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Ladies' Night: Writers Round at Locals Only

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Kim Taylor

On Saturday, singer-songwriters Kim Taylor, Kate Lamont, Cara Jean Wahlers, and Bobbie Lancaster will participate in a Nashville-style songwriters round at Locals Only. The show represents the first time Cincinatti musician Kim Taylor has performed as a solo artist in Indy and it could possibly be the last time Indy native Kate Lamont will perform in Indy for a long while, as she’s in the process of relocating to San Francisco.

If you haven’t heard of Kim Taylor, odds are you’ve heard her soulful, country- and folk-inspired tunes on T.V. shows like “Justified,” “Flashpoint,” “Smallville,” “Army Wives,” “One Tree Hill” and others. And if you listen to pop or country music, you’ve probably already heard songs that she’s co-written; she’s collaborated with songwriters who write for artists like Lee Anne Womack and Miley Cyrus and she’s soon heading to Epic Records to showcase some of her latest work.

The recent ascension of producer L.A. Reid to the CEO position at Epic has opened up songwriting opportunities for Taylor. One of Epic’s A&R’s with whom she’s been friends for years has a close relationship with Reid, a music business connection which could potentially result in Taylor writing full-time for some of Epic’s artists.

“That’s a whole world I’ve been trying to nudge my way into for a while,” said Taylor. “I’ve been making my own way with my songs for a couple of years, but I get really excited working with other artists; that’s kind of my goal.”

Taylor and Lamont met in 2010 through Over the Rhine drummer Devin Ashley when Taylor was touring with the band. Since then, Lamont has been working as one of Taylor’s back-up singers. Though their individual musical styles are pretty differentµTaylor plays folk- and country-inspired pop, Lamont is more R&B-influencedµboth artists agree their voices are complimentary.

“Our voices blend really well together,” said Taylor in an interview last week. “There are tonal similarities, and I tend to be a pretty husky singer, while she has a more crystal-clear, pitch-perfect voice.”

The two haven’t co-written anything as yet, though Taylor says they’ve discussed the idea.

“It’ll be a little harder now that she’s moving to San Francisco,” joked Taylor.

Lamont has played in a number of different bands since 1999 including Fuzz, which she founded with Devin Ashley, Mab Lab and Blueprint Music, before releasing her first solo album After the Traffic in 2010. After releasing her latest EP Quality at the Broad Ripple Music Fest, she says she still has a full album’s length worth of material that she’s written with Ashley. She's currently in the process of recording, as she moves out to the West Coast.

Having worked and played music in the Indianapolis area for most of her adult life, Lamont is hoping the move to San Francisco will enable her to gain access to the film industry, where she hopes to write music on commission for film and T.V. She says the move was prompted in part by her friendship with Taylor.

“Kim Taylor is thriving in [the film and TV] world right now,” said Lamont. “She’s kind of my inspiration.”

Also at the songwriters round will be Indy’s own Cara Jean Wahlers and Bloomington-based Bobbie Lancaster. Wahlers’ debut album, Goodnight Charlotte (2010), which she recorded with cellist Grover Parido, was voted Best Local Roots Album this year by NUVO and has gained national attention from press outlets like NYC’s Village Voice. She and Parido also wrote the score for the award-winning 2010 independent film Paradise Recovered, which was filmed in Southern Indiana.

Wahlers and Parido at the recent event, Duos in the Round.
  • Wahlers and Parido at the recent event, Duos in the Round.

“Kate and Bobbie and I have been performing in close proximity to each other for years, and have shared bills several times, but we've not been on stage together, the three of us, really ever,” said Wahlers. “I'm really excited to welcome Kim Taylor to town, too. She's got a great voice and great songs, and it's a lot of fun sitting in a line with other writers, trading songs and sharing stories.”

Lancaster has released two solo albums and two children’s albums. Her most recent release, Live, came out this year. A regular on the local circuit, she’s recently appeared in Tim Grimm’s Hoosier Dylan, Springsteen, Hank & Johnny Tribute shows, as well as the John Prine tribute show, Pure Prine. She’s also currently at work on an album with the Millbranch Theory and a series of children’s books.

“I really respect Bobbie's music and energy. She's an absolute joy to be around and to share the stage with,” said Wahlers, of Lancaster.

With such a stellar line-up, the night promises to be the best showcase of female singer-songwriters to come to Indianapolis a long while.

“We’re really honored to have Kim playing at Locals Only,” said Lamont. “Cara Jean and Bobbie are both quality songwriters. That’s why we’re doing this Songwriters in the Round; because we’re not just singers, but [also] songwriters.”

Lamont said she and the other ladies will be playing stripped-down sets; she with her beloved Fender-Rhodes piano and the others with their guitars.

“Kim will probably play my piano as well,” she adds, with a hopeful tone.

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