The Return of Robbie Taylor

The best reason to see Robbie Taylor at any or all of his three shows this week is that in 1982, he serenaded me with Buddy Holly songs while standing in the middle of a deserted Hill Country road at 5am outside Junction.

OK, that story isn’t so compelling but I left out a LOT of damning details and Taylor really is something to watch. The Louisiana native is based in Lafayette (where, between him and C.C. Adcock, they must drive the law and women crazy), but in the Eighties he did his time around Austin. Often, he worked as a waiter at places like Xalapeno Charlie’s and was known for his whip-smart sense of humor and a wicked ability to mimic accents. Somewhere along the way, he migrated back to Louisiana and turned into a world-class singer-songwriter.

His is a folksy kind of set, ripe with the kind of humor that makes you wonder if Mark Twain is in his gene pool. Taylor’s forte is roots twang, incorporating big, influential doses of Johnny Cash country, Elvis rockabilly, and, naturally, Buddy Holly rock. If you didn’t recognize the covers as they came along, you’d think them part of his classic-sounding originals, which you can hear here.

This year Taylor is celebrating his 50th birthday with a one-city tour. That means he’s taking time from his regularly appointed duties leading guided fishing tours from his pirate camp off the southern tip of Bayou Lafourche, not far from the notorious Redneck Rivera of Grand Isle, for this little jaunt that includes a solo happy hour show at Patsy’s Thursday and the industrial strength version with his monster band the Roebucks Friday. Robbie & the Roebucks greet the midnight hour at Ego’s Saturday.

If we’re lucky, someone will hand him an apron and some cornmeal because he does fry up the best dang catfish around. Then you can ask him about that moonlit night in the Hill Country.

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