VISTING ACT: Ben Taylor 

The Son Also Rises: Ben Taylor's organic, romantic grooves have a kick

"Wrong" from the album The Legend of Kung Folk Part 1
Audio File

It'd be like if Brad and Angelina's little Shiloh came out ugly. Or if Bill and Melinda Gates' kid was an idiot. If Benjamin "Ben" Taylor, son of Carly Simon and James Taylor, couldn't sing, well, that'd be it. The world would end.

Luckily genetics have prevailed. The laid-back 31-year-old has got his papa's pipes, his mama's teeth, and he's produced a soulful album with potential mass appeal. The Bridge at 105.5 and Fiery Ron's finger-lickin' good venue host the '70s singer/songwriter prodigy on Wednesday night. Taylor will be strumming tunes from his most recent record, The Legend of Kung Folk Part 1 (The Killing Bite). Special studio guests on the album include Morcheeba vocalist Skye Edwards, U.K. artist Jamie Cullum, and others.

While his past albums, such as Another Run Around the Sun, have suggested a sweetly innocent sound much like Sweet Baby James, this latest effort hints at what one can only guess was a brutal recent breakup for Taylor. Full of songs about giving a girl space, letting go after it's over, and then hitting the sack for a rebound quickie, Kung Folk has Taylor talking downright dirty.

On "Wicked Way" — a track currently spinning on show-sponsoring local station The Bridge at 105.5 — he sings the ultimate one-night-stand lullaby: "I just want to take you out and get you drunk so I can have my wicked way with you/I'm just being honest cuz ... I know the other guys are thinking just the same way too." Imagine that lyric sung in a honey-soaked sweet-as-gooseberry-pie voice amplified by a holy chorus of angels and you have a small understanding of the lyrical irony. The lanky crooner could whip a girl into a de-robing frenzy.

Not that I'm partial. It's not like I had the singer's picture in my locker in high school, or anything. Or did I? —Kinsey Labberton

Benjamin Taylor performs at Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ (1205 Ashley River Road, 843-225-RIBS) at 9 p.m. on Wed. Dec. 10. No cover. Visit,, and for more.


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