Book Review: Phases & Stages

Sheet music

Phases & Stages

Songs From a Dutch Tour: The Book

by Chip Taylor
Train Wreck, 173 pp., $33.98 (paper)

Less a book packaged with a CD than an album with extensive liner notes, Songs From a Dutch Tour reads like an elaborate collection of acknowledgements. Commemorating Chip Taylor's final tour of the Netherlands with acclaimed duet partner Carrie Rodriguez in 2007, the seminal songwriter ("Wild Thing") retraces his career from childhood to his discovery of Rodriguez at South by Southwest six years earlier. Scant on details, anecdotes, or copyediting, Songs compensates with an elaborately designed layout of thick, photo-laden pages and some exceptional new songs. Pictures from his youth with brother Jon Voight are more enlightening than his prose, as is the glimpse into Taylor's compositional process. His deep appreciation for the country that's been his premier fan base since the 1970s shines throughout, as does his praise and affection for Rodriguez, though the complicated relationship with the latter is only suggested. The music is more personal and evocative, sparse folk and blues that linger heavy and poignant. "Down by Law (Paint Me on a Postcard)," "Song for a German Girl (Named Lisa)," and "Mema, I Miss You From Here" are stunning, as is his tribute to Rodriguez, "Jack of Diamonds/Queen of Hearts," inspired by Margaret Moser's Chronicle article on the duo ("Story Book Children," Dec. 20, 2002).

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Chip Taylor
The Big Chill
The Big Chill
Chip Taylor's personal politics

Margaret Moser, June 27, 2008

Phases and Stages
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
Red Dog Tracks (Record Review)

Margaret Moser, June 3, 2005

More Music Reviews
<i>Me & Mr. Cigar</i>
Me & Mr. Cigar
Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes debuts a deeply weird and wonderful young adult novel.

Alyssa Quiles, Feb. 21, 2020

Revenge of the She-Punks
Revenge of the She-Punks

Rachel Rascoe, Dec. 6, 2019

More by Doug Freeman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Sept. 25, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Sept. 18, 2020


Chip Taylor, Carrie Rodriguez, Jon Voight

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle