Hollingsworth’s solo recordings date back to 2003, ranging from weird lo-fi blues-pop (2003's You Know That Summers Comin’ and 2011’s Where to Go, How to Get There and What You Should Know in Advance), to whiplash-shredding, 70’s-era sing-alongs (2005’s Tragic City), to flawlessly-fingerpicked-acoustic avalanche-of-tear ballads (2009’s Life With a Slow Ear).
In 2007, Hollingsworth ended up in Tepoztlan, Mexico to work with Conor Oberst on what would become Conor’s self-titled solo debut. Taylor contributed several original songs to Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band’s (COMVB) 2009 Outer South including “Air Mattress” and “Snake Hill,” and “Central City” on 2012’s One of My Kind. Hollingsworth and his wife Kate (sister to Maria Taylor) released two records as ‘Dead Fingers’ and in addition to his solo work, he’s has also recorded and/or toured with Maria Taylor, the Felice Brothers, The Dexateens, Monsieur Jeffrey Evans, Jack Oblivion, SDX and Bruce Watson of Fat Possum Records.
Hollingsworth recently toured with Oberst throughout the U.S. and Europe playing in his backing band with members of The Felice Brothers in support of his recent release, Saluations. The Mystic Valley Band then reunited for their first time since 2010 for a one-off New Years Eve show on December 31st, 2017 and later, for a 7-date reunion tour through California and Arizona, with special guest Phoebe Bridgers. To Hollingsworth’s surprise, Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers recorded a cover (for Better Oblivion Community Center’s debut studio album – which was the only one non-original composition) of Hollingsworth's song "Dominos" from his album Where To Go, How To Get There, And What You Should Know In Advance. Oberst said: “Taylor is… a guy I've played with a lot, that [Pheobe and I] both love as a person and as a musician. We just love that song. I had called him and got him to record those little samples on the phone of him talking. I kind of lied a little bit, like, 'Yeah, Taylor, I'm making this sound collage for a song I'm working on.' When we finally played it for him, he was totally floored and got a little teary-eyed. He's like, 'I can't believe you guys recorded my song.' So, that was really sweet.”
“Devil N Me” is thematic kin to Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Off” but shares sound qualities with the latest from Gary Clark Jr.—that’s to say, it’s pure, hot blues…There’s that sludgy guitar, smug harmonica… but there’s also weird pedal effects and a synthetic organ. Hollingsworth sings the blues in his gritty, old-school alto, repeating “I’ve got the devil in me” until it sounds like he’s finally expunged the evil from his insides. – Paste
There's something beautifully fragile in Hollingsworth's performance on a song that calls to mind a '70s solo record from former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman or the country colors of Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance. And though it's a contemporary song, not a throwback, there is something about Hollingsworth's sincerity and the familiarity of the tale he tells that makes this a tune for any time. – Pop Matters
Following the Mystic Valley Band’s recent reunion shows and a cover of his 2013 song “Dominos” on the critically acclaimed Better Oblivion Community Center album (which was the only one non-original Oberst/Bridgers composition), Taylor Hollingsworth’s (Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, Dead Fingers, The Dexateens) new LP Tap Dancin’ Daddy is out August 2, 2019 on Flower Moon Records (the LA based label launched by Maria Taylor of Azure Ray). TDD is his first solo release under his own name since 2011, and coincides with his West Coast opening run with Better Oblivion Community Center this August. Pre-order bundles (available now) include a 100 random color, hand numbered, 7” single, tour exclusive cassette version, and (for those that are familiar with Taylor’s on stage mannerisms) limited edition bobble heads. Hollingsworth plays the the Observatory in Santa Ana Aug. 8th, the Wiltern in Los Angeles on Aug. 9th and The Independent in San Francisco Aug. 11th in support of Better Oblivion Community Center later this summer.
More than 10 years of touring culminated in the Tecate-blur of a seemlingly-never-ending world tour with the Mystic Valley Band. When it was over, Hollingsworth went back home to Birmingham, Alabama to start a family, buy a home, and play local gigs around town to make ends meet. This is where Taylor rediscovered what truly made him happy was just the simple creation of art and songs – free of striving for “success.” He found comfort in the old school punk-rock DIY ethos and studied the minimalist folk & blues players who mastered playing to small rooms for the sole purpose of entertainment. Hollingsworth evolved his faster-than-hell-fuzzed-out style to be more folk-blues inspired finger-picking, preferring just a duo (guitar and drum) and incorporating a loop guitar pedal to keep the party atmosphere going late nights at local gigs. “I thought about how the old blues guys used to do this same thing. It was all about letting go of all ego and just closing your eyes and playing without worrying if people are listening to your words, or caring what anyone else was thinking about it. I found a rhythm this way.” It became even more fulfilling, plus it paid the bills and he got to sleep in his own bed every night. Tap Dancin’ Daddy was recorded and produced by Taylor in his humble wood-paneled basement studio in Alabama full of old gear he’s collected over the years and decorated with his weird and eclectic art. He still plays regularly in Birmingham at Marty's PM, Dave's Pub, and Parkside, and you can often find him happily busking on downtown sidewalks for tips at local farmers markets, events, or parties.
MUSIC + VIDEO
NEWS & REVIEWS
PREMIERE: TAYLOR HOLLINGSWORTH TELLS THE TALE OF “TAP DANCIN’ DADDY
Mystic Valley Band man Taylor Hollingsworth steps out for the first album under his own name since 2011. "Tap Dancin' Daddy" tells of the struggles of parenthood and the struggles of staying true to one's self. Read more at Pop Matters.
DEAD FINGERS TEASE COMPILATION FROM MARIA TAYLOR’S LABEL WITH “WHISLTIN’ SONG”
Taylor Hollingsworth (Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band) and Kate Taylor (sister of Maria Taylor) team up for an impossibly wild track. "Whistling Song" is a new track from Dead Fingers and is featured on Flower Moon Friends & Family Volume 1, a compilation from Flower Moon Records (FMR), the label founded by musician Maria Taylor (Azure Ray) and her husband Ryan Dwyer.