T. J. Hooker Taylor (New EP Alert!)
Daddy B. Nice's #114 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"You Can Call Me TJ"
T. J. Hooker Taylor (New EP Alert!)
Composed by J. Butler, James Butler & T.J. Hooker-Taylor
December 22, 2019:
NEW EP ALERT!Buy T.J. Hooker Taylor's new WHO IS T.J. HOOKER TAYLOR? EP at Apple.
WHO IS T.J. HOOKER TAYLOR? Track List:
Let's Stay Together
The Last Time
Somebody Wants You
Where The Party At
Give Him Love
Daddy B. Nice notes:I'm impressed with this new batch of songs by T.J. Hooker Taylor. T.J. has taken it to another level. He sounds like a veteran, comfortable in his own skin. No digressions to Johnnie Taylor or Floyd Taylor. Granted, it's understandable that T.J., like Floyd before him, would cater to the southern soul audience's hunger for anything or anybody close to the legendary Johnnie Taylor, but it's also a breath of fresh air to see T.J. throw away the "crutch" of his patrimony and just sing the way he knows how to do.
The songs are solid and they're acquitted with professionalism. Perhaps the best, "Give Him Love" has a charismatic instrumental track and interesting lyrics that caution ladies to "Treat your man right/ And do all the things that he like." It charted at #10 in Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Singles for June 2020.
"Let's Stay Together" is equally tuneful, with an instrumental track that will remind listeners of Carl Marshall's keyboard-based production work with CDS Records. "Where The Party At," with a nifty tempo, bass line and lead guitar hook, is yet another potential hit single. The lyrics sound about right too, with TJ noting he's not "staying home, watching any TV."
"The Last Time," with more Marshall-like instrumental doodlings, and and the soulful ballad "Somebody Wants You" round out this 5-song EP, making a consistently enjoyable batch of songs. The set promotes a musical persona easily as potent as any album Hooker-Taylor has yet released.
Listen to all the tracks from T.J. Hooker Taylor's new WHO IS T.J. HOOKER TAYLOR? EP on YouTube.
Buy T.J. Hooker Taylor's new WHO IS T.J. HOOKER TAYLOR? EP at Apple.
To automatically link to T.J. Hooker Taylor's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "T.J. Hooker Taylor" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Profile of T.J. Hooker TaylorAhhh. . . Those Taylor boys. We're talking Floyd and Tyrone "TJ" Hooker, and one or two others who have popped up from time to time--all sons of the great Southern Soul star, Johnnie Taylor. And just in case you forgot--or never knew--the charisma and legend-balls-busting these sons were up against as they grew into young men, review this performance by Johnnie in his prime at Wattstax, back in the day:
Watch Johnnie Taylor singing "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone."
So let's not kid ourselves that these kids (now in their thirties and early forties) are on a level with their father, any more than the sons of Bob Dylan or Henry Fonda or Kirk Douglas (well, maybe Michael comes close) are on a level with theirs.
On the street the knock against the Taylor boys has long been they were spoiled, the beneficiaries of a sense of entitlement. The Taylor step-brothers had to fight not only through their own demons, soul-searching for their true identities, but through this prejudice--some true, some not--on the part of their peers and to some extent their fans.
Their fans--especially the boomers--still come to their concerts with an ambiguous agenda, hoping to catch echoes of past Johnnie Taylor glory and acccompanying memories as much as to hear their present-day catalogs.
Floyd, the more mature step-brother with the longest track record, has ridden the emotional roller coaster the longest and with the most painful prominence due to the fact that he came first and has had the greater success.
TJ, a relative newcomer and the youngest of the Taylor boys, is a little more laid-back and at ease with the inherent conflict of being an "entitled" son of a superstar. He tackles the issue head-on from his perspective in "You Can Call Me TJ."
Listen to T. J. Hooker Taylor singing "You Can Call Me TJ" on YouTube while you read on. . .
"You can call me Tyrone,
Good loving all night long,
Or you can call me JT,
I can satisfy your needs."
Or. . .
"People who got money
Still got problems.
(That's what my daddy said.)"
. . . From "Got To Get My Money Right."
Or. . .
"A lady at the casino,
She's acting funny,
Because my slot machine
Keeps blowing out more money.
Just because I win a few,
That don't give you the right
To hate the way you do."
. . . from "Player Haters."
These are the kinds of problems of privilege most struggling artists only wish they had to worry about. The indisputable fact, however, is that both brothers carry the Johnnie Taylor genes and can sound like their famous father at will and at their discretion.
Floyd Taylor has recorded some of the finest Southern Soul of the contemporary era, but TJ Hooker Taylor gives up nothing to Floyd in the vocal department. He doesn't have the Shirley Brown-like precision and range of Floyd's style, but he has a Marvin Sease/Denise LaSalle-like sureness and common man's appeal that in some respects is even more winning.
"You Can Call Me TJ" is--on the surface--a lightweight song, a warm-up-the-audience song, but it's transported to a higher level by the mesmerizing roundelay of "You-can-call-me-this" and "You-can-call-me-that".
(Scroll down to Lyrics under SONG'S TRANSCENDENT MOMENT.)
"You Can Call Me TJ's" simple, school-yard-like stanzas have an unflagging optimism at their core, a buoyancy of spirit not unlike underground comic artist R. Crumb's "Keep On Truckin'" man.
Hooker Taylor writes all of his own compositions, or at least he did on his first two LP's, The 2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor and The Total Package. And unlike Floyd, who specializes in singing other composers' tunes, TJ is an accomplished writer.
On his third CD, Your Babies Need A Daddy, Hooker Taylor unwisely deferred to producer/writer Carl Marshall, giving him the majority of songwriting credits. Those tracks are wasted efforts, channeling Hooker Taylor's precocious Southern Soul gifts through journeyman funk exercises that flatten out all of the charm usually conveyed in Taylor's own material.
The same CD, however, boasts Taylor's finest compositions yet, rivaling if not surpassing his classic "Player Haters" from The Total Package.
"Your Babies Need A Daddy," "Got To Get My Money Right," "MOMA" and "You Can Call Me TJ" carry the CD, and all bear the mark of Hooker Taylor's writing genius.
--Daddy B. Nice
About T. J. Hooker Taylor (New EP Alert!)
Tyrone "TJ" Hooker Taylor grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Mary Ann Hooker and the legendary Southern Soul star Johnnie Taylor. He sang in church aggregations and local bands until, in his early twenties, he had an epiphany.
Song's Transcendent Moment
"You can call me Tyrone,
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
"Give Him Love"
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