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Sara Niemietz and Linda Taylor’s Superman, the Latin Alternative Music Conference, Taylor Soundcheck with Liv Slingerland, Vinyl Confessions with Maggie Baugh, and more.

Super Women

We still remember the soulful acoustic set Sara Niemietz (Builder’s Edition 517e WHB) served up (with guitar ace Snuffy Walden) on the Taylor NAMM stage back in 2019. So when the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and actress dropped us a line to share a preview of her new record, Superman, we were all ears.

A multifaceted performer who has worked in theater, TV and film (and is an active live-streamer), Niemietz is equally diversified in her musical tastes and stylistic repertoire. Her expressive vocal range allows her to explore an array of genres, including rock, jazz-pop, blues, R&B and neo-soul. And she runs the gamut with her boldly vulnerable 14-song collection on Superman.

The record evolved out of a COVID-period collaboration between Niemietz and guitarist/composer/producer Linda Taylor, whose credits include extensive session and stage work (Art Garfunkel, Edwin McCain, Don Was) and more than 20 years of TV house band experience on shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The two met at what would turn out to be Niemietz’s last live show of 2020 due to the COVID shutdown, but their instant musical chemistry sparked an exchange of ideas that became a torrent of back-and-forth demo file-sharing. Ideas were shaped into songs, with Niemietz handling vocal production and Taylor laying down guitar and other instrument parts and mixing the recordings.

Before long, the two had a half-dozen fully baked songs they felt good about, so they kept going, completing an album’s worth of demos. They eventually recorded and co-produced the record with session artists Daniel Pearson (bass), Ed Roth (keyboards) and Léo Costa (drums) at former Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger’s Horse Latitude Studios in Burbank, California.

Among the musical touchstones for their songs, Niemietz says, were Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Janis Joplin, Brittany Howard, early Kings of Leon and D’Angelo. The trick was to give themselves the freedom to follow their eclectic tastes, yet shape their songs into a listening experience that would hold together as an album.

“It occurred to me as long as we’re telling the same story, the songs can be the chapters in the book,” Niemietz says. The themes that permeate the album, she adds, are the ideas of “speaking your piece, shaking off the past, and finding the superhero inside.”

The buoyant blues-pop opener, “Locks,” sets a tone of resilient rebirth, of emerging from adversity a little wiser and eager to embrace the path ahead. Niemietz takes a deep, cleansing breath leading into her vocal over a head-bobbing groove, later singing: So long since I / Since I felt this way / So long to the shadows of yesterday….

The rest of the record unfolds with soulful continuity, even as they stir together different musical flavors. The album’s tasteful arrangements leave room for Niemietz’s emotive vocal nuances and Taylor’s vivid guitar work to play off each other in dynamic ways.

“I Want You” is a smoldering rocker powered by Niemietz’s raw, impassioned vocals (and a great scream at the end). The plaintive ballad “Lovely Lies” offers a vulnerable relationship reckoning as Niemietz’s sultry vocals float above Taylor’s delicately picked Spanish rhythm on nylon-string guitar. The smooth R&B vibe of “Come to Me” calls to mind Allen Stone, colored with Taylor’s wah-wah and blues licks, followed by more wah-wah flavoring on the late-night funk-rock of “Names.” The more experimental “Words” ventures from acoustic fingerpicking into atmospheric indie-rock terrain as Niemietz’s powerful wail over distorted power chords evokes a blend of vintage Grace Slick meets Florence + the Machine. The sweet closing track, “The Dimming,” delivers a smooth neo-soul landing that segues into a jammy coda.

As a listener, you can hear the undeniable musical chemistry between Niemietz and Taylor. Their phrasing is beautifully complementary and gives each song a vivid personality. Niemietz’s lyrical honesty channels a range of emotions that help bond the songs together as related “chapters” in her songbook, while Taylor’s (and the band’s) versatile musicianship navigates through different genres with ease.

Whether this music would ever have been made if not for the pandemic pause, we’ll never know. But based on the results, let’s hope they work together again.

Artist News

Our artist relations team has been busy developing exclusive video content showcasing Taylor artists from across the genre spectrum. Be sure to browse Soundings in the digital edition of Wood&Steel to watch performances and interviews. Here are a few of the latest and greatest hits.

Latin Alternative Music Conference

From July 6-9, Taylor attended the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City. Colloquially known as the “SXSW Conference for Latin Americans,” the LAMC plays host to key musicians, fans, content platforms and MI brands such as Billboard, Warner Music, Amazon Music and Meta. Content created from the event reaches more then 25 million people worldwide.

For our part, we created a video lounge where musicians could try guitars, record performances and shoot photos. Our lounge was adjacent to Meta, whose team was shooting social reels for artists. We supplied them with a variety of our guitars, which were then seen across Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms. We also participated in key LAMC Showcases, master classes and off-site events. Watch performances from artists Zoe Gotusso, Pehuenche and Gale.

Taylor Soundcheck

Session guitarist and indie artist Liv Slingerland (Olivia Rodrigo, Halsey) joined us in June to film an episode of Taylor Soundcheck, appearing with her performance partner, Caroline Kingsbury. Liv played her original songs “It Might Be Time” and “Temporary Letdown” and talked about her influences and inspiration for her music. Liv plays a 514ce and a GT 811e in the performances.

R&B guitarist Will Gittens and Emmy-award-winning actor Rome Flynn sat down in August to cover the classic hit “I Wanna Know,” originally written and recorded by R&B singer Joe in 1999. Will plays his rosewood/spruce 714ce in the video, which has already racked up some 185 million views on YouTube.

Manchester Orchestra singer/guitarist Andy Hull took a break from his solo acoustic tour to play an exclusive set on Austin City Limits Radio with his newest Taylor, the GT 811e. Andy has been loving his new guitar, telling us that it’s “probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt playing the guitar for 90 minutes in a room of silence.” His intimate set includes the tunes “Angel Of Death,” “Telepath,” “The Gold” and “Bed Head.”

Introducing Vinyl Confessions

We recently launched a new video series in partnership with Denon called Vinyl Confessions, where Taylor artists talk about a song that inspired their pursuit of music and then perform that song. Our first segment features Nashville-based country singer-songwriter Maggie Baugh, who remembers the impact of the Sara Evans song “Suds in a Bucket.”

Back in Black

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall has been enjoying her newest custom Taylor, an all-black rosewood/spruce Grand Pacific (a variation on our Builder’s Edition 717e) with a custom pickguard design based on her creative input. The ivoroid pickguard wraps around both the bass and treble sides of the soundhole and incorporates a lightning bolt design in relief. She loves how it turned out and played it on tour dates over the summer. You can see it in the official music video for her new song “Private Eyes” from her forthcoming album Nut.

Taylor Artists in Nashville…

We love supporting the music community in Music City. Taylor recently co-hosted a special event at the new offices of American Songwriter magazine, where Taylor artist Ian Flanigan performed for guests…. Emerging folk/Americana artist Autumn Nicholas met us in Nashville to test-drive new guitars for her upcoming tour, where she’ll be opening for Amanda Shires. She fell in love with the Grand Concert 322ce…. Amanda Sudano from the duo Johnnyswim has recently been playing a 314ce-N, which she uses in a video of her song “Beautiful Dream” that she shared to Instagram…. Singer-songwriter John Oates has always loved the sound and feel of the GS Mini, so it’s no surprise that he’s currently playing the GT 811e…. Ryan Straw, guitarist for country artist Kelsea Ballerini, has been playing a 562ce for the promotion of Ballerini’s new single, “Heart First.”

… and Around the Globe

In Japan, Taylor artist Suzune recently released a music video for his song “Life”…. In Colombia, Santiago Cruz released a video for his song “Porque Yo Te Quise,” which has already racked up nearly a million views…. In Mexico, Carla Morrison launched another leg of her El Renacimiento tour, where she’s playing her favorite guitar: the GT 611e LTD…. Puerto Rican artist Yett signed a three-year contract with Warner Music and will soon be touring the U.S. with his GS Mini-e Koa Plus.

In the United Kingdom, Taylor artist Tom Gledhill has been playing his AD17e Blacktop alongside artists Zak Abel, Paloma Faith and Rag’n’Bone Man…. Solo singer-songwriter Cat Burns will be supporting Ed Sheeran on an upcoming tour as well as headlining her own tour this year. She recently appeared on Later…with Jools Holland to play her song “Go” on her T5z. Session guitarist Aaron Forbes, fast becoming an in-demand player in the U.K., is heading out on tour with Calum Scott after wrapping up a stint with Ellie Goulding…. Matt Thomson’s indie rock band,The Amazons, is touring Europe, with Matt playing a Builder’s Edition 517e and guitarist Chris Alderton playing a GT Urban Ash.

In Sweden, Smith & Thell are touring with their Builder’s Edition 517e and 322ce 12-Fret…. Italian guitarist Daniele Mamarella is currently touring with his GT 811e after having been ranked as one of the top three acoustic guitarists by Music Radar and UK Guitarist magazine.

Browse the 2022 Taylor Holiday Gift Guide

With the winter holidays on the horizon, it’s time for those of us with musically inclined friends and family to start thinking about the perfect gift. Taylor’s online holiday gift guide is the perfect tool for making sure this year’s holiday is a memorable one for the musicians in your life. You’ll find a range of guitars from across the Taylor line segmented by price level, making it easy to home in on a new guitar for that friend or loved one in need of fresh acoustic inspiration. We’ve also curated some key accessories, such as comfortable guitar straps, pick tins, digital tuners, guitar care tools, stylish Taylor apparel and more.

Head to to explore the guide. Remember, we’re always here to help with your gift selections, so feel free to reach out to our customer service team if you have questions.

Take a Listen to the Most Recent Playlist


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GS Minis at the Olympics, Billie Eilish & FINNEAS on tour, Steve Poltz, New Rules, the Wood&Steel Playlist and more.

Taylor Goes For Gold

It’s always a thrill to see Taylor guitars in the great outdoors, especially when they make it to places even we wouldn’t have predicted. That was the case during this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, where Justin Schoenfeld and four teammates from Team USA’s Freestyle Ski team posed with their Taylor GS Mini guitars, which they brought along to play during downtime between heats, practice runs and the main event. We’d like to think the guitars helped — the trio of Schoenfeld, Ashley Caldwell and Chris Lillis went on to capture the first-ever gold medals at the inaugural mixed team aerial ski event. It marked the United States’ first medal in aerials since 2010 and the first gold medal in an aerial event since 1998.

In related news, following the Olympics, in March, decorated skier Mikaela Shiffrin was crowned as the overall champion of the Alpine Skiing World Cup’s 2021/2022 season. To commemorate her win, Oakley presented her with a very cool custom Baby Taylor.

Original Grain Meets Urban Ash

If you’ve been following along with Taylor, you may know about our partnership with the watchmakers at Original Grain, another great business from our hometown of San Diego. Original Grain crafts beautiful wristwatches that incorporate a variety of visually stunning woods, including several supplied by Taylor. Previous offerings have included watches featuring West African ebony from our Crelicam mill in Cameroon, as well as models featuring Hawaiian koa and sapele. Now, we’re teaming up with our friends for another sustainability-themed offering, a beautiful new watch made with Urban Ash, the tonewood we source responsibly from trees removed from city areas that would otherwise have gone to landfills.

You can learn more about the Original Grain x Taylor collection at the Original Grain store.

Happy Family

Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS are currently out on their 2022 world tour in support of Eilish’s latest release, Happier Than Ever. In late March, the siblings took home an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards after winning in the Best Original Song category for “No Time to Die,” their composition for the recent James Bond film of the same name. The award makes Eilish the youngest person to win three major awards for the same song (she also took home Golden Globe and GRAMMY awards this year), and it marks the first time an Oscar has gone to someone born after 2000. The two performed the song at the GRAMMY Awards in April, with FINNEAS on his 514ce. Following the award trifecta, Taylor sent our congratulations in the form of a custom-appointed AD17 Blacktop. The guitar features a specially designed truss rod cover with an Oscar statuette inlay and a custom pickguard with the logo from the Bond film. FINNEAS’s main Taylor on the tour has been his 514ce, while Billie has been strumming her GTe Blacktop.

Stardust & Satellites & Smokey Joe

Prolific and delightfully eccentric singer-songwriter Steve Poltz, a San Diego music scene legend and current resident of Nashville, released his 14th studio album in February, titled Stardust & Satellites. Country music outlet Holler gave the album a score of 8/10, calling it “A wonderfully energized, often joyful and wryly provocative release.” Americana Highways responded with similar enthusiasm, reporting that the album “takes just one song to remind you why [Poltz] is still one of the wittiest songwriters in the folk/Americana world right now.”

For a taste of Poltz’s singular (and hilarious) storytelling chops, check out his account of acquiring one of his oldest and most gig-seasoned Taylor guitars, nicknamed “Smokey Joe,” in our Taylor Stories video series below.

“Flawless” Jewel

Former Poltz songwriting collaborator and award-winning singer-songwriter Jewel released her latest album, Freewheelin’ Woman, her 13th, in April. In interviews, Jewel has said she wanted to record an album that represented “exactly who and where I [am] now.” Critics have appreciated the intimacy and immediacy of the new album — American Songwriter called it “her most stylistically diverse album, encompassing folk, pop, and R&B.” Spin also sang its praises, highlighting Jewel’s “irresistible melodies and a voice that’s never been more flawless — or more powerful.”

Wood and Led

Folk singer-songwriter James Lee Stanley returned this year with another collection of acoustic covers of classic rock favorites. Recorded with Dan Navarro, the album, All Wood and Led, features covers of songs by — you guessed it — Led Zeppelin. Stanley has previously covered bands like the Rolling Stones and the Doors in other collections. The San Diego Troubadour describes this record as a “Byrds and Buffalo Springfield interpretation [of] the Zep crew.” With mellower, fully reimagined takes on classics like “Rock and Roll,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Dazed and Confused” and more, Stanley and Navarro’s arrangements and sweet vocal harmonies put their own unique spin on one of rock’s most legendary acts.


Puerto Rican guitarist and singer-songwriter Yett recently signed with Warner Music, and he’s charging out of the gate with a fresh single, “Dicen que nada es para siempre” (They say nothing is forever), along with a new music video. Yett plays a GS Mini Koa throughout the video.

In other artist news: Trace Adkins is starring in the new Fox TV show Monarch this fall and will be playing his Taylor guitar. Taylor player Joy Clark was seen playing her 714ce on Jimmy Kimmel Live with Allison Russell. Barenaked Ladies and KT Tunstall were on tour together in the U.K., where they played a sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Isaiah Sharkey is out on tour with John Mayer playing his 912ce. Miami-born, Nashville-based duo Kat & Alex are bringing their unique flavor of Latin-inflected country to the Taylor artist roster. New Taylor player Jaco Caraco is an in-demand Los Angeles session player and the bandleader on the Kelly Clarkson Show, where he recently played a Taylor baritone guitar for with Clarkson’s rendition of Don McLean’s “Vincent.” Taylor artist Danny Rader is out on tour with Kenny Chesney playing his Builder’s Edition 717. Jonah Prill has been playing his Builder’s Edition 517 on NBC’s The American Song Contest. Rae Lynn will be playing a 317 for her summer dates opening for Kane Brown. Dayseeker is on tour and playing intimate VIP acoustic sets before each show with their AD17e Blacktop, GT 811e and GS Mini-e Maple Bass. New Taylor artist Emily Rosenfield is on tour with Japanese-British singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama, and played Coachella this summer with a GT 811e. New Taylor artist Susana Vasquez plays with Karol G and also had a major appearance at Coachella, where she rocked a requinto-style 250ce-BLK DLX.

The Taylor artist family has also been active around the world. U.K. guitarist Remi Lauw has been playing for Dutch artist Glenis Grace and recently Oscar and the Wolf. Chilean Taylor artist Mon Laferte has already won four Latin GRAMMYs and in June started a tour that will take her to more than 20 countries worldwide. Here she is playing “Good Boy” with one of her Taylors. Hailing from Columbia, Santiago Torres is the leading guitar player for Columbian superstar Maluma, who has more than 61.9M followers on Instagram alone. U.K. artist John Conneran was a featured artist on the Disney Spotify playlist with his version of “When She Loved Me,” which recently hit 1 million streams. Mexico-based artist Carla Morrison is touring and playing her Taylor guitar with Coldplay. Finally, U.K. musical virtuoso Jacob Collier is on a world tour playing a custom 5-string Taylor guitar designed by Andy Powers.

Tuning Up on Taylor Soundcheck

The video team at Taylor has been on fire lately, producing high-fidelity performances from some of today’s hottest up-and-coming stars and established artists. Recent episodes have featured players like London’s Holocene, folk trio Wildwood Kin, At the Drive-In and Sparta co-founder Jim Ward, and recently, a special performance from Brit-pop trio New Rules. The group played two of their songs, “Emily” and “Cheers,” and shared insight into their songwriting process. Watch the video below and head to Taylor’s YouTube channel for all the Soundcheck performances.

Take a Listen to the Most Recent Playlist


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A news roundup from the Taylor community: Guitars 4 Vets, recovering a lost guitar, remembering Nanci Griffith, and artist updates from Nashville and beyond.

Grain for Good

Last issue, we shared news about our partnership with the watchmakers at San Diego-based Original Grain. With our shared passion for beautiful woods as a launchpad, we worked with Original Grain to supply materials for a range of wristwatches showcasing Urban Ash and West African ebony, responsibly sourced tonewoods that we use for backs, sides and fretboards in our guitars. The results were outstanding — not only did Original Grain produce a stunning collection of watches, but they sold out fast, and a second run was met with equal enthusiasm by customers. Even better, the project has raised over $58,000 to date for Guitars 4 Vets, a nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans use music to cope with PTSD, and Tree San Diego, which works to restore and protect San Diego’s urban canopy. Thanks to the popularity of the watches, Original Grain expects to sell enough to cross the $100,000-mark in money raised for charity before the end of this year.

Over the summer, our partnership with Original Grain culminated in a televised event hosted on the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier and museum located at the San Diego Embarcadero. The event featured a graduation ceremony for eight veterans who recently completed the Guitars 4 Vets music program. The veterans were each awarded a Taylor acoustic guitar in honor of their achievements, and Bob Taylor himself was on hand to deliver a speech and share his appreciation for America’s military veterans. The event even received local media attention, with TV station CBS8 and the San Diego Union-Tribune both covering the event.

We’re proud to continue our relationship with Original Grain, and you can still find watches from the Original Grain + Taylor Guitars Collection at the Original Grain online store.

Lost and Found

Hopefully you haven’t experienced the unique heartbreak of a gigging musician whose guitar disappears. Whether stolen, broken or just plain misplaced, it’s a special type of agony, especially if the lost guitar is a personal favorite or a longtime traveling companion. Chloe Smith, a Taylor player and guitarist for the band Rising Appalachia, knows this particular pain all too well.

Roughly two years ago, Chloe’s Academy 12e-N was stolen. Efforts to locate it were fruitless, and she replaced the guitar, believing that she would never see the original again. Anyone who has toured with a musical instrument understands the bond a player can forge with their guitar, and though Rising Appalachia was able to continue its tour, the loss stung.

Fast-forward to June of 2021, when alt-folk band A Brother’s Fountain posted a video on Instagram sharing an incredible story: They’d found the guitar at a general store in Cisco, Utah, an Old-West railroad burg that Wikipedia labels a ghost town with a total of four residents.

The boys from A Brother’s Fountain had stopped in town to restock on essentials while camping in the area, and after chatting with the store’s owners, decided to play a couple of their songs for a small group of people inside the shop. After the impromptu gig, the store owner showed the guys a mysterious guitar for which she had been trying to find the original owner for nearly two years. A Brother’s Fountain agreed to try to help the guitar find its way home. After digging through the case, they found stickers featuring the Rising Appalachia name and logo. A quick search on Spotify revealed a perfect match between the lost guitar and the one in the band’s official photo — the lost guitar had been found at last.

Seeing the video with the story, Rising Appalachia commented, “OK, you guys win the Internet today. How is this possible?”

Gear Up for the Holidays

We’re fast approaching the holiday season, and you know what that means: the Taylor Guitars Holiday Gift Guide is here. Packed with recommendations for guitars and accessories that will make for truly memorable gifts this season, the guide features our favorite guitars from the Taylor line arranged by budget so that you know exactly what to look for at your price level when you head to the music shop.

Browse the Taylor Holiday Gift Guide, or visit

Remembering Nanci

As we were wrapping up this issue of Wood&Steel, we learned of the passing of singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith. The Texas-raised troubadour was truly an artist’s artist, widely admired by tunesmiths from Bob Dylan to Jason Isbell to Darius Rucker for her songwriting chops, especially her knack for using lyrical detail to pack an emotional punch. Griffith’s story-songs often drew from her Texas roots and chronicled the struggles of small-town characters (“Drive-in Movies and Dashboard Lights,” “Love at the Five and Dime”), fusing folk and country genres into a signature style she dubbed “folkabilly,” delivered with lilting vocals over her hybrid acoustic fingerpicking/flatpicking.

Griffith bought a Taylor 512c in a music store in New York in 1986, choosing it for its comfortably compact frame and its reliability on tour and in the studio, and later ordered a custom 512c with a Florentine cutaway and a sunburst top, which became a performance staple for many years.

In the mid-1980s, Griffith moved to Nashville but wondered if she’d be accepted by the “old-Nashville” music establishment. She needn’t have worried.

“I got two phone calls when I first came to Nashville,” she said in an interview in Wood&Steel in 1996. “The first was from Chet Atkins, welcoming me and telling me he had my earlier records. The second was from Harlan Howard [writer of Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” and other country classics] asking if we could get together because he had my albums and admired my writing. He said it had been a long time since Nashville had an honest female songwriter who wasn’t afraid to write songs about controversial subjects. I felt very welcome.”

Griffith deserves credit for turning other Nashville artists on to our guitars before Taylor was a widely known brand, from Suzy Bogguss and Kathy Mattea to the session guitarists she recorded with.

“Whenever we’d be in the studio, they’d be vying to borrow my guitar!” she shared.

Her sunburst 512c inspired a limited-edition signature model we released in 1996.

Though Bob Taylor didn’t know Griffith, he has a special connection with her music.

“I often say that Nanci taught me how to use MasterCam and Fadal back in the day,” he shares. “That’s because I listened to her album Storms on a loop several hours a night for weeks on end while I learned to draw, program and machine guitar parts. The mention of her name, or the sound of her voice, always takes me back. She kept me focused on absorbing this CAD/CAM world that eventually helped me make her signature guitar. To make guitars that she played was unplanned but meant a lot to me. I’ll miss her even though I never personally knew her.”

Growing the Family

This year has proved to be a big one for our artist relations team here at Taylor — we’ve been forging relationships with new artists from all corners of the musical world in an effort to broaden our musical horizons. In recent months, we’ve expanded our outreach to include more BIPOC artists (Black, Indigenous & people of color) from the United States and beyond. In nine months alone, we’ve brought more than 30 BIPOC artists into the Taylor fold. It’s a thrilling time that’s introduced a wealth of new sounds, styles and perspectives to everything we do here, inspiring us to share new stories.

If you perused the previous digital-only edition of Wood&Steel, you saw our feature on African-American Music Appreciation Month, which is celebrated in June in the United States to commemorate the formative influence Black artists have had on what we know as American music. That project, led by Taylor Artist Relations and Community Manager Lindsay Love-Bivens, included a visit to the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee, where songwriter Judith Hill joined us to add her insight to the story of Black music in America. You can watch the video report and explore our timeline of musical genres shaped by African American artists at (click “See Past Issues” to select the previous edition). Meanwhile, in this issue’s story on how artists have adapted to pandemic life, Lindsay spent time with the rising pop-punk band Meet Me @ The Altar, an exciting all-female outfit featuring women of color.

Pop Goes Acoustic

Our artist team has also been hard at work supplying guitars to some of today’s hottest artists. Topping the list (and the charts) is pop singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, whose debut album SOUR has garnered huge acclaim from both fans and critics alike. Olivia’s guitarist, Liv Slingerland, loves her Taylor GTe Urban Ash, playing it in a special live acoustic performance of “favorite crime” by Rodrigo for Vevo LIFT.

It seems the GT love was contagious in Rodrigo’s camp, as the singer herself also played one for a live acoustic performance of her song “enough for you.” If that wasn’t enough, she also played her GT Urban Ash in “SOUR Prom,” a stylized concert film that includes several songs from the chart-topping album.

These Taylor-in-the-wild sightings are in part the result of our relationship with multi-talented producer, guitarist and songwriter Aron Forbes. Aron is in high demand in the world of pop music, and his credits as a guitar player include projects with Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, BANKS and many others. He has also written and produced with pop heavyweights like Halsey, Billie Eilish and her brother, FINNEAS, and he was recently nominated for two Emmy awards for his sound and music work on the documentary film Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. Aron is a longtime Taylor player, and owns an older mahogany GS5 model that he considers his main guitar. Having played our new mahogany guitars from the 500 Series as well as the travel-friendly GT, Aron knew our guitars would be a perfect fit for an artist like Olivia Rodrigo. Who knows where they’ll end up next?

Have Taylor, Will Travel

Every day, our guitars find their way into hands all around the globe. Our international Taylor artist roster has grown substantially this year to include new musicians from a wide swath of genres and styles, supplying more proof that there’s a Taylor for every job.

Among the newcomers is innovative fingerstyle guitarist Natee Chaiwut, who’s been making waves in his home town of Bangkok, Thailand. Chaiwut’s dynamic style blends fretboard slaps, two-hand tapping and intricate arpeggios into a propulsive acoustic sound. He recently filmed a solo performance on his new GT 811e. You can scan the QR code and watch him flex his chops.

Originally hailing from Argentina, singer-songwriter Noel Schajris has long been a fan of travel-sized Taylor models, using a Baby Taylor for years when touring as part of the duo Sin Bandera in the early and mid-2000s. Now based in Los Angeles, the Latin GRAMMY-winning guitarist released a new album in 2020 titled Mi Presente, which showcases his rich voice and lyrical talent with a series of timeless ballads. He also recently recorded a single, “Tan Perfecto,” alongside singer Katie Angle. You can hear both on Spotify and Apple Music.

Elsewhere, Santo Domingo-born artist Techy Fatule took the limelight in Spotify’s Equal campaign for the month of June, which covered women artists from the Caribbean and Central America. We first met Techy at the Latin American Music Conference, and she recorded an episode of our Acoustic Sessions performance video series that was released in April of this year.

Siam, based in Cali, Colombia, is one of the most powerful duets in the Latin industry. The act started their career in one of the most famous reality show franchises (The X Factor Colombia) and won first place. Since then, they’ve earned three Latin Grammy nominations and amassed a huge following in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. They were preparing a media tour in Mexico City for September to promote their latest single. 

In the UK, Taylor artist relations liaison Dan Boreham has been hard at work bringing more European artists into the Taylor fold. As part of a project with six other artists, we recently shot British alt-rockers Yonaka performing their song, “Raise Your Glass.”

Meanwhile, British artist James Arthur released two new videos featuring his custom black 614ce: “Train Wreck” and “September.” When we last checked, “Train Wreck” had over 343 million streams on Spotify. 

Back on American soil, other members of our artist relations team recently spent time on the east coast with the folks from Rudy’s Music Soho in New York City and the Music Den in New Jersey. While there, we had the pleasure of seeing some of our favorite guitarists perform with their Taylors, including Gil Parris and Alex Skolnick. You can watch Skolnick’s performance at Rudy’s below.

Alex Skolnick plays his Builder’s Edition K14ce at Rudy’s Music Soho in New York City.

Scranton, Pennsylvania punk-rockers Tigers Jaw have also joined the Taylor fold, just in time for their latest album, I Won’t Care How You Remember Me. The album carries on the band’s signature alt-punk sound, blending acoustic elements with driving rhythms and overdriven guitars to great effect. Founding member and lead guitarist Ben Walsh recently stopped by the new Russo’s Music location in Philadelphia to share acoustic versions of a couple tracks from the new album, performing on his 814ce.

News from Nashville

The Bluebird Café recently reopened for in-person concerts. It’s great to see this iconic venue back in action, and it’s incredible for the new winners of our co-sponsored Bluebird Golden Pick contest to once again take the stage and perform. The latest winner is Bella Garland, who also dropped by Taylor’s showroom in Nashville recently to perform her winning song.

Longtime Taylor player Tiera (416ce) also visited our showroom to try some new guitars. She fell in love with the GS Mini Koa and the AD17e Blacktop. Tiera started a radio tour in August, with her GS Mini in tow. She was named one of CMT’s women of 2020 and just signed to Big Machine imprint The Valory Music Co.

Here she is performing her song “Found it in You.”

Non-cutaway versions of our Grand Auditorium guitars are proving to be popular in Nashville. The guitar community tends to be consistent in their tastes, gravitating toward non-cutaway body shapes, classic tonewoods like mahogany and rosewood, simple appointments and darker tops, including sunburst, black or vintage amber-tinted spruce….Niko Moon’s guitarist, Jared Martin, is one of several players who have recently taken to the 514. He’s currently playing it out on the road as an opener on Lady A’s “What A Song Can Do” tour… Big Machine artist Conner Smith is busy on the road radio touring with his AD17e Blacktop.

The Summer NAMM Show, held in Nashville in July, certainly was different than previous years, but members of our artist relations team enjoyed lots of great visits with local musicians, including singer-songwriter Brock Gonyea, who fell in love with the new 818 and will be taking one on the road later this year when he’s out as the opening act on Dolly Parton’s stadium tour. Our team also met with some fantastic Taylor players like worship artist Jon Reddick and Florida-based YouTuber Dovydas.

The Wood&Steel Playlist

We love to share new work and older hits from our genre-spanning artist family. For this issue, the Wood&Steel playlist features an acoustic track from Olivia Rodrigo’s chart-topping album SOUR, a new FINNEAS single, songs from our international artists and much more. Follow Taylor Guitars on Spotify to add the playlist to your account.

Want to Win a GS Mini?

We’re happy to offer Wood&Steel readers the chance to win a new GS Mini. These solid-topped, ultra-portable guitars are among our most popular models and offer players of all levels a compact and fun-to-play option for practice, songwriting and performance. All you need to do is complete a short survey and tell us what you think of Wood&Steel.

Manchester Orchestra singer and guitarist Andy Hull prepares to play in black and white photo


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Rounding up the latest news from the Taylor world, including limited-edition timepieces, reactions to the Taylor GT, and a special artist Q&A.

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Beatie Wolfe / Taylor in Primetime / Original Grain / GT Love / Universal Vibrations / Folk Alliance / Manchester Orchestra

Beatie Wolfe: From Green to Red to the Nobel Prize Summit

British singer-songwriter and musical innovator Beatie Wolfe (324ce, 110e) has devoted her career to changing how people engage with art and music. Her passion for creating immersive new formats for making and experiencing music lies not just in songwriting and recording, but in using those inventive musical forms to explore important issues and preserve our sense of humanity. In the past, she’s performed from inside an anechoic chamber (a room designed to absorb all sound waves), beamed her music into deep space, and designed the first 360-degree augmented reality experience to visualize her album Raw Space.

Recently, Wolfe was invited to appear at the inaugural Nobel Prize Summit, held as a virtual event April 26-28, 2021. The event, themed “Our Planet, Our Future,” assembled thinkers, artists and leaders from around the world to innovate solutions to the problem of global climate change as they explored the question, “What can be achieved in this decade to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future for all of humanity?” 

The event tackled environmental issues along with challenges such as inequality and the role of technology—two questions intricately entwined with the larger crisis of the changing climate. Wolfe was invited to perform and speak on a panel related to urban wood and the declining canopy in cities around the world. (Not surprisingly, she is an outspoken proponent of Taylor’s urban wood initiative.) Her appearance culminated in a musical performance accompanied by a data visualization that illustrates the rapid acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions in recent decades. Powered by data from NASA, the animation visually presents a planetary timeline that tracks the last 800,000 years, creating a more accessible context to relate to a deeply complex problem.

Wolfe and her musical art piece, titled “From Green to Red,” were introduced by Nobel Prize laureate and decorated physicist Robert Woodrow Wilson, who had previously helped Wolfe beam her album into space from the Holmdel Horn Antenna in New Jersey—the same antenna where Wilson and Arno Penzias discovered cosmic microwave background radiation for the first time. 

Wolfe called her work an “environmental protest piece,” designed to give the audience a deeper understanding of the impact of human behavior on the planet.

Beatie Wolfe and physicist Robert Woodrow Wilson introduce Wolfe’s “Green to Red.”

Taylor Thrives in Primetime

Those who have been following Taylor for the past year or so are probably aware of Taylor Primetime, our weekly series of live interviews broadcast over YouTube. Primetime has been a source of inspiration and entertainment, and with the second season of the show well underway, we’ve talked with Brian Collins about making it as an indie musician, our own Bob Taylor about how robots can help us build guitars, and “Invisible Guitarist” Paul Pesco about his career as a session musician.  

Bob Taylor took questions about robotics in the Taylor factory and other topics in this episode of Primetime.

In April, we hosted Mark Moore, a supervisor in our milling department, to get the details on what happens with our tonewoods in that part of the factory. Earlier, we talked with factory expert Mike Venezia about how players can explore new sounds and tonal flavors with their acoustic guitars and discover a distinctive individual style.

Go inside our milling department with Taylor factory supervisor Mark Moore.

Each week, Taylor hosts Jay Parkin, Lindsay Love-Bivens and Andy Lund bring you fresh interviews, rapid-fire audience Q&As, and more, so be sure to stop by our YouTube channel every Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm Pacific time and get in on the fun. 

Going with the Grain

Earlier this year, we launched a partnership with local San Diego watchmaker Original Grain to design and produce a limited-edition run of Taylor-branded timepieces incorporating our Crelicam ebony and Urban Ash tonewoods. Original Grain specializes in watches that feature real wood in the face, bezel and other elements, and each design is crafted using wood and other materials with an interesting backstory. The Taylor watches they created—featuring ebony’s dark hue and the chocolatey brown of Urban Ash set off by abalone dial faces and the Taylor peghead silhouette—exceeded all expectations in both craftsmanship and consumer demand.


The first run of 300 watches sold out quickly in February, prompting us to renew the partnership with a second order triple the size of the first. The project even got some buzz on local TV news when Scott Paul (our Director of Natural Resource Sustainability) and Original Grain co-founder Ryan Beltran were interviewed by KUSI San Diego. 

The best part? Proceeds from the timepieces go in part to two organizations working toward admirable causes: Guitars4Vets, which distributes guitars and provides lessons for military veterans coping with PTSD and other mental health issues, as well as Tree San Diego, which works to restore, grow and protect the urban tree canopy of San Diego County. The first phase of the project garnered over $12,000 for the two organizations. 

In June, Guitars4Vets will be hosting a graduation ceremony for eight local veterans, where they’ll be presented with their own Taylor guitars aboard the USS Midway at downtown San Diego’s Embarcadero. If you’re interested in learning more about the watches and maybe purchasing your own, head to 

More Love for the Taylor GT

After the release of the latest branches of the growing GT family—the rosewood/spruce GT 811e and the all-koa GT K21e—reviewers were anxious to get their hands on them and test out these new versions of our reduced-scale, all-solid-wood acoustic guitar. The pair shares the new, compact body style with the original GTe Urban Ash, this time with new tonewood combinations in keeping with the established 800 and Koa Series from our standard line. 

Writing about the GT 811e for UK’s Guitarist magazine, David Mead called the GT 811e a “revelation,” one that adds “an extra gear or two” to the tonal possibilities offered by the GTe Urban Ash.  

“We weren’t prepared for how much fun it is to play and how adaptable it is to various styles of music,” Mead writes. “We tried some fingerpicked blues, strummed chords, fingerstyle acoustic and the 811e batted everything back to us with multilingual dexterity.” 

He likewise commented on the relaxed feel common to all GT models, thanks to their shorter-than-standard scale length and compact body, which help bring the player’s hands closer together for a more intimate, accommodating feel. 

“The reduced scale length…produces the slinkier feel of a drop-tuned instrument,” he says, “while enhancing the playing experience overall.” 

In other parts of the web, Peghead Nation got a chance to review the GT K21e after playing the GT 811e earlier in the year. Having heard both guitars, reviewer Teja Gerken drew a useful comparison, noting the sonic richness and texture of the koa version

“I found that it had an extra dose of warmth and tonal complexity,” he says. “Though I tend to favor spruce tops over hardwood tops like koa or mahogany, I had to admit that in this case, the koa top yielded a more sophisticated tonality.”  

Gerken also took time to play the GT K21e through an acoustic amplifier, giving the onboard ES2 electronics a chance to shine in the context of the new, smaller body shape.  

“Plugging the guitar into a Fishman amp yielded an excellent amplified voice that is likely to be indistinguishable from full-size Taylors with the same electronics,” Gerken writes.  

After more plaudits about the GT’s playability and feel, Gerken wrapped his review with a lovely summation of the GT K21e, calling it a perfect option for discerning players. 

“Players looking for a beautiful guitar with a sophisticated character and contemporary tonality while being incredibly easy to play won’t need to look any further,” he concludes, “as this latest Grand Theater checks off all the boxes!” 

Guitar Girl Magazine also got in on the GT love, running an interview in mid-April with Lindsay Love-Bivens, Taylor’s Artist & Community Relations Manager. Lindsay shared her experiences with the GT guitars, noting their unique blend of portability and playability with high-end craftsmanship. 

“You’re seeing a lot of professional players and nonprofessional players alike that want smaller guitars,” Lindsay said. “And yet, they don’t want to compromise the tone or the full-body experience that you get with these bigger-body guitars. And so someone that’s looking for a really high-end smaller body guitar—this is it.” 

Universal Vibrations

Ed. Note: Earlier this year, Taylor owner and recent college grad Tate Ward reached out to us to share what his Big Baby guitar meant to him. A couple of email exchanges later, we agreed that it would be fun for him to interview the person who gave him the guitar  Ed Roland, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the band Collective Soul  and discuss how Roland became passionate about guitars and sharing the gift of music with others.   

I met singer, songwriter and guitarist Ed Roland from the band Collective Soul when I was a kid. His son Lindsey and I consider ourselves cousins (it’s a long story). Ed is family first, both in and out of music. For him, the band is a family. Throughout his life, music — and guitars — have been a gift that he both received and has been happy to share with others. I would know; Ed saw my interest in guitar when I was a kid, and then one day, a package arrived at my front door. Inside was the coolest gift I’ve ever received: a Taylor Big Baby guitar.  

During the extended downtime of the pandemic, I had a chance to talk with Ed about gifts, family, guitar culture and the vibrations that make up the universe.  

You gave me a Taylor guitar when I was a kid. What prompted you to do that?  

It’ll stay with you the rest of your life… I grew up in a musical family. My mom played the piano; my dad was operatically trained. Bono said, “Learn three chords, take over the world.” I say learn three chords and enjoy life.  

How did you get your first guitar?  

A friend of mine, Terry Hamilton, gave it to me. I told him one day I wanted to learn to play, and he came in the next day and gave me a guitar. The next summer I worked painting fences to earn enough money to buy an electric, and once I had enough money, my parents saw I was serious about it and paid for it. So, my first acoustic was from my friend, and my first electric was from my parents.  

How did you learn to play?  

[Terry] gave me a song book of Elvis songs. They showed you how to finger the chords…it was trial and error for two or three months. It took off from there.  

It sounds like your parents were supportive of you playing guitar.  

Very supportive. I was allowed to stay up as late as I wanted to practice guitar as long as I didn’t complain when I got up in the morning.  

What made you want to play?  

I played clarinet, [but] I wanted something a little louder…I remember seeing a picture of Paul McCartney with a guitar when he was in the band Wings and thinking, man that looks cool, that’s what I’ll do, I’ll take up the guitar.  

What’s it been like being in a band with your brother?  

I couldn’t imagine being in a band without him…. It makes it easier to have your family and friends out on the road with you. You don’t get as homesick. You actually get homesick when you’re at home because you miss your pals.   

I know your son Lindsey is involved in music. Is keeping music in the family something that’s important to you?  

What’s important for me is for my children to be happy… if they wanna do music, great, but this is their gig now. Whatever they want to do, I’ll support them however much they’ll let me.  

Do you think music can give a connection to people that you couldn’t get otherwise?  

One hundred percent. It has a language of its own. We’ve played places where we didn’t understand their language and they didn’t understand ours, but we played music and, you know, it becomes vibrations. That’s what we’re made up of, the whole galaxy is made up of vibrations.  

I’m from Kentucky, and the guitar is an important part of Kentucky culture. Would you say the same is true for Georgia?  

Georgia has a very diverse culture…there are a lot of great guitar stores here, so I’d like to think so! If I was to say what resonates with the state of Georgia, it would be more football. I’d like to think guitar was up there, but I don’t think anything would beat football.  

How has the coronavirus impacted the band?  

Well, I mean, we’ve been shut down for a year. We’ve done a couple of shows, and we had to be very careful. It’s like everyone else — we’re trying to be responsible and respectful. We’re kinda stuck, but we’ve made good use of the time. I mean, we’ve actually made two records during the year. Just to stay ahead of the game — it keeps us busy, gives us something to do and we get to see each other. We just try to make good use of the time.  

How has the pandemic affected smaller bands? Gigs haven’t been happening as much.  

Yeah, as far as the business side of it, it would be a terrible time to start a band. You could write, rehearse, get all that ready, but you still gotta wait for all this to be lifted and to play in front of people. I still feel that’s literally the most important part. The younger generation still wants to get out and hear live music.  

I know you’ve done charity performances in the past. With the pandemic going on, are those events still happening?  

No, I usually do one at a place here called Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. Didn’t do it this year. I did go to South Carolina, where they had lifted the restrictions, and we did two shows in one night — raised a lot of money for kids for Christmas.   

Giving back through music is clearly important to you. Can you tell me more about that?  

I love to travel with my guitars, and Baby Taylors are great for that. It gives me a way to express myself, and it’s just fun…I want everyone to feel what I feel when I get to play; I want everybody to be happy.   

I have around 300 guitars, and my dream is one day to give them to a school or a college and have it like a library where kids can check out a guitar and start a band…. I think music is such an important part of everybody’s life, and they don’t even realize it. When they get in the car to take the kids to school, they turn the radio on…music is in our lives way more than we ever think. So, I just think it’s a wonderful way to live life, and I just love to share it in that manner.  

You say you want to give the guitars to a school. Do you think that giving me a Taylor guitar was a microcosm of that?  

Yeah, the only difference is they’re checking it out; you got to keep yours! That’s what I’m saying, I love the guitar so much and it’s nice to share things like that.   

Folk From Afar

Taylor has maintained a long-standing relationship with Folk Alliance International, an organization devoted to promoting, sharing and preserving the unique cultural power of folk music in its many forms. Its big-tent “music-of-the-people” inclusiveness spans a range of sub-genres, from Americana to hip-hop to global roots. Like so many other organizations, FAI was forced to transition its annual gathering to the digital space this year, keeping the music alive with a four-day virtual experience in February that included an artist showcase hosted by singer-songwriter Dan Navarro. Presented in partnership with Taylor Guitars, the showcase featured a roll-call of Taylor artists from various parts of the expansive folk music universe, including performances by Jade Bird, Katie Pruitt, Jackie Venson, Glen Phillips, Deborah Holland, Sara Niemietz and Snuffy Walden, Hannah Bethel, Steve Poltz, and Navarro himself.

Packed with intimate acoustic renditions of both classic folk tunes and original songs, the event delivered many musical highlights, including Steve Poltz’s “Pandemic Blues,” a brilliant and hilarious parody on coping with life over the past year. Poltz’s musical take on pandemic life made the rounds via social media after the video was released in February. You have to watch the video for yourself below. “Pandemic Blues” kicks in around 42:15. And be sure to catch some of the other great performances, too. 

Watch Steve Poltz, Jade Bird, Jackie Venson and more from the Folk Alliance Spotlight Showcase 2021.

Good Morning from Manchester Orchestra

Hailing from Atlanta, indie rockers Manchester Orchestra have been garnering critical acclaim since debuting in 2004. Lately, frontman and lead guitarist Andy Hull has found himself gravitating toward Taylor acoustic guitars, so much so that he opted to record parts of his band’s new album, The Million Masks of God, with his new Taylors. Since jumping on the Taylor bandwagon, Andy has been playing a Builder’s Edition 717e, a GTe Urban Ash and a Builder’s Edition 816ce, the last of which he played during a recent appearance on the “Saturday Sessions” segment on CBS This Morning. Manchester Orchestra played two tracks from their upcoming album on the morning show in a stripped-back, unplugged setting, striking a contrast from the more electric sound of their studio recordings. 

Manchester Orchestra perform their song “Bed Head” on CBS This Morning. Andy Hull is playing a Taylor Builder’s Edition 816ce.

You can listen to The Million Masks of God on streaming services everywhere, or grab a physical copy here. 


Artist News, Music Projects and More

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The latest from the world of Taylor, including artist performances, Q&As, the Latin Acoustic Sessions, and Taylor’s video game debut.

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Taylor’s video game debut / Paul McCartney at home / Disney acoustic partnership / George Ezra / the Bluebird Golden Pick Contest / Taylor’s Latin Acoustic Sessions / Taylor Primetime / New podcast episodes / the making of “I Know What Love Is”

Taylor Makes its Video Game Debut

When society has collapsed, will there still be music? This summer, Taylor teamed up with the video game developers at Naughty Dog to show the world how essential music is to the human experience. Naughty Dog is responsible for the critically acclaimed The Last of Us, a 2013 action video game that follows Ellie and Joel on a brutal journey of survival across the U.S. 15 years after a contagious fungus transforms the bulk of the population into dangerous, infected humans controlled by the fungus. Now, Naughty Dog has returned with The Last of Us Part II, the highly anticipated sequel, and they reached out to get Taylor Guitars in the mix.

After working closely with Naughty Dog’s visual artists and storytellers, we created two new guitars to be sold exclusively by the PlayStation Gear store in connection with the new PlayStation 4 game. Each model draws inspiration from elements of the video game.

The first model, which actually appears in the game itself, is a custom-detailed 314ce with solid sapele back and sides and a Sitka spruce top. The guitar features an all-new fretboard inlay depicting a stylized moth. In The Last of Us Part II, the moth is a symbol that carries major narrative significance in the game’s story, reminding Ellie of the value of humanity, beauty and art even in the bleakest times. The guitar is capped off with a tobacco sunburst top and includes our ES2 electronics.

The second guitar is a limited-edition black GS Mini featuring a stunningly detailed botanical pattern that mirrors Ellie’s tattoo from the sequel. This model is made with layered sapele back and sides and a solid mahogany top. The back, sides and neck are finished in translucent black, while the top is opaque black with the screen-printed custom artwork, which includes two leafy fronds and a larger rendering of the moth. On the headstock, the game’s logo accompanies Taylor’s own.

The Last of Us Part II is available now on PlayStation 4.

When I’m 78: Paul McCartney
at Home

What does one of history’s most famous singer-songwriters do when the entire world shuts down? In a recent interview with the British edition of GQ magazine, legendary Beatle Sir Paul McCartney throws open the door to his life during quarantine. Talking to self-described “McCartney fanboy,” GQ editor Dylan Jones, Paul (as he likes to be called) shares how he’s kept himself busy during the weeks and months of isolation.

If you’ve ever fancied yourself a historian of classic rock or you’re a Beatles fanatic like Jones, this interview supplies plenty of fascinating anecdotes and reflections on the world’s most popular band, why their incredible run ended, and how McCartney continues to make music. Isolation hasn’t held him back — at the moment, he’s developing an upcoming stage musical based on Frank Capra’s 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life, along with an animated Netflix show and reissues of his first solo album, McCartney, as well as his tenth, Flaming Pie.

“I’m lucky,” McCartney says, “because what I do, it all starts with writing, and I can do that pretty much anywhere so long as I’ve got a guitar.”

The charming interview makes it clear that even under quarantine at his farm in Sussex, McCartney has remained creatively engaged with the help of his Taylor, an all-koa Richie Sambora model that, according to the piece, “is one of his favourite models and one of the few he uses when writing.”

The Richie Sambora Signature Model, or RSSM, was designed in partnership with the Bon Jovi guitarist himself in 2000, created as a limited run of just 100 guitars. (You might recall seeing McCartney playing the guitar in the video for the 2015 song “FourFiveSeconds,” a collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West.)

The GQ piece features stunning photography by McCartney’s daughter Mary, including several of McCartney with his Taylor. Paired with McCartney’s ultra-stylish outfits for the shoot (many of which were designed by another daughter, Stella), the nearly 20-year-old guitar looks as good for its age as Paul does.

Visit to read the whole interview and see the original photos.

Once Upon a Taylor

From Fantasia to Frozen, Disney has long been a captivating musical force in the world. This fall, we’re excited to join the magic as part of an ambitious new musical project led by Disney in partnership with Taylor and Guitar Center. The talented musicians and producers at Disney have been hard at work to adapt 50 of the most memorable tunes from their catalogue of audience-favorite films for the acoustic guitar. The result is collection of gorgeous new acoustic instrumental renditions of Disney classics that will be available on various streaming music platforms.

To celebrate this outpouring of creativity, the three companies are working together to offer a sweepstakes (U.S. only) where entrants can win an array of prizes. Taylor is giving away an all-new GT guitar, as well as two custom Disney-themed GS Minis and five of our premium guitar straps. Guitar Center will offer a full year of guitar lessons to two lucky winners, along with gift cards for another 10 entrants. Finally, Disney will give away 10 of their new all-acoustic vinyl collections. Enter here in October for your chance to win.

Jazz guitarist Molly Miller plays Disney’s “The Rainbow Connection,” originally from The Muppet Movie (1979).

To tie in with the project, Disney wanted to feature a Taylor artist, so we recommended Los Angeles-based guitar virtuoso and Taylor artist Molly Miller (Builder’s Edition 912ce), who performed with her jazz trio on the Taylor stage at NAMM this past January. Miller and the folks at Disney hit it off, so Miller was tapped to arrange and record three of the instrumental tunes: “Chim Chim Cher’ee” (Mary Poppins), “The Bare Necessities” (The Jungle Book), and “The Rainbow Connection” (The Muppet Movie).

Taylor Artist Q&A: George Ezra

From humble beginnings making his name at open-mic nights to being named the best British Male Solo Artist at the 2019 Brit Awards, singer-songwriter George Ezra’s career has moved fast. The 27-year-old from Hertfordshire makes music that belies his youth, with a warm, gravelly voice that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Southern rock song or old-school blues record. His intimate, catchy pop songwriting style has captured the attention of audiences around the globe, and a listen through his two albums — the 2014 debut Wanted on Voyage and its 2018 follow-up Staying at Tamara’s — reveals a maturing sound that promises a bright future for this young up-and-comer. We caught up with Ezra recently to talk about his musical history, his influences, and the Taylor guitars that have helped inspire his songwriting.

Where/how did your career as a musician begin? Read Answer

Who has inspired or influenced your songwriting and guitar playing? Read Answer

What is your songwriting process like? Read Answer

How was writing and recording your new album, Staying at Tamara’s, different from the process for your first album? Read Answer

How did you come to learn about Taylor and join the Taylor artist family? Read Answer

What qualities do you look for in an acoustic guitar? Read Answer

What would you tell aspiring songwriters about making a name for themselves? Read Answer

What are you working on right now?  Read Answer

A Golden Opportunity

For the past year, Taylor has partnered with Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café to elevate songwriters making strides in perfecting their craft. In August of 2019, we launched the year-long Bluebird Golden Pick Contest, which encouraged artists to post a video of them performing an original song to their Instagram feed and tag @bluebirdcafetn and @taylorguitars. Each month, a winner was selected, netting them a free GS Mini guitar and a choice performance slot at the Bluebird’s Open Mic Night on the third Monday of every month. The arrangement guaranteed them time to perform two original songs on the Bluebird’s house guitar, a Taylor Grand Pacific. Each monthly winner was also invited to the Taylor showroom at Soundcheck Studios in Nashville to shoot a video performance.

Though the COVID crisis forced the indefinite closure of the Bluebird earlier this year, the contest continued through September, obviously without performances at the venue.

The monthly winners included Alex Amato, Trey Orberg, Eric Ryan, Chase Miller, Jerry Fiess and Michelle Pereira. Each winner was also automatically entered into a grand prize contest for a chance to win a Taylor Grand Pacific guitar. The grand prize winner, Simple Parade from Littleton, Colorado, was selected in September.

The contest was also renewed for another year, and this time each monthly winner will earn a performance slot at the Bluebird’s monthly open-mic night livestream event until the venue can reopen.

Visit the Bluebird Café’s channel on YouTube to watch all the inspiring videos and learn more about the up-and-coming artists who poured their hearts into their songs. For additional updates, follow the Bluebird Café on Instagram.

Taylor Acoustic Sessions:
The Latin Edition

Our video series The Acoustic Sessions presents intimate performances from Taylor artists of every style and genre to audiences around the world. Last summer, our video crew had the opportunity to attend the Latin Alternative Music Conference to capture some of these exciting artists playing their songs on their Taylor guitars. Featured performers included Latin pop act Macaco, from Barcelona, Spain; Argentinian singer-songwriter Silvina Moreno; and Puerto Rican band Los Rivera Destino, known for their satirical takes on reggaetón hits. Watch a few of the videos below.

Macaco: “Somos La Fiesta”

Macaco hails from Barcelona, Spain, and their brand of Latin-accented pop has entertained fans since 1997. Here, we caught them playing “Somos La Fiesta” on a Taylor nylon-string Academy 12-N and a 324ce.

Silvina Moreno: “Cuídame”

Berkley grad, guitarist and songwriter Silvena Moreno released her most recent album, Sofá, in 2017. She played “En el 87” and “Cuídame” on her nylon-string Taylor Academy 12e-N.

Los Rivera Destino: “El Caco”

From bolero to rock, Puerto Rican band Los Rivera Destino knows how to get a crowd going.Watch a rendition of their song “El Caco” below, played with a GS Mini Bass (left) and GS Mini Rosewood.

Taylor Goes Primetime

After our part of the world was upended earlier this year, Taylor, like everyone else, found new ways to connect with people. In May, we launched Taylor Primetime, a livestreaming series on our YouTube channel, which serves up lively guitar-related talk and exclusive behind-the-scenes insights into our world of guitar-building. The vibe is fun-meets-informative, and if you love learning more about our approach to making guitars, sourcing wood, and other guitar topics from our factory experts, or gleaning player-centric tips like how pick and string choices can change your guitar’s tone, you should check it out.

The show is hosted by our marketing team’s Jay Parkin, a content producer and wearer of many (baseball) hats, along with marketing crewmate Chris Sharp, who together keep things lighthearted while also digging into the topic at hand. Each episode explores a specific theme with a relevant guest, and Taylor fans can submit questions in advance for Jay and Chris to choose from, along with live chat questions that roll in during the show. They’ve done more than a dozen episodes so far, and guests have included Bob Taylor (in a rapid-fire Q&A), master builder Andy Powers, sustainability guru Scott Paul and other Taylor experts.

It’s a fun virtual hang, and the show streams live on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Pacific time. Follow us on YouTube to catch new live episodes. You can also find all the episodes on our YouTube channel.

Back at the Factory — The Podcast Returns

With a bit of technological tweaking, Taylor’s From the Factory Podcast is back! Though we hadn’t been using our on-campus studio during the pandemic, podcast hosts Cameron Walt and Jay Parkin kept the show alive with several “Home Edition” video episodes hosted on YouTube.

Episode 33: Building Our American Dream

Air Date: August 21, 2020

In August, Andy Powers returned to tell the story behind the development of Taylor’s new American Dream Series. Andy shares the inspiration that drove us to create this trio of guitars, describing how Taylor sought to craft a new series with a distinctly bold, seasoned personality — as he says, a personality “like a strong cup of black coffee.”

Listen to All Podcasts

We kicked off with a special episode back in May featuring Andy Powers, who joined the show from his home workshop to talk about adapting to a new normal and creating from home.

Coy Bowles, known for his guitar work with the Zac Brown Band, offered stories from his life and career, while Bob Taylor chimed in with thoughts and stories of his own.

We also caught up with longtime Taylor player Kevin Bacon, who talked about writing music while working as an actor and his charity, Six Degrees, which asks Hollywood stars to support communities in need. Factory expert Rob Magargal also hopped on the chat to talk about guitar care during quarantine and keeping old guitars in great shape.

Andy was back again a few weeks later, this time joined by Bob Taylor for a video podcast at the factory to talk about the design of our new GT guitar. The two discuss why the GT’s unique dimensions make it such a uniquely compelling guitar, how Andy’s new C-Class bracing came to be, and why we chose to use Urban Ash for the guitar.

You can find the From the Factory Podcast here, or listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Stitcher.

Making Music Together

Among all the hardships the pandemic brought to communities around the world, the most difficult might have been the prolonged sense of disconnection. Here at Taylor, our factories and offices closed, and we watched the music industry we love grind to a halt, with venues, studios, production companies and road crews all losing their livelihoods virtually overnight. But then an interesting thing happened: musicians kept making music, even separated from bandmates and audiences by miles. Artists began recording new music and playing shows for live audiences around the globe via social media and streaming services, all in a shared effort to reestablish the musical bonds that connect people and give voice to our struggles.

For the Taylor team and our extended family of artists, as with so many other musicians, staying connected meant making music. That’s the idea behind “I Know What Love Is,” an original song and philanthropic project that will help raise money to support members of the music industry whose art and careers were put on hold by the pandemic. Conceived by the Taylor marketing team’s Jay Parkin (From the Factory Podcast, Taylor Primetime), the song will be released for audiences to stream on platforms such as Spotify or iTunes.

Keith Goodwin (816e, AD27e), the singer, guitarist and songwriter of indie folk band Good Old War, wrote the song’s melody and lyrics. Keith and Jay collaborated with producer and sound engineer Gabriel O’Brien to mix and master the original skeleton of the song, but hearing the finished product, they decided that something was missing. In his role as producer, Jay says he realized that the song could be even bigger.

“We were shooting for this ‘Hey Jude’ meets ‘We Are the World’ vibe,” Jay explains, “and the song itself felt good. But this was always about supporting musicians and bringing people together, and we realized we needed the song to reflect that sense of community, too.”

To accomplish that, Jay and Keith drew on their connections to the music industry to enlist dozens of Taylor artists for the project, from hobbyists and weekend warriors to touring bands and big-label acts. Each artist was asked to contribute their own version of a piece of the song that spoke to them. This obviously made Gabriel’s job more complicated, and mixing the song became a gargantuan task that involved fitting together vocals, guitar parts, and other sounds sent in by artists around the world. Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, Chris Conley, Alana Springsteen and many others contributed enthusiastically, responding to the song’s inspiring message of solidarity among the musical community during a time of great need. Comprised of over 200 tracks, “I Know What Love Is” is a tribute to community, connection and the power of music.

All proceeds from the song will benefit MusiCares, an organization founded by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to provide resources for artists, studio musicians, crews, producers, songwriters, venues, music students and families in times of need.

You’ll be able to hear the completed song soon, and not just in its original form: We’ve decided to release the raw music files to the public for remixing and reimagining, and we can’t wait to hear how our community transforms the song and builds on its message. Until then, follow our social media channels for updates.


Artist News, Reviews and More

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Custom guitars for Finneas and Billie Eilish; Linda Perry talks about her custom Taylor Grand Pacific; Guitar Review Roundup; Taylor Acoustic Sessions; Artist Videos; From the Factory Podcast.

Taylor Stories: Linda Perry

Last year in Wood&Steel (Soundings, Vol. 94), we wrote about trailblazing singer-songwriter, multi-platinum producer, and activist Linda Perry, whose hit-studded musical resume includes success in the band 4 Non Blondes, followed by songwriting and production collaborations with some of pop music’s brightest lights, including Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and Adele. Perry’s musical Midas touch has produced a remarkable run of pop gems over the years; you can hear some essential cuts on the Spotify playlist we compiled. 

As we shared in Soundings last year, Perry had discovered our Grand Pacific guitars while working with songwriter/producer/guitarist David Saw (517e) on a recording project with Dolly Parton. After putting our mahogany Builder’s Edition 517 and rosewood Builder’s Edition 717 models through an extensive test-drive comparison, Perry favored the 717e (with a sunburst top), and it became her go-to acoustic, which she played live during several performances with Parton. 

Linda Perry Playlist

In conversation with Taylor Director of Artist Relations Tim Godwin one day, Perry asked if Taylor would make her a custom version of her 717e with a different pickup system, modeled after the acoustic/electric guitar (a Martin D-18e) famously played by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged concert. (The guitar had been outfitted with electric pickups and featured front-mounted tone knobs, like on a solidbody electric guitar.) Tim relayed the request to Andy Powers, who agreed to make her one. Custom features include a neck pickup designed by Andy and mounted across the soundhole, along with our behind-the-saddle ES2 pickup. David Judd from our product development team assembled and wound the pickups and configured the electronics to enable the two different pickups to work in the same circuit. He also installed the soundboard-mounted volume and tone control knobs. As a finishing detail, Perry’s initials were inlaid into the pickguard.

Linda explains how the Grand Pacific turned her into a Taylor player and talks about the design of her custom 717e.

Linda performs an acoustic version of her hit “Beautiful” on her custom Grand Pacific 717e.

At the 2019 Winter NAMM Show this past January, Godwin and Jay Parkin from our marketing team caught up with Perry, who was gracious enough to sit down and share her Taylor story, show off her new custom Grand Pacific, and perform an acoustic rendition of her hit “Beautiful,” originally recorded by Christina Aguilera.

Beyond her creative drive as a musician and producer, Perry is equally passionate about mentoring and providing resources for artists, which she’s done with the record label/publishing house/production company she co-founded, We Are Hear. Perry also devotes her energy to an array of charitable causes, including MusiCares and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), founded by Sean Penn. She’s been actively involved with both organizations in recent months to support COVID-19 relief among members of the music community and in neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area.

Just Call Him Finneas

If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention to pop music over the last few years, you’ve heard of Billie Eilish, who, as of late, has cornered the market on music awards on the strength of her latest album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? What you might not know is that Eilish’s co-writer and producer was her brother, Finneas O’Connell, who goes by the professional moniker FINNEAS.

A lifelong creative born to musical parents, Finneas has been acting and writing songs since his teenage years. His band played the Warped Tour in 2015, and his first solo single, “New Girl,” saw public release in 2016. He and Billie had been recording music at home for years before her songs were released and set the music world ablaze, and since then, Finneas has earned his share of accolades for his songwriting and producing chops. He also regularly performs alongside his sister, handling guitar and keyboard duties.

Taylor first connected with Finneas last year through Aron Forbes, a guitarist, producer and songwriter who has collaborated with Billie and Finneas along with pop acts Halsey, BANKS, Donna Missal, One Direction and others. Late last year, Eilish was announced as a special honoree at the inaugural Apple Music Awards event, and she and Finneas were invited to perform an intimate acoustic set at the company’s Steve Jobs Theater in early December as part of the festivities. 

In advance of the event, Taylor Director of Artist Relations Tim Godwin and longtime Taylor guitar guru Terry Myers sent Finneas several Grand Pacific guitars to test-drive, including versions with an array of different pickup options to assess his preferred amplified acoustic sound. Finneas fell in love with the mahogany Builder’s Edition 517 (sunburst top) and opted for a Baggs system. 

Myers worked with Finneas and his guitar tech, Trevor Jackson, to set up the guitars to suit his playing preferences, which included stringing them with lighter gauge strings (11s) — a setup Myers says he’s seeing more among players. The guitar enjoyed a lot of stage time during the performance, which you can find online.

Soon afterward, Finneas asked if we could make him a custom, all-white Grand Pacific to play on stage in support of his first solo release, Blood Harmony, which showcases his songwriting range, along with his smooth, nimble vocal style. The guitar, essentially a custom 517e, features an arctic white body, neck and peghead overlay, Silent Satin finish, sapele binding, and custom electronics. It looks great under the lights on stage, especially with the muted sheen of the finish over the brilliant white.

We also made a custom guitar for Billie. The base model was an all-mahogany 322e 12-Fret. Custom touches include an all-black (satin) finish, black binding, a Baggs pickup, and custom artwork screen-printed on the top. She also has a Taylor nylon-string Academy 12-N.

Though the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of Billie’s tour, she and Finneas have made the most of their down time, working on new material together and streaming performances of their music from the comfortable confines of home. You can find more videos on Finneas’s Instagram account, and listen to his music on streaming platforms everywhere.

Guitar Review Roundup

“One of the beautiful things about the V-Class idea is that it allows for a much wider range of guitars…. A lot of these different personalities that we’re building into instruments are more significantly different than they would have been in the past.”

Andy Powers, reflecting on the Builder’s Edition collection in an interview with and Guitar Magazine

While Andy Powers has been extolling the virtues of V-Class bracing as an exciting new foundation for acoustic guitar design since its debut in 2018, our recently expanded Builder’s Edition collection — now featuring nine distinctive models — delivers on that bold promise in a remarkably tangible way. With four new models joining the family to kick off 2020 — the Builder’s Edition 324ce, 12-string Builder’s Edition 652ce, Builder’s Edition 912ce and Builder’s Edition 816ce — reviewers have been jumping at opportunities to demo these latest guitars and discover their unique musical personalities. Here are some highlights of what they had to say.

“The future of Taylor Guitars is in safe hands.”

Back in January, the UK website/print publication and Guitar Magazine ran multiple features that included reviews of the Builder’s Edition 324ce and Builder’s Edition 816ce (see Michael Watts’ comment on the latter further down), plus an insightful piece on Andy Powers by Chief Editor Chris Vinnicombe (which produced the quote above). Vinnicombe, who had chronicled the debut of V-Class bracing and the Grand Pacific over the past two years, paid another visit to Andy’s home workshop in Carlsbad, California, where the two discussed Andy’s process of bringing his Builder’s Edition ideas to life. As heady as Andy can get when discussing the technical nuances of a particular design, he revealed the simpler essence of his creative approach.

“Despite his deep understanding of the anatomy and science of musical instruments, fun and approachability are always at the forefront of Powers’ mind,” Vinnicombe writes. “‘More than anything that’s my criteria,’ he insists. “Whether or not a guitar is good. Is it fun to play or not fun to play? That’s what it comes down to, right?

Vinnicombe also observes how Andy’s talents, coupled with Taylor’s manufacturing resources, enable truly envelope-pushing design.

“Part of what makes Powers unique isn’t just his ability to translate the drawings in his notebook into fully realised instruments,” Vinnicombe says. “It’s the scalability of his designs, his ability to work with Taylor’s engineering team in devising methods and even new tooling in order to produce them in significant numbers, and the way in which his ideas create a platform for further innovation.”

Builder’s Edition 324ce

Among our class of 2020 Builder’s Edition guitars, none received more love than the Builder’s Edition 324ce. Our new Grand Auditorium, crafted with responsibly sourced Urban Ash recovered from trees in need of removal from municipal areas in Southern California, showcases a level of refined contouring that makes these guitars such a dream to play, paired with a new tonal flavor that has reviewers singing its praises.

Builder’s Edition 324ce

To kick things off, Paul Riario from Guitar World called the Builder’s Edition 324ce a “guitar that exudes sheer elegance,” and praised its combination of luxury appointments with a traditional style that will appeal to working musicians. As for the sound of Urban Ash, Riario had plenty of thoughts:

“It’s reminiscent of good mahogany that radiates a crisp top end and a taut bass, but its sonic strength is that it dutifully serves up a warm, sweetened midrange with a clear, bell-like ring,” he says. “Whether you strum hard or pick softly, it tends to stay within that middle register, and its euphonious voice is so detailed that I sometimes found myself leaning over the soundhole to listen from different angles because I couldn’t believe an acoustic could sound so three-dimensional and smoothly balanced here. It’s a genuinely studio-quality tone, which I’d venture to say even a cheap mic would have a hard time making sound bad.”

Of course, the Builder’s Edition philosophy is also about optimizing the playing comfort to give guitarists as smooth a musical path as possible. Reviewers like Christian Seaman from American Songwriter have responded positively to the Builder’s Edition 324ce’s ergonomic touches, noting that the body shape, armrest and beveled cutaway make for a truly seamless playing experience:

“[It’s] an incredibly comfortable guitar to play, assisted by all facets of its construction,” Seaman writes. “Its body contours increase ease of access to the entire range of the guitar, its Silent Satin finish moves with the player and allows a slick yet organic feel, and of course the classic Taylor neck is fit for many hands whether small or large.”

Builder’s Edition 652ce

This brand-new 12-string embodies Taylor’s forward-thinking philosophy in virtually every aspect of its design, from the beveled cutaway and armrest to the reverse-strung setup that gives the guitar its clean, focused sound. Reviewers have been generous with praise, applauding its playing comfort and unique tone profile within the 12-string arena. Chiming in from Peghead Nation, Teja Gerken talked up the reverse-strung setup and ease of play:

“Like other Taylor 12-fret grand concert 12-strings we’ve tried, the Builder’s Edition 652ce WHB is incredibly easy to play; your fingers might not believe they’re playing a 12-string,” Gerken details. “Played acoustically, the guitar had a bright, assertive sound. The reverse stringing is noticeably different from a standard setup, the fundamental note of each pair being more present than the octave string…”

Other reviewers focused on this 652ce’s fluid, nearly electric feel, the product of the compact body shape, the 12-fret configuration that moves the bridge closer to the center of the lower bout, and the elegant contouring of the beveled cutaway. Art Thompson from Guitar Player appreciated its inviting neck, noting that players will find it easy to explore the guitar’s entire range:

“Playability is awesome, thanks to a mahogany neck with a fairly shallow profile that sits beautifully in the hand, and an ebony fingerboard with rolled edges, immaculate frets and low, buzz-free action,” Thompson writes. “I hate to say things like ‘guaranteed to win you over,’ but the 652ce plays so well that it may blow away any preconceived notions that 12-string acoustics are demanding to play. Not this one, which feels so slinky and effortless.”

Nathaniel Murphy plays the Builder’s Edition 652ce.

Builder’s Edition 912ce

This Builder’s Edition beauty has been a hit with reviewers and artists alike. The Grand Concert body delivers again here with a smooth response and intimate feel, complemented by the warm, overtone-rich sound of solid Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce. V-Class bracing, which we originally launched within the Builder’s Edition collection, remains the finely tuned musical engine of these guitars, and reviewers like Art Thompson continue to expound on the musical benefits of our interior bracing scheme:

“[The Builder’s Edition 912ce] sounds solidly in tune in all positions, and it sustains wonderfully,” he says. “That’s all part of what V-Class bracing brings, including exceptionally well-balanced sound and abundant sustain. Strum a chord and hear how even and consistent it is from top to bottom. Frequencies don’t jump out or reveal any peaks, even when picking hard. Rather, they coalesce into lively and full-bodied tones that breathe in response to playing dynamics.”

Other reviewers of the 912ce mentioned its fast-playing feel and robust tonal response, like Teja Gerken from Peghead Nation:

“Not only was it easy to play, but it also facilitated up-the-neck playing and fast, electric guitar–style techniques,” he says. “The guitar’s tone was rooted in the classic Taylor rosewood grand concert voice: balanced, rich, and larger sounding than might be expected given the guitar’s small body. The Builder’s Edition 912ce is a lovely instrument for fingerstyle, and with its wonderful clarity throughout its range, it would also make an excellent choice for accompaniment and lead guitar roles, especially in an amplified setting.”

Builder’s Edition Jam Session
Grammy-nominated guitarists Gil Parris 816ce (Builder’s Edition 912ce) and Bernie Williams (Builder’s Edition 816ce) lock in on a cover of the classic “Summertime.”

Builder’s Edition 816ce

That brings us to the most radical entry in our Builder’s Edition lineup: the Builder’s Edition 816ce, a Grand Symphony acoustic-electric featuring a new soundport cutaway and a handful of other shapely contours. Reviewing this 816ce for, Michael Watts delves into the history and function of a second sound aperture in acoustic guitars before sharing his thoughts on how that feature performs on this particular Taylor:

“The instrument comes to life, with an immediately open and beautiful voice, which gives us the sense of being surrounded by the sound,” Watts says. “Dropping the tuning to DADGAD and applying a medium gauge celluloid pick to the 816ce takes the performance up yet another notch, giving the trebles a silky shimmer all the way up the fingerboard, while lending muscle to the bass and low mids.”

With the entire Builder’s Edition collection now available in stores everywhere, we’re excited to see the new musical avenues Taylor players are sure to illuminate with these guitars in the coming months.

Introducing Taylor Acoustic Sessions

There’s something wonderfully pure about a single player, a single acoustic guitar, and a microphone. With Taylor Acoustic Sessions, we try to capture the magic of an intimate acoustic performance, getting up close and personal with exciting up-and-comers as well as acclaimed artists. Our family of artists stretches around the globe and across genres, and we’re excited to bring these intimate musical portraits to Wood&Steel for the first time.

This installment features three live sessions we shot at the Winter 2020 NAMM Show.

Mimi Fox Knows What Love Is

Jazz sorceress Mimi Fox has been ripping licks on Taylor guitars for years. She especially loves her koa/torrefied spruce Builder’s Edition K14ce. (“It’s warm but not too warm, bright but not too bright; it hits that sweet spot,” she says.) She puts the guitar through its paces with this rendition of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” from her latest release, the all-acoustic This Bird Still Flies, showcasing the guitar’s vibrant, contemporary sound in her signature virtuosic style.

Sae Banjoya Brings the Light

Singer-songwriter Sae Banjoya traveled from Japan to California to play at NAMM and brings her impassioned vocals to this sparkling performance of “Koko Ni Aru Hikari.” In this session, Sae plays a Builder’s Edition 324ce, our new Grand Auditorium made from responsibly sourced Urban Ash.

Shane Hall Guides the Way

With his bold acoustic style and burly, soulful voice, Shane Hall is making waves as a bluesy singer-songwriter and Taylor player. Here he performs his song “Lighthouse” with a Builder’s Edition 324ce.

Taylor’s From the Factory Podcast Goes to Nashville

What’s Bob Taylor’s favorite guitar? How does Taylor source its tonewoods? What’s it like to run a major venue in one of the world’s most musical cities?

Taylor’s From the Factory Podcast answers these questions and many more, featuring interviews with Taylor factory experts, artists, recording engineers, producers, promoters and more. With our own Cameron Walt and Jay Parkin as hosts, we probe the most tuned in minds from across the music industry for lively discussion and good old fashioned guitar talk. We’ll share guitar demos and artist performances, along with engaging conversations with the most important voices at Taylor Guitars.

To help kick off this digital edition of Wood&Steel we’re excited to bring you our first ever video podcast, and better yet, it’s a triple feature recorded in Nashville around the time of last year’s Americana Awards. Cameron and Jay explore three different aspects of musical craftsmanship: songwriting, with tunesmith Marty Dodson; producing, with decorated producer David Huff; and studio engineering, with the crew from the world famous Southern Ground Studios. Relax, enjoy the discussion, and subscribe to our From the Factory Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.

Nashville Friends Part 1: Marty Dodson

Air Date: May 13, 2020
Watch the Video

Marty Dodson, songwriter and founder of musical collective SongTown, is no stranger to the world of Taylor, having been a part of our artist family for years. For this episode, Marty shares stories about his career as a songwriter, including the time he put a nail in the wall at home to save a place for the gold record he was determined to earn. Marty also reveals insights about the songwriting process and the parts that make a good song.

Nashville Friends Part 2: David Huff

Air Date: May 22, 2020
Watch the Video

Nashville producer and drummer David Huff sits down with Cameron and Jay to chat about his dad’s musical influence on his life and share stories of his career as a producer in one of the strongholds of American music.

Southern Ground Nashville

Air Date: May 22, 2020
Watch the Video

Southern Ground is a famed recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee, and boasts an impressive catalogue of work, including albums by Dwight Yoakam, Kacey Musgraves, Zac Brown, the Foo Fighters, Neil Young and many other world-class artists. Cameron and Jay talk with the studio crew about their gear, their approach to recording, and the history of their venerable establishment.

Listen to All Podcasts

McFly Hails the Heroes

Across the music world, artists from all genres have spoken out to share their support and gratitude for the efforts of front-line workers, first responders, and health care providers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Joining the chorus was British pop-punk band McFly, who put together an inspiring performance of their song “All About You” from across the barriers of distance and isolation in each of their respective homes. All proceeds from the song for the rest of the year will go to the UK National Health Service, who are fighting to keep the nation well and recovering from COVID-19. The band is just one of a growing number of artists using their voices to spread positivity and creativity during an unprecedented and stressful time for all, with songwriters and bands using an array of digital tools to bring music to fans from their homes. For this recording, McFly rounded up (virtually) the whole gang—including family members and even pets—along with a couple of trusty GS Minis. With some clever video editing and an uplifting message in support of the people putting their lives at risk to protect our health, McFly’s performance makes us proud to have them as part of the Taylor artist family.

Brian Collins Shines a Little Love

Adding to the roster of artists doing their best to spread messages of support and solidarity during these times, acoustic ripper and soulful Americana songwriter Bryan Collins(517 WHB, Western Sunburst 710, custom 710 with Vintage Sunburst, GS Mini-e Bass) led a group of over 60 musicians, singers and other entertainers in a fresh take on his song “Shine a little love.” Cut from pieces filmed in basements, living rooms and breakfast nooks across the country, Brian’s tune asks us to offer each other what positivity we can while practicing social distancing.

[Brian Collins photo credit: Annette McNamara]