Creating Music from Instinct, Hall of Fame Songwriter, Chip Taylor 


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Often called "The Godfather of Americana", Chip Taylor's songs have been recorded by such musical legends as Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, and many many more. A 2016 Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductee, Chip's songs are feature in over 115 movies and TV shows. His career spans over 5 decades and includes iconic hits like "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning". Since 2000, he has released nearly one album a year and has 2 new albums ready for release, in addition to the 27 albums already out. Along with friends Kris Kristofferson and John Prine, Chip was one of leaders of the Alt-Country movement in the 1970's.

Early in our conversation I mistakenly commented, "so, you write poems and put them to music". Taylor quickly stopped me to explain that was not, in fact, the case. He shared that, since the first time he realized he felt music more than most people, at age 5, when he experienced what he calls, “The Chill Factor,” he has continued to follow that innate instinct. He hears a tune, works through it, and eventually discovers that words will magically work their way into the tune. Instincts run through the veins of Chip and his brothers: brother Barry invented the formula that predicts when volcanoes erupt and Jon (Voight) is an Academy Award-Winning actor known for his instinctual character portrayals.

What ensued was a riveting conversation about trust in one's own instrument, refusal to try to "guess the market" in the arts and allowing one's self to produce an enormous volume of high-quality work by nurturing the soul and providing the space in one's life to always be able to create.


3 boys, 3 unique talents, (8:42). Parental encouragement, (10:38). “Right before school, my dad said, ‘What is this day going to bring us now? Let’s find out.’”, (10:50). “The Chill Factor”: using inspiration to write and perform, (14:34). Signing with King Records at 16, (18:53). “The real lesson is to not take no for an answer.”, (23:02). The power of being told he is ok for who he was, (35:05). Following your gut instead of the market, (42:30). “The writers that I liked best over time were intuitive.”, (44:10). Rituals and habits practiced while writing, (46:53). On being prolific: releasing 27 albums overall, (49:40). Writing a duet album with Carrie Rodriguez, (53:00). “When somebody says something, I usually don’t let it fall off the table.”, (56:16). Combining the beauty of people and attractions, (1:07:34).




Duet Album with Carrie Rodriguez:

Time Waits for No Little Girls Uncovered Album:

Artie Tobia Website:

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