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Hudson Taylor Talks About Their Current U.S. Tour And What’s Next!

Hudson Taylor is an up and coming brother duo from Ireland. After starting their career busking in the streets of Dublin, the boys are poised to take over the U.S.

I recently had a chance to sit down with brothers Harry and Alfie to discuss their experiences touring the U.S., their most recent album Bear Creek to Dame Street, what inspires them musically, and what’s next! Keep reading to find out all the details!

Hudson Taylor

It was great to spend some time with Alfie and Harry of Hudson Taylor before their show on Friday night.

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HUDSON TAYLOR ON TOURING THE U.S.

You’ve spent a lot of time in the U.S. recently – back in February and again this month. How has touring the U.S. been?

According to Alfie, touring the U.S. “has been amazing!”. Hudson Taylor first came to the U.S. after releasing their first album. During that trip, they played a few gigs in L.A. and NYC. At that point, they thought that was the end of playing in the U.S. They didn’t get invited to support any tours and “it just always seemed like it was unachievable price wise”.

But, in early 2018, Gabrielle Aplin invited Hudson Taylor to join her on her U.S. tour. They were able to play a number of shows on the east coast and west coast, and it was “quite an easy tour”. Touring with Aplin gave them the ability to fly in between cities. According to Alfie, Aplin likes to spread her show dates out a little to try and make it easier, which made it a more relaxed touring schedule. Touring with Aplin also helped Hudson Taylor pick up some new fans in the U.S.

Hudson Taylor

Harry and Alfie of Hudson Taylor talk about what it’s been like touring in the U.S. over the last year or so.

After writing and recording more music, in the fall of 2018 Hudson Taylor was asked to hit the road in the U.S. again with Hozier. According to Alfie, “That was again, just like crazy! That was the next level up from the club-style venues, and that was in beautiful theaters all over this country”. They were able to throw in a few headline shows as well during the tour to continue to build their fan base in the U.S.

The whole experience for the guys was amazing. In fact, Alfie says he still has “trouble taking that whole experience in”. He equated it to watching a movie. All of the rooms and experiences, and thinking about everyone who’s played those stages was an experience the guys won’t forget.

The Hozier tour gave Hudson Taylor the ability to come back to the states in February of 2019 on their own headlining tour. The tour gave them a really good gauge of where they are with the U.S. fans.

According to Alfie, touring in the U.S. has its ups and downs. “It’s unforgiving at times. It’s big. It’s a big country. It’s just different here than a European tour. Not in a good or bad way, just different.”

Now, they are back on the road with guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela. Alfie told me, “We have a very similar background to them. They inspired us really early on in our careers.” Both Hudson Taylor and Rodrigo y Gabriela come from a background of busking in the streets of Ireland to get their music heard.

Hudson Taylor has really enjoyed visiting the U.S. According to Alfie, they’ve gotten pretty familiar with about 6 big cities here, including Philadelphia. They had a chance to bike around Philly before the show and be a bit of a tourist “so we don’t just see the four walls of this room”. Alfie even told me he had a vegan cheesesteak!

When I saw you at World Cafe’ Live in February, I was surrounded by some really dedicated fans. When you think about the fact that you were busking back home not that long ago, how does it feel to see the fans signing along with you and knowing all the words to your songs?

“It’s pretty crazy and it’s something you don’t get used to really”, according to Alfie. “That Philadelphia show in particular was a really nice show!”.

For Hudson Taylor, they are just having fun! “That’s what we did when we started busking. That’s how we would make more money really. If we were having fun.”

The guys are definitely having fun every time you see them and Alfie promises that isn’t an act. “When we play music, we really enjoy it. That’s not something I can ignore when I go to a concert and I’m watching someone who’s enjoying themselves.”

HUDSON TAYLOR ON THEIR MUSIC

Bear Creek to Dame Street is a unique record with the combination of new music that was recorded in the studio and live recordings. How did you come up with the idea?

About two years ago, Hudson Taylor recorded 15 songs at Bear Creek Studios over a 6 week period with producer Ryan Hadlock. According to Alfie, “It was an amazing album experience to have every microphone, every instrument we could possibly imagine. We were sleeping upstairs. It was the absolute dream of a recording process.”

Recording the songs was a big move for the guys and their record label. They wanted to release music right away and they wanted to make sure it was right, as it was going to be their first new music since the release of their first album two years before.

The recording session led to the release of the EP – Feel It Again. The EP did much better than they expected.

Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor talk about the recording of their album Bear Creek to Dame Street.

Six months later, Hudson Taylor was itching to release more music. “We had like five more songs that we really liked from the Bear Creek sessions and we just figured, let’s just do that same thing because it really worked for us. Let’s just put out another EP.”

At the same time, they were touring Ireland and had done a show at the Olympia Theatre. “We record all of our shows anyway, just for safekeeping and to listen to some time. Just compare what we’re doing. Take notes.” When they listened to the Olympia Theatre show, they were blown away. According to Alfie, “Whatever was in the water. Whatever was in the crowd. Hometown show. It was unbelievable.” The recordings from that show were so good, they decided to add it in with the new Bear Creek recordings and release an album.

Do you have a favorite song of yours? Do you have one that you like to play live more than others?

Alfie says his favorite song to play live changes depending on each audience. “For more intimate gigs, I really like playing a song called Old Soul. It’s a quiet one. Really loose.” They don’t ever rehearse that one, so it feels like it’s really different every night.

Harry’s favorite song is one called “Butterflies”, which is from their first album. “Somewhere along the way, we reinvented the way we play it live. It just sort of feels kind of timeless to me. It never gets old to me.”

The other song they love to play is an unreleased song called “Pray For The Day”. It didn’t make the cut for their first album for some reason, but they still play it live. Even though it’s unreleased, audiences have picked up on the lyrics and always sing along. “For an unreleased song, I love getting people singing along.”

GET TO KNOW HARRY AND ALFIE OF HUDSON TAYLOR

So, tonight you’re opening for Rodrigo y Gabriela. Last fall you toured with Hozier. If you could pick any artist in the world to tour with, who would it be and why?

Alfie didn’t hesitate to pick his girlfriend, singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin. “She’s my partner and my love. That would be a dream. And she’s amazing watching her play.”

Harry would choose Paul Simon on his Farewell Tour. “I’m a massive fan of his. I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkel and his music. He’s all about making people dance and move and sing good lyrics.”

What music is on your playlist?

Harry likes to let Spotify choose for him. “I use Spotify quite a lot. I’ll just stick on a playlist of a certain genre or I love using the feature where you can just play an artist’s radio, where you just choose a song and some algorithm makes a mix.” He also loves some of the singer/songwriter stuff including the Irish group Villagers, as well as English singer Jade Bird.

Alfie’s favorites include Joni Mitchell and anything by The Beatles. He also likes to make his own playlists on Spotify for different sounds. “If I want a quiet travel airport sort of thing, I have a playlist called The Quiet Zone.” Other artists on his playlist include Stephen Steinbrink and Martin Hayes. “Mostly Irish music. Mostly the folkier stuff, but Spotify’s a great tool. It knows what I’m listening to and I’m very interactive with it, so if it sends me something I like, I tell it that. It sends me some really cool stuff that I wouldn’t have gone looking for.”

If you could never play music again, what would you want to be?

So, if Alfie wasn’t playing music, he first joked that he’d be a house husband. On a more serious note, he’d really like to work in food. “Yeah, I’d own a cafe. Own a restaurant. Something like that. Something in hospitality.” Alfie also loves photography, so that’s something he’d love to do more of.

Harry on the other hand is the more zen of the two. “I would love to get into healing, therapy or yoga. A mixed bag of doing things that are helping people get through stuff – physical or mental.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR HUDSON TAYLOR

You’re just at the beginning of your career, but what do you want your musical legacy to be and why?

As the guys pointed out, it’s really not the beginning of their career. “For us, it’s not really the beginning. It’s like we’ve been doing this for 10 years already” according to Harry. As Alfie said “We’re always going to be at the beginning of our career in a different place.” As Harry put it “Every time you go to a new city or a new country, you have to start all over.” The guys are constantly trying to use those new opportunities to grow.

For Hudson Taylor, playing live is the most instant reward part of music. They also love songwriting and find it very cathartic. “Playing live is so instant. You’re so present in what you’re doing and you’re feeding off people and just enjoying yourself with your friends on stage.”

Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor opening for Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia on Friday night.

The guys would love to be able to get to the point where they can comfortably live just off playing gigs. “We’re getting by, but it would be great to be able to play at this kind of level – shows like the ones Rodrigo and Gabriela are doing all over the world. That would be really cool!”

According to Alfie, the reason they love to play live is it’s a nice thing to be able to give the audience. “We love to be able to make them move. To make them smile.”

“Songs are the base of everything. Telling our story with songs and hoping people relate to our stories really. That’s all we can really do.”

Tell us what’s next for Hudson Taylor.

According to Alfie, the guys have been writing and recording for the last four months. “We’ve really just been recording over the last 2 weeks.” They were able to sneak in some recording time in Nashville “just to see what Music City’s all about”.

The guys have a few songs left over from the Bear Creek sessions and they are always writing new music. According to Alfie, “Now, we’re really itching to get something out. That’s what this supporting trip was for and hopefully it will lead into an album. Potential sound changer in terms of simplifying the sonic sound. Making each instrument very important rather than throwing everything at it.” That’s good news for Hudson Taylor fans!

In the meantime, Hudson Taylor is really enjoying playing shows. “It’s a really nice way to let off some creative steam”. Alfie said he is “so excited for the new music!” So are we!

Be sure to check out Hudson Taylor on their website and all of their social media, so you can keep up with what’s coming next!

So, what did you think of our interview with Hudson Taylor? Let us know. Please comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.

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