When we got to know Nolan Taylor it was just a right-handed man with his left-handed guitar, the way he prefers it. On Wednesday night (Sept. 20), at Nashville’s EXIT/IN Taylor took the stage with a full band and absolutely blew us away.
Taylor is no stranger to the struggles and trauma of small-town American living. A poor kid from a tiny Appalachian town in Ohio, Taylor's music serves as an autobiographical look into his life.
During his show, he shared: “I like to write songs about things people don’t want to talk about.” Opening up about his own struggles with suicidal ideation, he dove into the gut-wrenching ‘Darkness,’ releasing his bandmates from the stage to make the moment even more memorable.
The crowd at EXIT/IN was awed by a new song, 'See It In Your Eyes – penned a few days before the performance – which was followed by an outpouring of love from the audience.
Taylor’s music is captivating, often moving from a hushed tone to a clap of thunder emotionally. His lyrics are raw, emotive, and sharp but they’re beautiful in their sadness, their longing, their truths.
Nolan speaks from his own experiences, but when performing songs like ‘Born to Love’ and ‘Dead Roses,’ you can’t help but find the lyrics interlacing with your own if you’ve had a less than rosy past.
’68’, penned for his mother who struggled with addiction and was eventually estranged from the family, was the catalyst to his popularity. Earlier this year Taylor filmed a video performing ’68’ in the woods with Radio WV and overnight it went viral.
Closing out the show with this song that showcases not only Taylor's eloquence as a songwriter, but his vast reach vocally, left the audience clearly wanting more despite a hard-stop from the venue.
Having recently been signed to Atlantic Records Nolan Taylor is releasing gobs of new and re-recorded music and is currently on the road, bringing his live show to cities all across the country.
Taken from Nolan Taylor's live performance at the Exit/In in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023.
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All photos by Laura Ord.