Susan Douglass Taylor
How would you describe her music?
Take the pop hits her older brother and sister were spinning in the 60's, include the legendary Texas songwriters of Austin City Limits, a couple of 70's west coast rock bands, and Flatt & Scruggs. Combine these with the experience of growing up in a little town in South Carolina, add her love for God, family, and the people in that little town where she still lives, and you have the music of Susan Douglass Taylor.
Her roots are deeply southern.
Susan has been making
music since she was old enough to climb on a piano bench. Recognizing her ability to play by ear, parents George and Clyde Douglass enrolled her in piano lessons at an early age. Her teacher was renowned composer Nelle McMaster Sprott, whose belief it was to encourage creativity and make learning fun. On Susan's eleventh birthday, her parents gave her a guitar, and older sister Lynne taught her some chords. At age seventeen, she discovered a love for the 5-string banjo, her father's favorite instrument. Her parents again provided all the learning opportunities possible, which included living room jam sessions and numerous long drives to bluegrass festivals, camping in a crackly blue tent. Devoting hours daily to practice, Susan quickly progressed on the banjo, and soon joined her first "real" band, String Fever, a bluegrass ensemble of close friends. The band had a 10-year run playing regional festivals around SC, NC, GA, and TN, winning band competitions, and recording a couple of projects.
Following the bluegrass years, Susan began singing back-up with well-known singer/songwriter Jack Williams, whom her husband Cary Taylor had played bass with for many years. Williams allowed Susan to experiment with banjo on some of his songs, and eventually included her background vocals and banjo playing on a number of his recordings.
In mid 2007, Susan, Cary, and long-time friend and musician Danny Harlow, joined with singer/songwriter/actor Ronny Cox, touring as his band for the next 18 months. "It was a great experience traveling around the US playing concert halls and coffeehouses, and once to the UK, where we actually played for a convention of Stargate fans. And what a thrill it was to play "Duelin' Banjos" with Ronny Cox!"
In recent years, Susan has discovered a joy for songwriting, occasionally performing solo. She plays regularly with Common Time bluegrass band featuring award-winning guitarist and banjoist Randy Lucas, fiddler Jim Graddick, and husband Cary on bass. Susan, Cary, and Randy also perform with The Twang Bombers bluegrass band with Danny Harlow. In addition, Susan, Cary and Danny perform in more intimate settings as The BunchQuitters western trio, and the three enjoy performing annually with Jack Williams in a well-attended concert the Saturday following New Years Day in Columbia, SC.
"Music is a gift from God. I love sharing it with family and friends, and I cannot imagine life without it."
-- Susan Douglass Taylor