City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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American Idol Winner TAYLOR HICKS Plays Smith’s Olde Bar

For those who follow American Idol, or who are members of the “Soul Patrol,” Sunday night was very special as Taylor Hicks played a rousing set at Smith’s Olde Bar. Taylor Reuben Hicks was born in Brmingham, AL on October 7, 1976, and won the fifth season of American Idol in 2006, beating out finalist Katharine McPhee. Taylor’s win at age 29 made him the oldest Idol winner, and the first male contestant to win American Idol without ending up in the bottom two or three. He is currently on tour in the musical Grease, playing Teen Angel, which just concluded a week-long run at the Fox Theatre.  WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TAYLOR IN COMPARISON TO OTHER IDOL WINNERS?

(Photo Credit: Matt Alexandre/

For other concert photography linked to Access Atlanta, please visit for Atlanta Concert Photography Galleries.  by Atlanta Photographer Robb Cohen

25 comments Add your comment


August 18th, 2009
12:54 pm

I was lucky enough to be at this show and it was a fantastic night of music. What do I think of Taylor in comparison to other idol winners? Well obviously, he’s my favorite winner far and away. He is certainly the most well rounded idol winner, in terms of being a singer, songwriter, musician, and performer. He has a deep understanding of musical history and he sings, which most Idol artists lack. Most people compare album sales, but as in Taylor’s case, his music is a bit more sophisticated and mature, better suited for more discerning music fans, and that is hard for record companies to sell nowadays. Based on his performance at Smith’s, he is going to be around for a long time as a top-notch performer with a devoted fanbase.


August 18th, 2009
1:32 pm

Thanks, Jennifer; excellent description of Taylor’s talent and craft. I was at Smith’s too and loved the comfortable, fun and loose feel of the whole show. He’s back home in the South with many familiar friends around and just had so much fun! And it showed! Comparing Taylor to the other Idol winners is impossible because, for me, there is no comparison. Idol supports whoever they can get the most money out of by manipulating them personally and the public into believing “they are the best” whether they win the show or not. So, since Taylor’s win and lack of support by Idol (and downright nasty treatment of him) I no longer watch the show and can’t wait until it’s demise.


August 18th, 2009
2:11 pm

Compareed the rest? He’s in a league of his own! Fantastic performer/singer/songwriter.


August 18th, 2009
2:26 pm

I’ve seen Taylor live several times and he always puts on a great show. From the vids I’ve seen so far the show at Smith’s was no exception. Best idol in my opinion because he has a great voice but also has a varied taste in music so he surprises his fans all the time, but always in a good way. If you can get your hands on his bonus song sold at Target (watch out all the CD’s are not bonus CD’s), I think you’ll enjoy his take on Indiscriminate Act of Kindness and his cover of Nineteen. Really he’s just an all around entertainer.


August 18th, 2009
2:46 pm

Taylor is number 1 in my book. With Taylor and his music, it is the wonderful voice that shines through, and the music is also wonderful. He can play the harp and make it talk.
A very gifted and all round entertainer And so handsome too.
I hope he makes a movie soon or gets a TV show, with a face like his, it needs to be on a big screen. Get his new CD ‘The Distance” You will love it. Taylor is in the business for the distance.
He’ll be around for a long time because he is unique As for the other idols, well their music is all the same all the time. With most you don’t know who is singing because they patteren themselves after another band or singer
Thanks for the article and the fantastic pictures of Taylor R. Hicks


August 18th, 2009
3:22 pm

I really hate comparing him to Idol winners. This should not be done. Kelly, Carrie and Taylor are all my favorites to come out of Idol. But Taylor is in a class all his own. He is an old school musician and incorporates jazz, blues, soul and country rock into his sets. He is a musician’s musician. He has played with some very high caliber musicians in the industry and according to them he can hold his own with the best. I hope he’ll be around a long time making the kind of music he loves.


August 18th, 2009
3:26 pm

Jennifer is spot on with her comments about the artistry of Taylor’s music and as a performer. Taylor can “tag” a song like no other. Example, “What’s Right is Right” tagged with “Tupelo Honey.” He says the tags just enter his mind while singing. He is so multi-talented with his amazing vocal range, guitar and harp (and yes the dancing). He knows his audience and he plays to them be it theater or bar. Taylor is one savvy, passionate and talented performer who is in it for the marathon not the sprint. It is downright shameful that the music industry also dictates to radio what we hear. Radio play is determined by a bunch of talking heads with no notion of anything other than the big bucks forked over for playing some trashed out garbage. Therefore, a talented singer, song writer and musician who can tell you the ins, outs, whys and wherefores of what he plays is totally ignored-even black balled. I don’t watch AI anymore and don’t plan to. The other Idols? Well, I am just not interested. Whether you see Taylor in his acoustic concert (Smith’s) or with his full band it will be money well-spent. You will leave wanting more and with a smile on your face.


August 18th, 2009
3:35 pm

Attempting to compare one American Idol winner to another is like comparing apples to oranges. It cannot be done. Each winner is unique in their own way. Each has a different voice, a different style, different goals, etc. As for Taylor Hicks, he is a singer, songwriter, musician, playing guitar and blues harp, who puts his whole heart and soul into each and every performance. No two Taylor concerts are ever the same. No song is ever sang the same twice. Taylor’s concerts are fun and lively and mesmorizing. Ever heard him sing Maybe You Should live? Well, maybe you should! It is hypnotizing. Taylor always plans for the future. He will be around for a very long time. Taylor will always find a way to make the music he was born to play and sing.


August 18th, 2009
4:05 pm

Taylor’s my favorite of the Idol winners. He’s the most real. He doesn’t kowtow to what Idol wants him to do, but is true to himself and his music. I respect that. He’s a great entertainer, too. He has to be seen live to be believed. I’ve been to many concerts, seen many big names, but Taylor’s concerts are the best. I look forward to following his career. I think he will have more longevity than some of the other winners.


August 18th, 2009
4:08 pm

Taylor Hicks is the most mulit-talent that has ever come out of American Idol. No he didn’t play the idol game after he won. To Taylor music has to be felt from deep within the soul. He may not be the idol that sells the most cds or the idol that radio will play. When you go to a Taylor Hicks concert you will walk away knowing that you have just listened to some of the best music from a man that feels and sings with conviction.


August 18th, 2009
4:25 pm

These pics are amazing and really capture the soul of the musician!

Big Boss Man

August 18th, 2009
4:52 pm

My top three AI winners are Taylor, Fantasia and Kelly. All three are enormously talented. Fantasia puts her all out there and does it her own way. Great performer. Kelly has an extraordinary voice and can sing pretty much any genre. Taylor is my favorite. He’s a walking encyclopedia of American music, and he loves to share that knowledge. His voice is perfect for the blues….and anything else he chooses to sing. Most of all, he’s the only AI winner who hasn’t kissed the hiney of the AI machine. Since his win, the big wigs at AI have thrown slings and arrows his way. Taylor has stood up to all of it. He has too much integrity and respect for the music to sink to their level. He may not sell millions of albums, but what he puts out there is of much higher quality than most of those who do sell millions.


August 18th, 2009
6:24 pm

There is no comparison — Taylor Hicks feels the music. Knows the music and sings the music like no other Idol.


August 18th, 2009
6:31 pm

No other Idol has touch me the way Taylor Hicks has. When I listen to him it takes me to a time when music was music and the words meant something. I am so tried of the pop crap the radio plays today. Taylor is true to his music. When I listen to a song I want to feel the emotion of the song. That is what Taylor does. My hat is off to him for KEEPING IT REAL.


August 18th, 2009
6:44 pm

Taylor is so far beyond AI now, that it seems odd to even talk about the two entities in the same sentence. Even tho the machine which is AI did little or nothing to promote him, he did what he was told with nary a bad word, until it came to the point where he wanted control of his own career, and now he has it, and it happier than he’s ever been. You can see it when you hear him sing “New-Found Freedom”….”When I walk, I walk with confidence- I hold my head up high.” AI was dragging him down- now he can do things his way, even to the point of starting his own label. As to comparing him to other AI winners, all the winners won because they had something that the American public wanted, and America let its voice be heard. Some are more mainstream than others, and those are the ones that seem to rake in the big bucks and the multi-platinum album sales, and congrats to them. Taylor is NOT mainstream, nor will he ever be mainstream. He is too diverse, too well-saturated in musical ability and knowledge that he cannot fit into a mold or genre. His music is from the heart of this Alabama man, and whether he has a chart-topping album does not seem to make a big difference. He is doing what he loves. To quote him, “It’s not the number of albums you sell, it’s the number of people you touch.” Amen, Taylor….. you’ve touched an amazing number of people.


August 18th, 2009
6:58 pm

Taylor is a cut above the rest. He is an amazing unique talent and keeps it real. His shows are packed with entertainment. It is evident that he is loving his life and career right now.


August 18th, 2009
8:13 pm

There is no comparison to other Idols. Taylor Hicks is in a class by himself. He’s the consummate performer. I was at Smith’s Olde Bar on Sunday and it was the most fun I’ve had at a show all year. Great music, terrific musicians all lead by the incomparable Taylor Hicks. Seeing Taylor live is the best way to see for oneself. He is not to be missed. Taylor is a true artist in his own right as the other AI winners are. I judge him on his own merits and he is #1 in my estimation. Thanks for the article on Smith’s Olde Bar show. It was 2 hours of Taylor Hicks music. What more could a music fan ask for?


August 18th, 2009
8:17 pm

Great photos! Sexy!


August 18th, 2009
10:00 pm

He can definatley sing. Nice pics as well really shows the intamacy of the venue.


August 18th, 2009
10:36 pm

First of all, thank you for the wonderful pictures. Secondly, I agree with everyone else, Taylor is in a class by himself. He has studied music, he knows music and for him the music always comes first. I’ve seen him in concert numerous times and each one is a little different, something new every time. Taylor always makes you feel like he is throwing a party for just for your and your friends when you attend his concerts. Plus he has a wonderful voice that has gotten even better since he has been touring with Grease. I can’t wait until he comes to my state.


August 19th, 2009
7:10 am

As Louise said, there is no comparison.

I am a music geek who has followed a number of bands and individual artists over the years, some of them rather closely. Not one of them has moved me the way that Taylor does with his beautiful music, which comes directly from his compassionate and courageous soul. I have seen Taylor live a number of times, both in concert and in Grease. He always leaves me feeling uplifted and that, to me, is the mark of a truly great musician, singer, and songwriter.


August 19th, 2009
9:32 am

I cnnot compare Tay to any other artist who was on American Idol. The reason for that is that I didn’t watch them. I had heard of the show before Taylor graced the stage, of course, and my best friend makes a point to watch every year. I don’t.But three years ago, while at my best friend’s house, I caught a glimpse of this amazing artist and steadily watched him progress, eventually following his career off of Idol as well, and couldn’t be more thrilled to be called his fan. His fans and friends and family – they continually amaze me with their generosity of spirit and love and the reason this is so is because they reflect what Taylor does and the quality of person Taylor is. I may not have been in Atlanta, but trust me it wasn’t for lack of wanting to be there. This man puts on a show like no one else, challenging me with music and fond remembrances of my youth and poignant moments thought forgotten as well as keeping things current, real, and fresh. I feel very warm and cared for when I go to a Taylor show – very accepted and wanted. For me, there really is no better feeling on earth than to watch Taylor play and get lost in the music with him.


August 19th, 2009
10:54 pm

There is no comparison between Taylor Hicks and the other Idols. Taylor’s style is completely different. I’ve never witnessed (in my lifetime, anyway) any performer who feels so much passion in every song he sings. It comes from deep down inside him – singing and performing is not just a hobby or job to Taylor Hicks… it is his world and you can feel it every time he performs.

Although there have been some very unique and talented Idol contestants and winners since season 6, none of them compare to the talent and love for music as we’ve seen in Taylor Hicks. Other Idol winners may have top record sales… they may be more visable to the public, but not one of them has what Hicks has – a passion that comes only from the soul.

I was at Smith’s Sunday night and I can tell you – it was one hell of a show. Good mix of old and new songs… great crowd… not too freaks at this show – it was nice to be able to watch Taylor doing what he does best and Brian was as brilliant as ever on the keyboard.


August 19th, 2009
11:36 pm

I was not at this show, but I know exactly how it feels to witness a live Taylor Hick performance… I saw him back in June in the Detroit Area, he did an acoustic show and I still feel the effects. There is no other performer for me right now that comes close to Taylor. He has an amazing voice – He is the ultimate soul singer, his songs actually do penatrate your soul. I hope to enjoy performances from this artist for years to come.


August 23rd, 2009
6:39 pm

Also wanted to say I saw the photographer there on Sunday. Nice camera gear. The pictures are fanastic! Thanks for sharing. :-) )