for the local musicians to play their major festivals like City Folk, Bluesfest, etc. City Folk had an off shoot festival called Marvest that went on at the same time. It placed local indie musicians in a huge number of local businesses performing at the same time," he says.
Taillon is currently touring his new album, Only Whispers, across Canada. Ottawa gives him easier access to the East Coast, the west and south toward Toronto.
"Ottawa has been good for me as far as touring because it's more central in the country. Toronto was great because it had a lot of places in close proximity that you can play, but Ottawa makes touring across the country more accessible. The East Coast is so much more attainable and Quebec is right there. It's also the same distance to head west as Toronto," Taillon says. For an independent artist, affordability and accessibility are key considerations. Ottawa offers both.
Canadian Beats - Review : Rory Taillon November 2017
Ottawa based artist Rory Taillon has just released his beautifully illustrated and eagerly awaited new recording Only Whispers which is by far his most personal and vulnerable to date.
The 9 tracks were recorded this past summer and open with the dark, brooding track, “Smile”. A menacing electric overdriven guitar intro with matching vocals akin to Nick Cave, belting out “get over it and smile”; it’s a dramatic opener and sets the thematic tone for this ensemble piece. “Whispers” slows the tempo down and Taillon’s thought-provoking lyrics and softer tones come through to showcase his folk/rock roots.
Next track, “Strings” has been on heavy rotation on the Canadian Beats playlist, and it’s a haunting, melodic ukulele laden track that grows and sways as the violins wash in. Absolutely beautiful arrangement!
“Distract Me” showcases his versatility and provides the most theatrical track on the album. “I’m alright; at least that’s what I keep telling myself” he howls in Ben Caplan’esque territory, which is high recommendation indeed.
“A Reason” continues to tread the musical boards, and is the perfect accompaniment as it leads into the leaving-song, “With Grace” in what feels like an extremely personal journey at losing a loved one. It’s a road that Taillon feels comfortable travelling and he’s commented in the past “I like to only write about what I know, it’s more legit”
“Elegant” is a true testament to that authenticity and a reason that you have to see Rory Taillon live to witness first hand his soul-bearing stage performances.
Final track on the album “Gone” completes the journey with its the rolling rhythm and riff, replete with soft vocals and an unexpectedly sweet steel drum.
Dark content? yes… but somehow so uplifting. Taillon is a gifted individual to bring the listener along on this personal ride.
Ottawa-based folk-rock musician Rory Taillon is currently on a 33-date tour across the country in support of his newest album, Only Whispers, and will make a stop in Winnipeg Friday, Nov. 10, playing a free show at Half Pints Brewing Co., 550 Roseberry St.
Taillon released Only Whispers in October, and though he’s spent much of the last six years as a full-time touring musician, this current leg of his tour will be the first time he’s tackled any dates in Western Canada.
And it’s fitting he’ll be playing at a brewery — earlier this year, Taillon collaborated with 5 Paddles Brewing Company in Whitby, Ont., to create unique packaging for the brewery’s coffee vanilla stout; the label for the bottle was a removable (and playable) 45 single of Taillon’s song Jukebox, from his 2013 album, It’s Not Black & White.
Taillon, whose voice is as full-bodied as the stout his name is attached to, will start his set at 7:30 p.m. and there is no cover charge.
Slowcity - Road Watch: Checking in with Rory Taillon on tour October 2017
The voice they call Rory Taillon is touring his new album, ‘Only Whispers’ across Canada. We are going to check in on him over the coming weeks and he will check in with us too. If you look at the itinerary you will see the niche Rory has cut for himself as the Brewery tourist. He is Ottawa-based these days but passes through Durham Region often, to sing, to gig, and to stock up on a few of his favourite brews. “One of the biggest things I miss about living in this area are the great breweries,” he tells SlowCity. “5 Paddles has always made some of my favourite beers and I love the guys there and sharing a pint with them. The coolest thing I have ever been a part of is definitely the beer label and collaboration that I did with 5 Paddles for Jukebox, our coffee vanilla stout with the vinyl label.
"Manantler is always an awesome place to stop at for a show and a pint. The atmosphere alone makes it a lot of fun. The fact that you have to enter at the back of this big industrial building, go down into the basement while smelling the malt and hops all the way down and then the speakeasy looking bar once you enter the brewery. It's always a good time.
"The Second Wedge not only has some of the best people running that place, but they have one of the coolest patios I've ever seen at an establishment, let alone a brewery. What they do for their community and the support the locals give them and all the music that they bring in is incredible."
Ride the Tempo - [listen] Rory Taillon - Distract Me October 2017
“Distract Me” starts out at full stride, as if you joined mid-track. But then Rory Taillon takes a couple of opportunities to slow things down to add vocals drama to the chorus, especially at the end. Other than that it’s a brisk indie-folk tune with a dark, almost Nick Cave groove.
Slowcity - roaring' rory taillon releases 'only whispers' oct. 15, cross-canada tour dates announced October 2017
Its gotta be a West Coast thing, this roll into the mystic, this redemptive rock of Rory Taillon on this latest record, the ironically titled "Only Whispers". He may be based in the middling earthy hills of Ottawa but his is a West Coast thing, a great, big wide open West Coast thing of a record.
In the rolled in sea mist there this West Coast thing sits, it's both the end of the line and the beginning of invention.
This West Coast thing is the pealing guitars on Holy Cow of 54-40 and Hunger of the Temple Dog. This West Coast thing is a plea sung by a choir of peaks in the Church of Laura Palmer.
Take me to church, a cathedral of trees, and the mountain as mount for a sermon on stars. This is the church of the vast, the church of the whole monumental sloppy mess of it all, the church of the rise later in the day saints, of all of those believers leaping arms out in the open void confident in the knowledge beauty and truth will catch them.
This is the sound of Rory Taillon, the sound of faith in the future; it is in the hugeness of this man’s voice, big enough to contain the multitudes we are. It is the church as cave and church as carriage, filled with stones and strings, reasons, regrets and regards.
It is the church of a simple book, 'of a leaf, a stone, an unfound door'. I wish sometimes I was fourteen again, just to climb inside Look Homeward Angel for the first time again, to read Thomas Wolfe again for the first time but time has walked on and the closest I can get now is the "Only Whispers" of Rory Taillon.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES Oct. 13 - M.C.N. Soundtrack of the City, Toronto ON Oct. 14 - 5 Paddles Brewery, Whitby ON (aft.) Oct. 14 - Manantler Brewery, Bowmanville ON (eve.) Oct. 15 - The Moustache Club, Oshawa ON Oct. 20 - Bar Robo, Ottawa ON Oct. 21 - McCloskey's, Chesterville ON Oct. 25 - House Concert, Moncton NB Oct. 26 - The Abbey Cafe, Fredericton NB Oct. 27 - Breton Brewing Co., Syndney NS Oct. 28 - Back Alley Records, Charlottetown PE (aft.) Oct. 28 - Marc's Lounge, Charlottetown PE (eve.) Oct. 29 - Taz Records, Halifax NS Nov. 2 - Block 3 Brewery, St. Jacobs ON Nov. 3 - Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON Nov. 5 - SpitFire Cafe, Brockville ON Nov. 8 - The Foundry, Thunder Bay ON Nov. 9 - From the Grind Up, Fort Frances ON Nov. 10 - Half Pints Brewing Co., Winnipeg MB Nov. 11 - Rebellion Brewing Co., Regina SK Nov. 12 - Lucky Bastards Distillery, Saskatoon SK Nov. 14 - Aria's Bistro, Edmonton AB Nov. 15 - Cold Garden Beverage Co., Calgary AB Nov. 16 - The Royal, Nelson BC Nov. 17 - Lorenzo's Cafe, Enderby BC Nov. 18 - Coast Mountain Brewing Co., Whistler BC Nov. 19 - The Heatley, Vancouver BC Nov. 22 - 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co., Saskatoon SK Nov. 28 - The Red Dog, Peterborough ON Nov. 29 - The Painted Lady, Toronto ON Dec. 1 - Sons of Kent Brewing Co., Chatham ON Dec. 3 - The Second Wedge, Uxbridge ON Dec. 8 - Batstone's Northern Ramble, Renfrew ON Jan. 17 - The Red Brick Cafe, Guelph ON Jan. 18 - Silversmith Brewery, Niagara ON Jan. 21 - The Second Wedge, Uxbridge
What was your reaction to the news you’d be a part of Marvest and who was the first person you told? I was really excited to be asked to be a part of Marvest. I immediately messaged my wife to let her know the great news!
Please describe your sound. My sound is based in folk and rock, but the vocals are emotive, theatrical and powerful with lyrics as honest and hard hitting as possible.
How did you get started on your musical journey? I started singing as a child in choirs and picked up the guitar in high school. I released my first EP in 2012 and have been touring Canada ever since.
What can music fans expect from your show? Will you be playing or releasing any new music? People can expect an emotional and energetic performance. I will be playing new music from album due out October 15th.
What artists are you hoping to catch during this year’s Cityfolk and Marvest? I’m excited to catch Father John Misty, Nathaniel Rateliff, Jack Johnson, Matt Mays and Heavy Medicine Band
Canadian Beats - Rory Taillon releases live session video for “Whispers” September 2017
Ottawa based artist, Rory Taillon has released a live session video for his song, “Whispers” which is off of his new album, to be released October 15, 2017. The video was filmed with Current Sessions Productions in Toronto. When asked about the video, Rory stated, “We wanted to release the video in a live session in the way we did because it felt like the most honest way to express this song. There’s also the visual of playing music live with now editing or alterations to make it “better” while walking through a mall and food court full of commercial capitalistic representations. This gives images to some of the words in the song.”
TheREcord.com - Taillon brewing something special; plays in Kitchener on Aug. 26 August 2017
Earlier this year, Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Rory Taillon and the 5 Paddles Brewing Company in Whitby, Ont., gave new meaning to the term 'record label.'
The two collaborated on a unique release that saw Taillon's song "Jukebox" from his 2014 album, "It's Not Black & White," pressed as a single on a removable picture card that doubled as the label on a beer bottle. That meant you could simply pull the label off and stick it on your record player to listen to while enjoying the Coffee Vanilla Stout whose bottle it adorned, though sadly the limited-edition 1,300-bottle run has long since sold out.
Taillon said the pairing was as natural as mixing water with barley and hops.
"I've been friends with that brewery for a while," he said in a phone interview. "I used to live down the street from them and it was kind of my brewery of choice to go get beer locally. And then they heard of, I think it was a Northern Ontario brewery did a similar thing with the label, and they thought, 'Oh, that's really cool, we want to try that, too.' And then they approached me and asked if I'd be interested in having a song on a beer, and I was like, 'Yeah sure, that sounds awesome,' and then we just kind of went from there."
Taillon often performs at craft breweries (you can catch him at Abe Erb at the Tannery in Kitchener Saturday night), and said the microbrew crowd are more apt to appreciate something new.
"Breweries are almost like cafés, because it's just people going to try something out or as an outing to sample some new stuff. I enjoy it a lot — and the beers are usually pretty good. I find people going to craft breweries are usually looking for something a little beyond the normal, and it's kind of fun to be able to play there and then have people like that listen and chat with you," he said.
Aside from the special edition release of "Jukebox," Taillon has spent this year touring and preparing a new album for release this fall. Recorded at the Gallery Recording Studio in Ottawa, the album was sent for manufacturing this week and is due for an Oct. 15 release. Unlike "It's Only Black & White," Taillon's new record will not feature his backing band The Old Souls, and will be his first truly solo release.
"When I first started to plan it, I meant it to have the band aspect as well, sort of like a combination like my other two records, of solo stuff and band, but this one, based on the sounds we were getting out of the room, and the way that the songs were going, it ended up just being a solo record," he said. "I tour a lot by myself, too, so it's kind of ended up to be neat because it'll be a pretty accurate representation of what people see at shows on the road."
Standing six-foot-three with a thick beard and powerful voice, Taillon cuts an imposing figure on stage, and said his upcoming record will include "a lot of the themes that kind of weave throughout most of my songwriting, like just dealing with personal demons and not feeling like you're normal," he said with a laugh, "and trying to be OK with that, and just in general living an abnormal life, and trying to make that OK."
Though Taillon said his choice to perform music full-time without the safety net of a nine-to-five job makes him something of an outsider, he said it's a label he has learned to embrace.
"I don't think I could stop, I think I've passed the point of no return," he said. "It's definitely difficult, it's not easy, otherwise a lot more people would be doing it. It has a lot of ups and downs, like the highs are super-high, (and) the lows can be super-low, but they even out, so it makes it a lot of fun
DCc:TV - 'In Conversation' with road warrior and all round troubadour Rory Taillon August 2017
Slowcity - Rory Taillon "Warmest Regards", video release from Shot In The Dark June 2017
Rory The Vox Taillon gets his Shot in the Dark - this one you just say, Listen and if you don't think he is a powerhouse of a presence rivalling any Les Miz front or any Night At The Opera vocal theatrics then well I give up - I truly do and you don't want that. Rory JT is it man. Done.
Shot in the Dark is a live music session covering the Ottawa music community. Its a joint venture between The Gallery Recording Studio and Just Pixl Media Solutions Inc.
CHSR-FM 97.9 - Rory Taillon Live in Studio D June 2017
May 26, 2017 – Ottawa based singer/songwriter Rory Taillon radiates power. Whether it’s through is tall stature or through his soaring voice, when Rory Taillon is nearby he’ll unknowingly steal your attention. It’s early morning and even though Rory has already spent an hour live on-air he’s gracious enough to give another live performance in Studio D with Bondo. Together they chat about the festival he’s in town for, his love of craft breweries, and of course about his musicand life on the road. Oh, and we’re treated to a Damien Rice cover! Treat your ears and listen in.
The Music Nerd Chronicles- Rory Taillon Teams Up With 5 Paddles Brewery For Unique Distribution Of Music May 2017
Earlier this year, approximately three years following the release of his full-length debut effort, It’s Not Black & White, Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Rory Taillon found a novel way to get his music out to a wider audience. Taillon was approached by 5 Paddles Brewing Company, a microbrewery located in Whitby, Ontario, to gauge his interest in having one of his songs distributed on a beer bottle label. While the concept might sound strange to some, the label on the bottle of Jukebox stout – the name of which came from one of the tracks on It’s Not Black & White – was actually a turntable-ready single that had been pressed onto a detachable picture card. “When I was living in Oshawa, I used to routinely stop by 5 Paddles as I really enjoyed their beer, and ended up becoming somewhat of a regular around the brewery,” Taillon says. “Initially, they didn’t know I was a musician, but once that cat was out of the bag, they had me perform a couple of their events. A friendship developed, which led to them asking me if I’d be interested in lending my name and song to this campaign. I really didn’t have to think about it for long before agreeing to it.” The limited run of the 8.5% Coffee Vanilla stout – approximately 1,300 bottles – quickly sold out. The campaign was not only noteworthy for the unique manner in which Taillon’s music was distributed, it also managed to attract equal amounts of press from music and craft beer publications. At a time in history when artists will often go to extraordinary lengths in order to promote their music, Taillon is first to admit he lucked into a situation in which he was fortunate enough to combined his passion for craft beer and his music. “The way things are going in the music business today, artists need to look at non-traditional ways and outlets to get your music heard. In terms of press, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect storm of sorts than what I found with 5 Paddles. The reception for the product went way beyond what I ever could have expected.” Raised on the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, it’s not difficult to see why the classic rock undertones of Taillon’s music is resonating with audiences. But aside from the release of a pair of singles released in 2015 – “Strings” and “End Game” – all has been quiet on the new release front from the artist. That is something he is looking to remedy by next spring at the absolute latest. “I’ve been touring and travelling so much over the last couple of years, it’s inadvertently slowed down progress on my next release,” he says. “I have a pile of material I am working on getting recorded, and am looking forward to the day I get to finally release these songs. I’ve been sitting on some of them for quite some time.”
Slowcity - is it a record label or a label record? 5 Paddles team up with rory taillon for jukebox March 2017
Beer and music pair well together with many breweries hosting in-house sessions as promo for both products and players. An enterprising craft brewery in Whitby is hopping up to the platter however and launching its own label record; no, not a record label, a label record.
The label on Jukebox stout from Five Paddles, is a turntable-ready 45 single pressed onto a detachable picture card which can be played on most record players. It will be available Saturday, Mar 4, 2017 on-site at the brewery. The track is “Jukebox” by indie rockers Rory Taillon and the Old Souls who will perform at the afternoon launch of the record label, sorry, label record party.
Taillon, who has played 5 Paddles often, says he was approached last year about the idea of a having one of his songs issued by Five Paddles. “They'd heard about the technology for the label,” he says, “and wanted to give it a shot. They asked me if I was interested and I of course was on board right away.”
Five Paddles co-founder Spencer McCormack says they were inspired to create a label record by the packaging craftiness of other Ontario brewers, Beau’s and Radical Road. They knew too Highlander Brew in South River had released ‘Ox-Blood Ale’ which came with flexi-disc by Plague Vendor.
The idea of issuing a record as a label was too good to pass up by five guys who have grown their business by following their own beer gut.“We are built around doing whatever we want,” says McCormack, “We are all brewers here at 5 Paddles and when it's your turn to brew, you brew whatever you want. If our response to ‘Wanna release a beer with a label that is a 45?’ was anything other than a high five, we'd have to wonder what the hell we are doing running a brewery.”
McCormack, Mike Bray, Ian Mills, JP Tibensky and Ed Woods began brewing what they liked three years ago in an 950 square foot industrial space in south Whitby. They had all met at a homebrewers event and take their name from the mash paddles used in the beer-brewing process. Five Paddles sold out of their three initial batches in the first four days. They have since moved to a far bigger space, almost five times the size of the original and have hired four staff. Five if you count Taillon.
“Rory is the only musician who has ever played at 5 Paddles. He was a regular at the brewery for a while and one of our employees saw him perform on Rogers and came into work and told us, you know that guy with the huge beard who loves (their signature beer) Midnight Paddler? He is amazing. We had him play at our two year anniversary party. Two songs in he covered “Dead” and “Lovely” by Tom Waits and that was it. It's rare for me to meet someone who loves Tom Waits like I love Tom Waits. You don't need to do much after that to stay in my good books but Rory is also crazy talented, his voice is huge and he is a hustler,” says McCormack.
Taillon says the song “Jukebox” is from his album It’s Not Black & White. “It talks about drinking, but it's mostly a song written from an angry performer being heckled at a bar gig,” he says.
He’s less likely to be heckled at a bar these days as he has found a niche touring breweries instead. McCormack calls him the Official Musician of Durham Craft Breweries. His current tour includes dates at Collective Arts Brewery in Hamilton, the Second Wedge Brewery in Uxbridge and P.E.I. Brewing Co. in Charlottetown.
Although Five Paddles products are available through the LCBO Jukebox is limited to a batch of 11,000 to be sold on site. There are no plans to feature other artists on the label. “I'd like to do more artists but, the truth is we love Rory. . . he is our guy,”says McCormack.
A Journal of musical things - It’s a Beer! It’s a Record! It’s Both! February 2017
Music-themed beer isn’t anything new. But come Friday, 5 Paddles Brewing Company of Whitby, Ontario, will attempt to take things to the next level. Their new brew will be called Jukebox, an 8.5% coffee vanilla stout that will come with a removable label that can be played on a turntable.
The music on the label–a song called, oddly, “Jukebox”–comes from Rory Taillon, and indie musician living in Ottawa. It’s a track from his first album, It’s Not Black & White.
Kenora Daily Miner and News - coming home October 2016
"...At the same time the folksy sound Doran and Posthumus create helps balance the harder edge of Taillon’s music creating a travelling partnership that allows concert goers to explore different styles.
“I think the way Nick and I are able to complement his music with our music is what we bring is a bit of a softer and more delicate sound that is kind of in a bit of an upper register, and what that does is warms the crowd up, makes them feel happy, and when Rory hits the stage, his music is a lot more vibrant, not to say our music isn’t colourful, but ours would be like a gentle river and his would be more like [whitewater] rapids,” said Doran. “You won’t die from listening to his music but it would be like a pretty dangerous adventure.”
Taillon concurred the contrast between his tour mates folk sound with his alternative one gives audiences an opportunity to expand their horizons. “She’s very sweet and gentle and I’m a little loud and a little more rugged,” said the 27-year-old. “You get a little bit of everything in the night but it’s not too much different, we’re still two acoustic musicians playing...”
OtTawa Citizen - Hot gigs this week: Favourite Coeur de Pirate and new find, The Beauts September 2016
Beau’s Oktoberfest, Sept 23 to 24 - The Vankleek Hill craft brewery’s annual festivities usually sell out, not just for the brews but also for the visionary musical bookers who craft their lineups. That there are still tickets left is no comment on the music, but probably because the brewer moved up the date to try to avoid inclement (freezing!) weather, and has caught some off-guard.
Friday night is a feel-good, party lineup, with 80s alt-rock gurus 54-40 headlining, indie pop rock band Born Ruffians and the Fast Romantics whose soon-to-be-released album may move them from just indie into the fascinating pop category, so listen for new stuff at this show (… that is beginning to read like my playlist).
Saturday there’s a day of music before the big show of the night, including a “Folkin’ Wake Up” from 11 a.m. showcasing a lot of local talent, including the do-not-miss vocal power of Oshawa-born, but now Ottawa-based, rock balladeer Rory Taillon (12:45 p.m.) who creates emotive, resonant sound that is best described as a mix of Steve Page and Jack White.
Also catch Montreal’s sweet pop trio Motel Raphaël whose sweet pop has a country flavour — maybe it’s the harmonies? (5:15 p.m.), power pop from Pale Lips (6:45 p.m.) and Newfoundland punk band Brutal Youth, plus headliners synth pop songwriter Hannah Georgas, and alt rapper k-os — whose mixtape Views From The Six, released this summer, includes tracks with new Polaris Prize winner, Kaytranada (7:45 p.m.). Sept. 23 and 24. Vankleek Hill Fairground. $32/day. beausoktoberfest.ca -Kristin E. Endemann View Here
High On Live - Musiikki Café performance review october 2015
Sometimes a night out is just a night out. You hear music. You have conversation. You laugh you clap and you go home. Last night I went out to Musiiki Cafe and stayed for the second act. I clapped yes, but I did not laugh. I did not converse. I watched and listened and was very still. Rory Taillon is a big man. Rory has a darkness about him that is quietly ominous. One might imagine his ancestry links him closely to Rasputin and Tolkein’s Beorn. When Rory sings this large dark cloud of a man swells into a sun blotting cumulonimbus. Words one must use when describing Rory Taillon’s performance include thundering, powerful and dramatic. That being said, he has absolute mastery of his voice and delivers each song with a full dynamic range of emotion. His voice has a sensitivity and soul that has as profound an impact as the sheer force with which it is delivered. It is like slow dancing with a grizzly bear, or lighting your cigarette with a bolt of lightning. The only reason not to see Rory perform is that you are frightened. Don’t be, he seems quite gentle and his song list pendulums between heady covers and well crafted originals. Step right up, don’t be afraid. Come inside and marvel at the Roaring Talent of Rory Taillon.
Culture Toronto - Chilling with the chewbacca of acoustic-driven alternative rock, rory taillon, at culture toronto hq September 2015
As a music fan, the epitome of concert experiences is a private performance, where it’s only you and a few friends having the privileged opportunity to hear, chat, and just hang with the artist – the composer of the songs you love, have memorized and that have defined moments in your life. Port Perry-born singer-songwriter Rory Taillon granted the Culture Toronto crew such an exclusive, intimate rencontre during which he spoke about his life, his music, and blew us away – quite literally, with his powerful vocal chops and with his talent.
Having started down the path to a career in music singing in a church choir when he was six, the boy has since grown but he has never lost his passion for performing. Now sitting comfortably and confidently, guitar in hand, before the staff at Culture Toronto’s HQ, Rory may strike an imposing figure but he is an immediately affable guy. Tall and broad-shouldered, sporting a lumberjack’s beard and a mane tied in a handsome bun, it suffices to say that we were immediately impressed by the man before he even opened his mouth, and, when he did, we raptly listened.
Given that he had only just met us, it would have been completely understandable had Rory been hesitant of our song requests – a mixture of his own work and some covers from Culture Toronto’s favourites playlist – but he, without hesitation, jumped into belting out the tunes as though he were playing for a sold-out venue. Starting with “End Game,” from his most recent Strings EP release, a song about the frailty of life and the desire to take full advantage of the possibilities we are handed, Rory then transitioned to a stirring rendition of “Creep” by Radiohead that had the lucky few of us at this secluded gig emotionally and physically moved – the man’s voice has resonance!
This writer’s choice song came next. “Lone Bird,” from the it’s not black & white album, expresses Rory’s environmental consciousness, and delves into humanity’s headlong rush for monetary profit at the expense of the very natural world that supports us.
Undoubtedly unrestrained about exploring the darker facets of our modern existence, Rory doesn’t shy from voicing his discontent with the at times unpleasant realities of being a career musician. The lyrics to “Dance Monkey Dance” and “Jukebox,” for instance, are soaked with a subtle scorn at unsympathetic audience members that would rather hear the same hits their pubescent selves played on constant rotation than appreciate the experimentation with musical styles that new artists are presenting. I empathize with Rory when he vents on the clichéd shouting of “play ‘Free Bird’” at any type of live music event by masses who may never have even heard this Lynyrd Skynyrd opus. A lesson to all of us concertgoers: show respect for the artist and the music.
This penchant for serious realism doesn’t preclude Rory from kicking back and having fun, though, as he did in between songs with the by-now-enamoured Culture Toronto crew. It was probably his introduction to a cover of “Roxanne” by The Police in the gargling roar of Chewbacca, the universally known interplanetary hero from the Star Wars series, that really won us geeks over. Of course, his version of The Police classic was impeccable, too.
Citing Tom Waits as one of his influences, Rory played a couple of this raspy, introspective and mysterious balladeer’s compositions, including the emotively somber “Dirt in the Ground.” After learning that he also considers Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Vedder, from the band Pearl Jam, as some of his idols, one can start piecing together where Rory’s special sauce of acoustic, blues-influenced alternative rock originates. There are without question further, untold ingredients to Rory’s musical blend, but this is a recipe that is held as guarded as the Colonel’s.
WITH YOUR EERILY SOFT UTTERING OF “I DON’T BELONG HERE” FROM RADIOHEAD’S “CREEP” STILL A VIVID AUDITORY MEMORY WITH THIS SIMPLE MUSIC-LOVER, RORY, I CAN SAY ON BEHALF OF CULTURE TORONTO THAT YOU SO BELONG HERE, ANY TIME.
NSFW (obviously). If you've got a subscription you can watch the segment here
slowcity - rory Taillon plays cmw, rmg no strings attached april 2015
Singer/songwriter Rory Taillon is touring his new EP, Strings, with a string of dates including Friday May 1 at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa and as part of Canadian Music Week at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto Tuesday May 5. The two-track EP was recorded at Theo Posthumus’ studio in Montreal. Taillon says both songs “End Game” and “For Strings” initially had a freak folk feel and a new approach was needed.
“I played both guitar and ukulele on End Game and Theo played percussion on a punch of different things. We then asked my pal Mathieu Lacombe from The Steady Swagger if he would be interested in playing some upright bass, which he agreed to. The song itself is about the idea that no matter who you are, what race, religion or amount of money you have; we're all going to die eventually. It's just one of those things we all share. There's the line too that says I might sound pessimistic about this, but let's just accept it and have another beer, enjoy what we've got,” says Taillon.
The Port Perry raised now Oshawa-based musician takes his own advice and enjoys what he has. His end game is to thrive as a full-time musician. With two independent full-length albums, Its Not Black and White plus Closure behind him he has toured the East Coast several times as well as Quebec and Ontario. He tours solo, sometimes as a duo with Posthumus and sometimes with his band The Old Souls (both RMG and CMW gigs are with the band). His experience playing live inspired the song “For Strings”. It’s a ukulele-based number about the fear of letting go. The strings build a safety net but they also restrain the soul, old or otherwise.
“I really wanted a lot of stringed instruments to be in this to go along with the imagery,” says Taillon, “so Mat also puts a little upright bass on this one at the end and my friend Jeremy Foster plays violin throughout most of the song. I've always wanted to record with him and this was a first. The song is about how most people prefer the “ignorance is bliss” to actually asking questions and finding truth.
Well you can’t plead ignorance now about Taillon. He’s on the road, coming to a stage near you. -Will McGuirk
Canadian Musician Magazine - Showcase September 2014
Despite being only 25 years old, Rory Taillon has all the qualities of an old soul. Offering up a compelling mix of the blues with generous amounts of rock and roll and some Jimi Hendrix influence thrown in for good measure, his unique approach to music helps to truly set him apart.
Released last September, Taillon’s full-length debut, It’s Not Black & White, is the follow-up effort to his 2012 EP Closure and eschews big production values and recording studio tricks in favour of an organic, personal approach to music. That same honesty and transparency extends to the lyrical themes of the seven-song effort.
Deeper than that, however, the album’s title refers to Taillon’s belief that people don’t often see the grey areas that can exist on any variety of topics. It is that social awareness that makes for such a compelling listen, proving that Rory Taillon & The Old Souls will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
CHCH Morning Live - Interview and performance August 2014
Global Morning News Halifax - Interview and Performance May 2014
CTV Ottawa Morning Live - Interview and Performance may 2014
Watch the video of the interview and the performance on their site here
Here Magazine/the music nerd chronicles - q/a with rory taillon May 2014
Rory Taillon might only be 25 years old but there is an old rock and roll soul lurking within him.
With his new record It’s Not Black & White, the Oshawa, Ontario based singer-songwriter conveys an undeniable sense of urgency through his music. But he also wants to give the listener pause for thought, as evidenced by the title of his latest record.
Rory comes to New Brunswick for three shows, starting on May 21 at Sackville’s Bridge Street Café (8 Bridge St.) before hitting Moncton’s Plan b Lounge (212 St. George St.) on Thursday May 22 and Tuesday May 27.
Rory spoke with The MusicNerd Chronicles last week about where his love of classic rock music comes from and how people often jump to conclusions without knowing the full story:
Listening to the songs on It’s Not Black & White, you can hear a definite influence of classic rock running through your songs. Where did your love of that music come from?
My father is a total classic rock nut. He was always playing Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin when I was growing up. I wasn’t initially into it when I was younger. I sang in choirs and listened to a lot of pop music. But once I got to high school, I started to branch out and sing in rock bands. I picked up a Jimi Hendrix record and was just blown away by the passion that he brought to the music. It seemed like a good fit for my own music.
The title of your record seems to speak volumes in terms of being a general commentary on the way people think these days. Too many people feel as though there is no middle ground when it comes to just about everything and they see things, for lack of a better term, in black and white.
Funny enough, I didn’t intentionally set out to accomplish that with this record. The songs aren’t all about the same thing or share similar outcomes or anything like that. With just about anything these days, whether we are talking about the environment or mental illness, there is always what you see and what you hear but we often miss what is in between. Things don’t affect any two people the exact same way.
This is going to be your third tour of Atlantic Canada. What keeps you coming back?
I love it there. It seems as though people in Atlantic Canada just seem to like and appreciate music more than other parts of the country. People on the East Coast seem to be more willing to go see someone they might not be familiar with than in larger cities. Plus it is always just so much fun. Why wouldn’t I want to come back? - Ken (the Music Nerd) Kelly
Rory Taillon & The Old Souls followed with a fascinating demonstration of how alternative music can be taken in creative, innovative directions. Their performance of "Dance Monkey Dance" had a notably mysterious, sinister tone, with Taillon's repeated three-note guitar pattern creating an atmosphere of suspense. Taillon also displayed his incredible vocal range during the performance, never hesitating to shift from a low bass to a high falsetto and back again within the span of just a few seconds and eliciting shocked cheers from his audience when he hit the earth-shaking last note of his song "Drinking Until Sober." With their laid back, relaxed stage presence, everything that Rory Taillon & The Old Souls did seemed utterly raw and effortless. - Sara Cristiano
CHCH Morning Live - Interview and Performance April 2014
Canadian Beats - "Interview - Rory Taillon" March 2014
Rory Taillon is an acoustic rock artist from Toronto, Ontario. He has an EP called “Closure” that was released in January of 2012 and has also released his second album “It’s not Black & White”, which was released on September 13th, 2013, check out the review that we did of it here: http://canadianbeats.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/review-rory-taillon/
I recently had a chance to ask Rory some questions during an email interview, continue reading to find out more.
When did you first decide you wanted to play music?
RT: When I was in high school I was playing in a bunch of different kind of bands with genres from Funk/Blues to Heavy Metal. I think that was the first time I thought about how wicked it would be to be a musician for a living. I kind of put it on the back burner to go to college, but I’m really glad I picked it back up after.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
RT: My BIGGEST influences musically would have to be Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam, (Old) Wintersleep, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Against Me!, and Bob Dylan to name a few.
On your website you speak about your love for vinyl. What is your favourite album to listen to on vinyl?
RT: That’s a tough one. Top 3 would be Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, Band of Gypsys by Jimi Hendrix and Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. I’m currently thinking I should put Bad As Me by Tom Waits in there somewhere too. Too many good ones!
Why the choice of vinyl?
RT: I just really love the sound you get when you put on a record and play it through some really good speakers. It’s just on another level for me that I can’t explain. I also really like it because it forces you to dedicate time to sitting down and listening a little more than just turning on the radio and walking away. I also love the full size artwork.
Do you plan on releasing your own music on vinyl in the future?
RT: I desperately want to put something on vinyl. I’m throwing around the idea with Theo Posthumus (the engineer and bass player on my first two releases) about maybe doing some recording and putting out a 45 (7”) in the fall.
What is it like trying to make it in music in the Canadian music scene?
RT: It’s tough. There are a lot of things you have to learn and usually you have to learn them on your own. A perk though is that there still is a love for live music out there, you just have to find where your music fits. I’ve found too that there is a decent “community” approach throughout Canada’s musicians.
How would you describe your own music to someone who’s never heard it before?
RT: I always have trouble with that one. I usually say acoustic driven alternative rock. Think Pearl Jam meets the Tea Party with a little Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
What is next for you?
RT: I’m doing a Canadian East Coast tour in May and it’ll be the first time I won’t be touring on my own. We’ll be doing an acoustic lineup of Rory Taillon & the Old Souls. Tour dates can be found on my website.
The next few questions are fun ones for the fans to get to know you better.
What social media do you like/use the most?
RT: I like Facebook because you can keep in touch with a lot of people that you probably wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. I’ve started to get into Instagram too, but I mostly only follow tattoo artists and musicians; not too keen on cat pictures and people’s dinners. I also tweet. Hahaha. Hit me up at, facebook.com/rorytaillon , @rorytaillon
Favourite Ice cream or frozen yogurt?
RT: I’m a sucker for some mint chocolate chip ice cream.
If you could form your dream tour with any other artists, who would it be?
RT: If Pearl Jam or Eddie Vedder ever asked me to go on tour with them, I think my face would explode. There are a lot of wicked Canadian artists I would love to tour with too like Dan Mangan, Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers and July Talk. Oh and Frank Turner would be just awesome too.
Who are some of your favourite Canadian artists?
RT: Dan Mangan, July Talk, Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers, Tragically Hip, Matt Good, Hey Rosetta!, Joel Plaskett, Hayden, Benjamin Reines and the Blood Machine Band, Keturah Johnson, Arkells, Arlene Bishop, Neil Young.
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
RT: Watching Netflix for hours with my wife, Wii Sports Boxing and copious amounts of tea. - Jordan Meade-BaxterView
Canadian Beats - "Review - Rory Taillon" March 2014
Rory Taillon, a singer/song-writer from Toronto, Ontario, and his band (Rory Taillon & the Old Souls) has released their new album “It’s Not Black & White” on September 13, 2013. The rock/acoustic/alternative artist has shows all across Ontario currently planned from March through to July. With a new album comes new opportunities and this Toronto native is wasting no time in seizing these opportunities.
“It’s Not Black & White” features seven full length songs with a total playing time of 31:39. The songs on the album portray a certain determination on Rory’s part and, listening to the lyrics, explain the struggles of getting to where you want to be. They convey the prominent topics of loss, pain and mental illness, but, through that, create a certain air of fighting for what you want. There are songs that are more energetic and rocky on the album, but there are also the hard-hitting lyric-heavy songs as well.
“Misfit” was a song that really stuck out for me, being about what it’s like for the people who don’t necessarily “fit in” with the typical brand that society places on people, no matter what age or group. It’s a song for the people who don’t follow the group or bend to social standards.
Another song from the album that portrays a similar message is “Jukebox” which has a video release available for watch on YouTube. “Jukebox” contains the lyrics “I sing the songs I want to sing, I’m not a puppet on a string…” which fall into the same theme as “Misfits”: do want you want to do, no matter what people say or think of you for doing. All in all, the album is a fantastic message through lyrics and the songs on it are beautifully written. It would be a great addition to any rock collection. With extremely well written lyrics and a great rock sound, “It’s Not Black & White” is worth a listen to and a buy.
music vice - "Current sessions at the central, toronto" january 2014
A man and his guitar, Rory Taillon was a force to be reckoned with when he got onstage for his set. A bluesy, low-key way to end the night, it was the perfect way to wrap up the show. It could be argued that the microphone was rendered useless when Taillon took to it, his booming voice filled the room to make up for those who left after Birds of Bellwoods’ set. A highlight of his performance was his laid-back yet captivating rendition of Tom Waits’ “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”, an intimate moment where most of the people left in the bar sang along. - Megan Rach View
the flux - "Album Review: Rory Taillon - it's not black & white" January 2014
Rory Taillon, an acoustic/rock musician from Toronto, has truly outdone himself with his new album Its Not Black and White. The seven track CD compilation is both versatile and creative. With multiple vocal pitches and instruments playing in harmony, Its Not Black and Whiteis worth listening to.
Rock/indie music isn’t the first genre that would instantly come to mind when I decide to listen to songs, however I am glad this artist fell into my lap to review. I believe, a good artist/musician is someone or band that takes you by surprise. The cliché never judge a book by its cover certainly has stamped this album cover and I would recommend picking up a copy!
The adventurous album begins with the song title Lone Bird. An old, country, folk tune mood is set when a raspy guitar is alerted by our ears. As the introduction closes and the vocals of Taillon come into focus the tempo of the lyrics begins to build up to an upbeat chorus. Unfortunately, the loud instrumental did hide Taillon’s voice at times – almost as if the soundtrack was drowning the words. Yet, if this was his intension I would give creativity and originality an A+, because it benefited the track.
Misfits, Through The Glass and Durden, are three tracks that highlight very personal stories. The lyrics: “What about the outcast, What about the misfits”, carries sentimental meaning and awareness of everyday struggles. Taillon’s subtle acoustics and meaningful words throughout these songs let us see a softer side to his acoustic/rock exterior.
A very powerful and catchy song, as well as being a favourite of mine, is track three Drinking Until Sober. As soon as the song starts a specific rhythm pattern is identified – the music pausing after every sentence. The technique becomes soulful and delicate to listen to, with the repetition of the words ‘I’m drinking until I’m sober’ during the chorus.
Taillon lets loose with a rock and roll rendition titled Jukebox. This song is very much different to the rest of the album as it begins at an argumentative angle. The words are almost being shouted out loud rather than sang, for example, ‘I won’t be a puppet’. The use of violent language suggests this album should not be taken lightly, or aimed at a younger audience.
Taillon has definitely left a mark in my books, as well as creating his own specialities throughout this record. A positive note to take forth after listening to this album is the fearlessness to say what you want to say. Taillon’s character throughout this compilation, in this case is what you see is what you will get – happiness, anger, sadness and joy all rolled into a 30 minute album.
metroland media - "Lot's of rock 'n' roll coming up in oshawa this week" november 2013
Rory Taillon is at the Thirsty Monk. The Oshawa-based singer/songwriter is generous in heart and in voice. As a performer he gives it his all and if you’ve ever seen him you know he has a lot of all to give. Powerful vox on him, too. He’s just released his new record, It’s Not Black and White. The big man is difficult to pin down, maybe somewhere between Tom Waits and Tom Wilson. There’s a jiggety Headstones vibe on Jukebox, a spiritual Soundgarden vibe on Man of Stone, and a Tea Party dunking on Misfits. Through the Glass and Durden have a sans uke Into The Wild Vedder vibe. With Rory it’s always about the vibes and his vibes are always good. Will McGuirk View
martyr magazine - "small town, big sound: life of Rory taillon" november 2013
Home is where the heart is, and if music is in your heart, then it’s going to have a lot to do with where you came from.
Rory Taillon is originally from the town of Port Perry, about just shy of an hour from Toronto.
When asked about how growing up in a small town has affected him musically, Taillon paused for a moment and said smiling, “It’s a humbling thing. Small towns, there’s not a lot there, but when you’re flushed into the real world, you gotta fight with the rest of them….you’ve gotta work a lot harder.”
He never stopped fighting.
His band Rory Taillon & the Old Souls released It’s Not Black & White in September. The new albumis a reflection of his battle on to make his musical pipe dreams a reality, in combination with the trials and tribulations we all face.
Consistently playing live shows throughout the Southern Ontario in between tours around Canada, he now attributes half to being labour of love and half necessity. Or, as he puts it, “you gotta stay on the move to keep it [the momentum] going”
That fighting spirit permeates in the powerful lyrics and chord progressions in his songs and how he approaches his craft.
That could be the reason why his debut EPClosure was nominated for ‘Recording of the Year’ & ‘Rock Recording of the Year’ at the 2012 Durham Region Music Awards
His songs deal with topics like mental illness, pain, and loss.
“I was talking to a buddy about writing music, and he said write about shit you know about, so I try to write about issues that I know, or have,” said Taillon.
This comes out in moving songs like “Last Iris,” which is about the loss of his grandmother.
Taillon has just released his first music video, for his song “Jukebox”. With the number of views climbing each day, he says he’s looking forward to his next one. He describes it much in the same way as he describes touring – both a pleasure and a necessity in today’s music market.
When asked about future plans, Taillon indicates plans in the works to tour the West Coast, and possibly Europe by next summer. With endless possibility ahead of him, Taillon doesn’t let his prospects cloud his judgement.
“More touring [to come] for sure, I’d like to go to the West Coast, maybe Europe… We’ll take it day-by-day”.
In “Jukebox,” one resonating lyric is “I sing the songs that I want to sing, I’m not some puppet on a string…” -Brian Talmey View
Here Magazine - "Rory Taillon's Blues Evolution" March 2013
Some bluesmen sell their souls to the devil. This one was a literal choir boy. “My mother was, and still is, the organist at my family’s church, and she put me in choir and singing lessons when I was six,” said gritty blues musician Rory Taillon. The Toronto-based songwriter says his father introduced him to the blues when he was a teen, compelling him to venture from the altar to the crossroads. “The transition as easy for me being a trained vocalist, and I feel like it was received well for the same reason. I still sing in the choirs, but the blues and rock opened up my eyes to other genres and how I could be a part of them.” His divine vocal training shines through on Closure, his debut EP. But Taillon says his blues evolution won’t be complete until his guitar playing matches his singing. “I’m self-taught. So my knowledge, I will admit, is sort of limited,” Taillon said. “I try not to play outside my ability. I’m not much of a flashy solo-er, but I feel like I’m a solid rhythm guitar player. Being self-taught though, I feel like I’m always learning. I’m constantly trying to better myself through practice and learning new techniques from other musicians.” But unlike most other musicians, Taillon is willing to face one lyrical taboo unflinchingly as he works on a follow-up to Closure. “There is a stigma around mental health,” he said. “It is an issue that many people struggle with, but no one wants to admit that they have. I feel as though writing about tough subjects can help to bring them into the open and get people to start talking about them, instead of pretending they aren’t an issue.” He says his lyrics about that particular subject are more sociological than personal, but says he doesn’t shy away from addressing topics that are personally emotional for him – like in the song “Last Iris,” which addresses the death of Taillon’s grandmother two years ago. “It was very hard for me,” he said. “I feel it (thesong) helped me cope, because I had created something that would always remind me of her and how I felt at that time.” - Kyle MullinView
room 217.ca -"The Last Iris: A Mother's day tribute" May 2013
“I celebrate two moms on Mother’s Day,” says Rory Taillon, a young and talented musician from Oshawa, Ontario. “I always made two Mother’s Day cards when I was a kid; one for my mom and one for my Grandma who was like another mom.” The special bond between grandson and grandma is evident as Rory discusses his friendship with his Grandma, Doris Taylor. “I was a bit of the odd ball…you know a free spirit.” says Rory. “She was kind of like that too so we had a special bond.”
Recognizing Rory’s musical talent at a young age, both mom and Grandma encouraged Rory to take singing lessons. His mom, Anne Marie, also a musician and singer, leads the choir and worship in their local church. “Grandma always gave me crap if I didn’t sing in church,” laughs Rory. Anne Marie adds, “It was on the way home from church when I first knew that Rory had talent. At six years old he belted out, Holy, Holy, Holy in perfect pitch. I immediately enrolled him in singing lessons.”
Diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Grandma Doris was bedridden in her final days. Her love of music was evident even when too weak to eat. Rory would visit her often, “Grandma had all of the Room 217 CDs and she played them all the time. She played them constantly. Her favorite CD was the one with Eagles Wings on it.”
“I spent a lot of time with her and just sat with her. She was weak but still there. She wanted me to play and sing for her. She always wanted to hear Irish songs. She loved the old Irish tunes like Black Velvet Band and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. She also loved Hallelujah and House of the Rising Sun by the Animals.” Doris passed away at home on December 23, 2010.
About a month after Doris died, Rory turned to songwriting to help put words to his loss. He penned The Last Iris as a tribute to his Grandma and friend. The iris was Doris’ favorite flower. “Writing the song helped deal with my pain. I was having trouble dealing with her death and it seemed like a good idea. I started playing my guitar and wrote the lyrics. I miss her, she was my confidant. I would come to her when I needed to talk.” Rory’s loss is evident in the lyrics of The Last Iris:
I sat and held you close You told me you were ready And you were proud And that you loved me
Rory wrote a follow up song about Doris called Closure. “The Last Iris is my perspective on her passing. Shortly after that, I wrote Closure with a friend of mine, which is more about what I perceive her take on death to be.”
And I will be there to guide you from above And I will lead you through the fog You must be brave, Your soul cannot be won And your fears you’ll overcome; no more need for tears The darkness will soon be gone and peace will overcome
Every Mother’s Day in church, Rory plays guitar and sings his mom’s favorite song Ave Maria. It is dedicated to his ‘two moms’ and to all mothers across the generations. - Jane TwoheyView Online
Wild Side Blog and photography - "Canadian Music week, festival coverage day 4" april 2013
Rory Taillon and The Old Souls was my last performance of the evening and of my stint with Canadian Music Week. As they set up their gear, I was fully paying attention as one of the members plugged in all his foot pedals for his guitar. He noticed me watching him and joked "don't watch them during the set, they will confuse your brains out". I laughed and turned my attention elsewhere.
I counted 3 guitars, electric, bass, and acoustic, and a drummer during Rory Taillon and The Old Souls. They belted out some awesome alternative/rock songs, energetic yet slightly cramped stage presence and some kick ass finger work on the guitar! I actually tried to watch the foot pedals and was confused about 5 seconds in. With hair flying, fingers strumming and feet working those pedals, Rory put on a killer end to the evening. - Savannah LetangView Online
My Community in Durham: Rogerstv January 2013
To view Rory's interview and performance on RogersTV Durham click here
Durhamregion.com/the port perry star January 2013
If you can't find a job, hire yourself, is an adage Rory Taillon of Port Perry follows. The 24-year-old turned to music when he discovered few job opportunities upon graduation from Humber's animation program. He has since released a six-song EP, Closure, and has toured Ontario and Quebec. He was recently nominated for a Durham Blues Society Award and in January will begin a weekly residency at a bar in Oshawa. He already plays several times a week but leaves one day aside for teaching music.
"I have been making music since I was six years old," he says. "I was a choir boy at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. I still go there and sing. In high school I was singing in choirs then I moved on to the blues.
"A friend of mine and I played acoustic together -- Matt Bailey, he plays in the Long Haul. He went to Humber for jazz guitar. We were both into classic rock and there was a cafe in Port (For the Love of Jo). It had players all the time, players came out from Toronto. That was my first exposure to a music community. There was one band, The Strip, who came out a bunch of times and I'd hang with them."
With his powerful baritone, Taillon says he gets compared to alt-rock acts Pearl Jam and The Tea Party, but it is indie-minded folk musicians such as Dan Mangan and Ben Caplan that he says he admires.
"I love when there's a point behind the music. They're just honest. They take their floor and use it and I like that. When I write music I spend the most time on the lyrics. I want to write something that makes sense and not just throw something in there just to sound good or just sell. I always liked the stuff that has passion, that makes you feel something.
"I hate when things are polished. My fave band is Dave Matthews Band. I hate his recordings, live he is so awesome. One of my favourite songs he does is Don't Drink the Water and it's so nuts when he does it live. I looked it up to get the CD and I was, what is this crap? It just loses all its oomph."
Taillon was careful to leave the oomph plus the oops in on his EP, recorded at the Rhythm Complex in Oshawa, with Theo Posthumous.
"I like honesty.... I'm not the best guitar player in the world, I try to hide it with my singing but there's a ding or two in there. I feel it gives the record character."
Although this is Taillon's debut recording, the title, Closure, suggests an ending. In one way it is but in another it is a plan for a way forward.
The Last Iris is a tribute to his grandmother while the Ballad of Jimmy Taylor is about his uncle who died of leukemia.
"I like to only write about what I know," he says. "It is more legit. My grandmother, who I was close to, died when I was writing the album."
Dance Monkey Dance is the centrepiece of the EP. The Tom Waits-like track sets out the price one will pay for choosing art as a career -- a young poet told to be more commercial, a young dancer who becomes a stripper, an actor who ends up impoverished -- grim stuff. "Dance Monkey Dance and I'll buy you another beer," he sings on the chorus.
Economic circumstances have dictated Taillon's choices but he is taking back control of his future through his music. Why be the monkey when you can be the organ grinder, as they say. - Will McGuirkView Online
Durham Region Music Awards December 2012
Nominated for Recording of the Year and Rock Recording of the Year.
The Beat Magazine August 2012
"Rory specialized in dark, tortured, melancholic ballads, channeling the vocal prowess of Matt Good right down to the use of precisely-timed vibrato."
"Rory’s literal and figurative heavy-hitting was unquestionably best saved for last. If any of the attendees had found themselves wrapped up in conversation or otherwise temporarily distracted throughout the other two performers’ sets, once Rory took the stage, I can assure you this would no longer be possible. In other words, this man’s a tenor POWERHOUSE who could easily give Michael Crawford a run for his money. Lucky for us sitting near the front, he was all too aware of how to properly use a microphone. Though at times, Rory seemed apologetic for his sombre songwriting style, when he explained his lyrical inspirations, it became evident (at least to me) his serious tone was more than justified. Among other tragic lived experiences, one such piece told the tale of his uncle’s arduous bout with leukemia, and likely served for Rory as a form of personal catharsis.
A proven showman, Rory’s Lone Bird finale, a song which details his impassioned political views on how corporations abuse the environment, went out with a sharp single-strum “bang” and left listeners with room for contemplation." -Rose LaFleurView Online
The London Free Press August 2012
"Toronto-based alternative rocker Rory Taillon will be in London Friday at The London Music Club. But he’s coming unplugged for an acoustic set in the front room on a 24-stop tour of southern Ontario that began last week at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. Normally, Taillon is seen with his band, Rory, but he’s hitting the road alone.
“I’ve never done anything like this before, so I thought I’d try it and test the waters,” said the 23-year-old singer songwriter.
The tour is in support of his six-song CD, Closure, which includes the songs Warden, the title track, Closure, and Death From a Jar, which can be heard online at www.myspace.com/taillonrory. Taillon will be joined by special guests Tam Duong and Samantha Hooey. " -Joe Belanger View Online
Radio Performances and interviews
WhiStle Radio 102.7FM in Stoufville - August 2012, March 2013 Trent Radio 92.7FM in Peterborough - July 2013 CKOL 93.7 Campbellford - June 2013 Riot Radio, www.riotradio.ca, Oshawa - July 2014
Two Way Monologues May 2012
" But what really sets Rory apart from others playing similar music is the vocals. Holy hell this dude can sing." -Dan Wolovick
THE iNDIE MACHiNE February 2012
" First up was RORY TAILLON, who was actually a last-minute fill-in for Ryan Malcolm of LOW LEVEL FLIGHT, who was apparently sick backstage. To get up in front of a crowd at the Elmo with almost no notice is a bit of a tall order, and to his credit, Rory rose to the challenge. Alone on stage with only an acoustic guitar, Taillon’s offering was a bit reminiscent of what I imagine a Stephen Page solo set would be. He ended up playing a short set of about five songs, and the crowd was nodding their heads along with all of them." -Shawn BurgessView Online
SoundOut January 2012
"Absolutely beautiful vocals, I am almost frozen in awe." (Review of the title track from the album 'Closure'. January 2012)