John Tayles at the Horseshoe Tavern

Performing over 150 live acoustic shows over three years has honed the musical talents of John Tayles, a young artist from Mississauga, Ontario. These shows — mostly in London, Ontario while attending university, and a few in Uganda while volunteering there — prepared the singer-songerwriter well for his first major Toronto gig at the historic Horseshoe Tavern on this Wednesday night.

Tayles’ debut album Thoughts Out Loud features vulnerable and deep lyrics that fill his songs, admittedly “written mostly about women”, with raw emotion. A clear stand-out is Get It Right, a catchy song about two friends’ on-again off-again relationship, with its fast-paced verses and musings reminding the listener of the often frenzied and confusing nature of love. Another favorite is the emphatic Who I Am, with a infections, declaratory chorus embedded within a ballad about — what else? — love.

Tayles took to the Horseshoe stage alone, playing half his set on piano and half on guitar. Sprinkled throughout his set of original material were a few covers — including Lennon’s Imagine, transitioning into a crowd-celebrated rendition of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger. The solo performance did well in showcasing Tayles’ voice, but I felt it was missing the edge and energy that a band would have provided. Luckily, a five-piece band is planned for the near future, and surely with that addition on top of his already strong song-writing foundation, Tayles will be an artist to keep an eye on.

Check him out on MySpace.

20 August 2008 | grc | Music | Comments

One Response to “John Tayles at the Horseshoe Tavern”

  1. 1 Ronatron 10 September 2008 @ 4:58 pm

    It was great meeting you at Virgin Fest! Hopefully we see you again next year and keep up the good work. Your pics look amazing!

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