Music fans who follow the adventures of Saddle Creek Records know Maria Taylor (pictured to the right) as one-half of the Southern-spiced pop duo Azure Ray, which also includes Orenda Fink, the talented wife of Todd Fink, frontman for the Faint, another popular Saddle Records band.
Others know Taylor as a collaborator with such artists as Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and Michael Stipe (R.E.M.).
But Taylor is also a successful solo artist who has recorded three critically acclaimed albums, the most recent of which was released three months ago. The tour for that album – “Something About Knowing” – brings the Alabama-rooted singer-songwriter to Omaha on Friday, Jan. 3, for a 9 p.m. show at the Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. If you grooved on her previous efforts, you'll really enjoy the songs from the new album. Taylor always had soul, but being a new mom has added another layer to her passionate songs.
I can think of a lot of reasons to go to this show, which also features PJ Bond: One, Taylor plays the guitar left-handed. Left-handers rule. And two, her sultry, atmospheric pop-minded folky compositions are ideal in a bar setting and will no doubt leave you with a warm, tingly feeling in your ears.
Tickets for the show are $10. For more info, go to waitingroomlounge.com. And to get a taste of “Something About Knowing,” check out the video to "Up All Night." Just click on the link to the right.
The monthly art hootenanny will be observed up and down Benson's Maple Street corridor (mostly between 56th and 63rd streets) at several venues beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing into Saturday morning.
Local and regional artists will have new works on display, including creations by J.A. Yarges at the Sydney, 5918 Maple St., and Mike Pflaum, whose works will be on display at the Pizza Shoppe, 6056 Maple St.
For a full lineup of the exhibits and associated events, go to Facebook.com/BensonFirstFriday.