Bram Taylor

Bram Taylor

Bram (Bramwell) hails from Leigh in Lancashire. Initially encouraged to play Brass Band by his parents, he later moved on to learn the guitar. Much inspired by the likes of Harvey Andrews, Vin Garbutt, The Spinners, Marie Little and many others he quickly became a favourite playing at local folk clubs during "the revival".

By 1975 whilst commanding a rapidly growing audience, Bram was also co-presenting a Saturday morning children’s programme; Chatterbox on Local Radio for BBC Radio Manchester. Then in 1975 he released his first recording The Haymakers, which was well received by his growing audience. It well represented Bram's clear and strong vocal style. In 1979 Bram along with fellow Lancastrians Dave Dutton and Eric White formed the comedy group Incognito. Jackie Finney replaced Eric White in 1985. By 1989 however a successful combination had to part as Bram's solo engagements and Dave Dutton’s comedy writing and other interests increased.

Bram continued to delight folk club audiences throughout the country and in 1984 he signed to Fellside Records, a highly respected independent Folk Label run by Paul and Linda Adams. His first release, Bide a While was very well received by the music press and well reflected Bram's largely traditional repertoire. If you ask him, Bram describes himself as a collector and interpreter of songs, and his growing interest in contemporary material was stated with his next release Dreams and Songs to Sing, which received the 1987 British Music Retailers award for excellence in the Folk and Country Category. Taylor Made released in 1990 confirmed Bram's ability to record contemporary songs and provide a traditional blend; an ability that his folk venue audiences had already come to appreciate.

The albums, Bide A While, Dreams And Songs To Sing, and Taylor Made whilst no longer in their original formats are selectively compiled on Bram's CD Singing - The Bram Taylor Collection.

1993 saw the release of arguably Bram's most popular recording, Further Horizons. Opening with Chris Algar's Hills of the West, and featuring again an immensely strong selection of songs from the likes of Brian McNeill, Huw Williams, Ewan MacColl and Peter Knight.

An excellent line up joined Bram on Further Horizons, including Fiona Simpson, Tom McConville, Dave Russell, Chris Hill, and Phil Hare.

Following the success of Further Horizons, Bram was asked to perform in the USA in 1996, delighting audiences with his professional mix of music and humour he is now a biannual visitor. His visits to the US certainly had an influence on the song selection for his next recording. As before however, Bram combines further flavours with his well rehearsed approach to create another popular album in the form of Pick of the Grinner Recorded and released in 1997.

New World sensibilities abound in the album, yet the common denominator is always for Bram, "Is this a good song?" Yet again, certainly, these all are. Whilst the recording line up for Pick of the Grinner was largely of stalwarts, Bram's adventurous approach allows for the introduction of alto sax on selected tracks. Then, just as you think Bram may be truly contemporary, you find yourself back on the Banks of the Bann, with only guitar and fiddle.

For his next recording Fragile Peace in 2001 Bram enlisted support from a new selection of talented musicians including Alistair McCulloch - Fiddle, Serge Gorlin - Alto Sax, Emily Slade - Piano, and Mike France - Fretless Bass. It may well be that Bram's travels "over the pond" are reflected in a selection of songs that in some way rather more melancholic than usual. As Bram says in the sleeve notes to Robbie O'Connell's Home Away From Home; "It's great to go away sometimes but even better to come back home." Which was certainly true, from the irony of Bram being near New York to promote Fragile Peace on September 11th that year, and having been at the top of one of the Twin Towers only 5 days before 9/11!! A memory which he says will haunt him forever.

2001 launched Bram on a new path to begin annual visits to Florida at the invitation of Magnolia Concert Connections and Entertainer designers network director Dudley Burchill (known as Miss Dudley so we know she’s a she and not a he!!) to perform at many wonderful venues.

So Bram continues to journey further a field and so off to Holland in 2003 and 2004 and Switzerland in 2005, with performances before the most receptive audiences as always. You may of course not need to travel quite so far to catch him.

Spring 2004 saw the release of The Night is Young which received rave reviews from the British and overseas Folk Music Press. This was no doubt encouraged by the use of the talents of Fiddle virtuoso Stuart Hardy and the multi instrumental talents of Steve Lawrence. This CD consists of a ‘half and half’ array of both traditional and contemporary material. The opening track is a quite stunning rendition of the lovely song ‘Bogie’s Bonnie Belle’ kicking off the CD on a splendid journey in song from some amazing British and overseas song writers; Huw Williams, Eileen McGann, Brendan Graham (of ‘You raise me up’ fame), Ian Chesterman, Eric Bogle and John Munroe and rounds off in great form with the title track from the exquisite hand of Collum Sands.

His latest Fellside release ‘Song Singer’ FECD206 emerged in Summer 2007 from what Bram can only describe as ‘Hard graft’ sessions working with some fabulous musicians (as ever); Steve Lawrence on percussion and endless fret instruments, just beautifully played too, Wendy Weatherby on Cello, Iain Anderson on Fiddle, Bram’s great friends from Holland Elly Beurskens (guitar, Bass and vocals) and her husband Bruno van Hoekon Dobro, mandolin and banjo, Bob Hallard on electric and bass guitars and bass vocals and the splendid all round vocal talents of ‘mother and daughter act’ Linda and Susan Adams.

Then it was off to Canada in July 2007, to perform at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Ontario alongside Bram’s heroes from the sixties Gordon Lightfoot and Don McLean. Performing to over 10,000 people Bram was well received. Subsequently Bram was invited back and returned to Mariposa in 2009, appearing alongside Buffy Sainte-Marie and The Proclaimers.

As a professional communicator, Bram's unique delivery of festival workshops and sessions: "Getting your Act Together" and "Ballads with Bram" are very popular. This has ensured that Bram's itinerary is more packed than ever.

Song Singer continued to receive excellent reviews from the British Music Press and 2010 was yet another busy year for Bram with Festival and Folk Club performances including a fourth return visit to The English Folk Club at The Rocajuna Den, Punta Prima in Spain.

www.bramtaylor.com

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