A small club show might seem like a comedown from the arenas of “American Idols Live!” or even the theaters where he’s currently portraying Teen Angel in “Grease.” But Taylor Hicks says it’s all part of being a working musician.
“I’m just putting myself out there,” explains the Alabama-born crooner, who was the fifth-season champion “American Idol” with a fan following that was dubbed the Soul Patrol. “You’ve got to build these kinds of things to be relevant and sustain a career. So I’ll play anywhere, pretty much.
“I started touring when I was 17, so I’m used to touring and performing and being out there. In the music business, the best way the artist can succeed and sustain a long career is by touring.”
Hicks’ “Idol” success led to a platinumcertified major label debut album in 2006, but his career waned on the commercial tip after that. In early 2008, Arista Records dropped him, and after a quick deal with another label to release his pre-fame recordings as “Early Works,” he started his own label, Modern Whomp Records, to release “The Distance” earlier this year.
And, Hicks says, he’s perfectly happy with the way things have turned out.
“I do have a sense of freedom now,” Hicks, 32, says. “I wanted to go back to where I started, where I was beginning to scratch the surface before ‘American Idol’ happened.
“I kinda know who I am. I think I knew exactly what direction I wanted to go in as an artist before (‘Idol’). I’ve had that direction for a long time, so it’s best for me to carry on being an artist that knows who he is.”
Taylor Hicks performs Monday (June 22) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com. Hicks also appears as Teen Angel in “Grease” through June 28 at the Detroit’s Fisher Theatre. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Ticket prices vary. Call (313) 872-1000 or visit www. nederlanderdetroit.com.
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