By Gabe Meline
I‘m just gonna come right out and refute what’s really on your mind about Chip Taylor, not that I know it from the horse’s mouth, but come on–there’s no way he was sleeping with Carrie Rodriguez. First of all, she’s married, for whatever that’s worth in the world of show biz. But second of all, if you listen closely to Taylor’s songs, they have a sort of unsleazy empathy in them that says, “Yeah, I will be tempted, and I may fantasize, yet lo, I will ultimately resist engaging in sex with the cute married girl who is less than half my age.” His vice is good, aged whiskey, not semi-pedophiliac philandering. That’s the way I size it up, at least.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Taylor is the author of a number of hit songs (“Wild Thing,” “Angel of the Morning”) who hooked up for a string of three wonderful albums with the very young, very attractive and very talented Rodriguez. Onstage, Rodriguez always outshone Taylor, and it was only a matter of time before she started touring on her own and making the most of her natural star power, a radiance that trickles down to even the most simple-minded acclaim. (After last year’s performance at Sebastopol’s Studio E, a fan talking to his friend about Rodriguez was overheard, remarking, “She’s one sexy bitch, no doubt about it!”)
What’s a 67-year-old songwriter like Taylor to do but find another sexy bitch? His niece, Angelina Jolie, is obviously busy with the silver screen, and “Angel of the Morning” singer Merilee Rush is busy raising English sheepdogs in Washington. But at a 2004 festival, Taylor found himself impressed with a 22-year-old Canadian fiddler and vocalist named Kendel Carson, and last year invited her to New York City to work on some songwriting demos. In less than a week, they’d recorded a full-blown album together, Rearview Mirror Tears, and this weekend they bring their raucous, truck-lovin’ tunes to Sebastopol. Expect songs from Carson about angels, trains and rivers, interspersed with Taylor’s own ruminations on life, liquor and politics.
Just don’t ask if they’re sleeping together, because they’re not. Not at all. Right?
Chip Taylor, Kendel Carson and John Platania perform on Saturday, July 21, at Studio E in rural Sebastopol. 8pm. $25. 707.542.7143. For more info, visit www.northbaylive.com.