“The band started as something Josh and I joked about when we got engaged, that we were starting a ‘King Taylor project’ together,” says singer Sandi King of her collaboration with singer/guitarist Joshua Taylor. The pairing came about after Taylor opened for King on a national tour with her former group 22 Kings; Taylor later invited King to appear on his 2015 solo album, About Time.
King Taylor Project, "Devil in the White City," @ RockBar in Scottsdale, AZ, May 19th, 2017
- Thursday, January 18, 2018, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
3391 Adams Avenue,
“Our first show as King Taylor Project was a Natalie Cole tribute night on Valentine’s Day 2016. We started with a bang: we had an eight-piece band, including a horn section.” Since then, the duo has been playing several times monthly in San Diego, as well as mounting four full tours over the past couple of years.
Their group includes keyboardist-singer Josh Weinstein (who taught UCSD courses on the blues, jazz, and the Beatles, as well as releasing solo albums like 2009’s Love & Alcohol), electric violinist Jay Chu (a former flute instructor who works as a flight controls engineer for the Navy and has a solo EP called Change), bassist/singer David Ryan Norgren aka DavyRockett (a former church cantor with two solo albums of his own), and drummer Eric Strickler (who plays with No Ghost and various musical theater orchestras). Their music covers a lot of stylistic ground, from soul to funk, blues, and jazz rock. “We’re heavy on the improvisation and have a blast playing off of each other,” says King. “Every member is a songwriter, and we all have a big part in writing new music for the band.”
What’s in your music player?
King: “Grace Weber’s album The Refinery. She’s a phenomenal vocalist I discovered on accident while talking to my friend about people that sound like Adele, but do it better. She’s a joy to listen to and watch perform…we actually cover one of her songs, ‘Oil and Gold.’”
Taylor: “Fly South, by Allen Hinds, my favorite guitar player and an incredible composer. This record comprises his most beautiful, masterfully written collection of tunes to date.”
DavyRockett: “My most recent Spotify listening session was a Seattle band called the Dip, with super rad horn arrangements and unique songwriting.”
Strickler: “Chuck Willis, because sometimes you have to do the Ring Dang Doo.”
Chu: “Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism, The Photo Album, and Plans are always in my main rotation. They've been my all-time favorite band, with poignant lyrics perfectly set to evocative melodies.”
Anything you were embarrassed to mention?
King: “Frequently on tour, we put on NSYNC’s debut album or No Strings Attached and just sing it out at the top of our lungs.”
DavyRockett: “Probably a musical theater soundtrack or 12.”
Strickler: “I own a variety of Top 40 pop tunes, for arrangement purposes, I promise.”
Chu: “Ayumi Hamasaki. I went through a huge J-pop phase back in middle school.”
Something we don’t know about you?
King: “I cut my own hair and make my own lotion, hair pomade, hairspray, sunscreen, deodorant, lip balm, and other toiletries.”
Taylor: “I studied counseling psychology in grad school and provided psychotherapy services to groups, adults, and children as [a] trainee.”
Weinstein: “I am very detail-oriented.”
DavyRockett: “I’m the slowest eater, but the fastest drinker, in the city.”
Strickler: “Never convicted of a crime.”
Chu: “I’m from Jersey, so I still pronounce water as wudder and coffee as cawfee.”
Song that best describes your life (and sample lyric)
King: “Robyn’s ‘In My Eyes.’ ‘We’re all the same, stardust and stuff.’”
Weinstein: “A Taste of Honey, ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie.’”
Chu: “The chorus from ‘When My Train Pulls in,’ by Gary Clark Jr., is always relatable, as I interpret it to mean that I'll be prepared for any opportunities that roll my way. ‘I’ll be ready now, I’ll be ready when my train pulls in.’”
Fears or phobias?
King: “I have a very real fear that season three of Rick and Morty won’t fully air.”
Taylor: “Missing out, I suppose.”
DavyRockett: “Spiders, with their patronizing offers to carry eight things for me everywhere. We get it, bro, you win the appendage arms race.”
Best thing you ever had to let go of?
King: “I had a very close friend die suddenly in a car accident a few years ago.”
Taylor: “Financial stability.”
Weinstein: “My mother gave me a pocket watch that I decided to bury along with her.”
Chu: “My two-door sports car that I traded in for a more gig-friendly hybrid.”