Keeping it real

by | Jul 2022

DICK CLARK said “music is the soundtrack of your life.” Eric Michael Taylor would say music is his life, and he enjoys writing and performing the soundtracks of your life. 

Taylor’s music style can be summed up in one word. “Raw,” he said. Listen to it, and you’ll quickly agree. They are relatable and connect with the lives of working-class, everyday people. His songs resonate, especially with Lincoln Countians and Southern country music lovers. 

Taylor said, “I wrote my first song when I was 19. I write from real-life experiences or things I’ve heard or seen, so it’s really more like I’m just retelling the story. I miss older country music where they told true stories. Waylon Jennings and all those guys like him told real stories that you really connected with. The songs I write and sing are about the nitty-gritty of life, and that’s the good, the bad, the great.” 

His song “Ballad of the Taft Boys” is filled with honest, Southern straight talk. “Midnight Lullaby” will sing you to sleep, with memories of Lincoln County’s country scape. “Love Like 1953” will woo you to a slower time. “Delta Queen” is a rocking, good-time song written after friends challenged Taylor’s habit of writing meaningful, sometimes sad, slower-paced ones.

Taylor said, “I’m a big party guy. I like partying, and I like loud, Lynyrd Skynyrd kinds of things. So I sat on my back porch with my whole family, and we all wrote ‘Delta Queen’.” Arguably, my three best songs were written with my family, so it seems like I need to add them into more of the writing sessions.”

Taylor’s career today is also summed up in a few words. “It’s wide open,” he said.

Friends and family enjoyed his music and wanted to be able to listen to it anytime, so he recorded a few songs. It turned out to be the cannon that launched a full-time career. Taylor had performed for friends and family since he was a kid but found his calling after a short move to Pilot Point, Texas, in 2019. A weekly job in a Texas bar exposed him to the music style that heavily influenced his writing and taught him how to play bars.

“I found guys like Daryl Singletary. I learned about Bakersfield country, where Merle Haggard came from. I learned a lot about music and life in general when I moved out there. I found my sound and found myself and the direction I wanted my life to take,” he said.

And it’s a direction it has taken quickly. Playing four or five times a week keeps him on the road and often separated from family. His family is not only at the heart of his music, but his life as well. 

“My family is my compass. I played five shows last week in three different cities. People on the road are great, and they blow your head up. When I get home, I’m just Eric Michael to them. If I start getting an attitude, they’ll put me back in check. They’re definitely the reason I can keep doing this. You’ve got to have those people around you. I still can’t believe that I get to do this job, doing what I love. I feel so lucky and blessed,” Taylor said. GN

More Good News

Setting the Stage for Success

Setting the Stage for Success

GAIL GODWIN said, “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.” Tim Hobbs has utilized theatre in the classroom throughout his Fayetteville City Schools (FCS) career and...

read more
Leave it Powerless

Leave it Powerless

HOW CAN a word trigger so many emotional responses, and why is it fair that it does? While we could erase the word from the dictionary, doing so would do nothing to erase it from our lives. However,...

read more
Nothing to fear

Nothing to fear

A CHILD STARES at the blank page. She can’t remember the teacher’s instructions and believes she can’t draw. Only artists can do that. And she’s not alone. From childhood to adulthood, it’s a...

read more
Loving on Lincoln County

Loving on Lincoln County

LOOK AROUND the grocery store today andsee bewildered faces in every aisle. Buggies once packed to the brim are now carefully curated from half-empty shelves. Coupons and calculators are in hand....

read more
Chicken Wings & other things

Chicken Wings & other things

WHEN ENTERING a particular local restaurant located at 2715 Huntsville Highway Suite C in Fayetteville, the first thing you will notice is the friendly servers taking your order, happy that you are...

read more
The Warrior’s Exhibit

The Warrior’s Exhibit

ON MAIN Avenue North, in downtown Fayetteville, a particular building sticks out. It is hard to miss with its red, white, and blue colors bursting with patriotic pride. On the exterior of the...

read more
The rhythm of determination

The rhythm of determination

INSIDE THE pages of her favorite books, Sierra Arguello found a place of belonging but still longed for something that she couldn’t quite identify. In the early days of fifth grade, Arguello’s...

read more
More Than Pop Poms and Pyramids

More Than Pop Poms and Pyramids

AS THE sun slips behind the grandstands, the drum corp marches the band toward the Lincoln County High School (LCHS) field. Students and spectators follow on their heels, many carrying their...

read more
Called to Help

Called to Help

AS CHARLOTTE HOOPER attended regular services at The Father’s Refuge Church, she saw more than hymnals and church bulletins; she saw children and families in need. Wanting to help, she and her...

read more
Juneteenth

Juneteenth

“FREEDOM” enters the chatroom, and immediately it’s all, barbecued meat and who’s got the biggest bang of a firework show. While Independence Day is our nation’s designated time to pause and...

read more
Juneteenth

Leading the Way

IT’S HARD to imagine now, but there was a time when women weren’t allowed to cross the Fayetteville downtown square unattended. In the mid-1800s, several saloons were located around the square, and...

read more