24 Hours at a Time – new video from Todd Taylor

Looks like it’s time for some more rock ‘n’ roll banjo from South Carolina’s Todd Taylor, Guinness Book certified as the World’s Fastest Banjo Player in 2007.

Todd is just now recovering from a fairly serious head injury, suffered when he stumbled getting out of his new bus. Having recently acquired it, he had expected to find the same hand rail along the exit steps that he had in his previous one, but when he reached out, it wasn’t there. He came crashing down the steps and hit his head on the asphalt.

Taylor also suffers from a variant of Muscular Dystrophy known as a mitochondrial myopathy, a genetic disease he inherited from his mother, so he isn’t always nimble on his feet at his best, and he said that when he put his weight down expecting to get support from the handrail, and not finding it, he just tumbled out onto the street.

Memory issues plagued him for some time from the concussion effect, and Taylor told us last week that he didn’t recognize long time friends for several weeks until his brian swelling decreased. But all is well now and he is recovering nicely at home.

This latest release is Todd’s tribute to his late friend, Toy Caldwell, guitarist for the Marshall Tucker Band, who passed away in 1993. It’s an original composition of Caldwell’s called 24 Hours at a Time, which Taylor covers on banjo and vocal.

He explained the genesis of this track, and how he became interested in playing rock music on his five string.

“I was six years old when I started playing the banjo, and I always listened to Marshall Tucker Band and loved Toy’s guitar style. When I was 13 I got to meet Toy and we became good friends. I would hang out at his house with him, and play banjo while he played guitar with me, and we would fish in his lake and have a good ole time when he was not touring and I was not touring back then.

I did play bluegrass but I always played rock as well on my banjo, southern rock and anything different. I would sit and make up the banjo arrangements for a lot of classic rock songs, then copyright the arrangements because no one ever did that in those days and Toy and I would rock out.

I remember telling Toy I was going to take the banjo to the rock n roll Top 40, and he said, ‘do it you have a style of your own.’ I credit Toy for also telling me to do that and it paid off big time for me being the first person in history to take the banjo as a solo instrument and show the world its not just for bluegrass. That’s how I ended up being known for pioneering rock banjo.

Toy wanted me to record 24 Hours at a Time back in the ’80s, but I never did it. So now I finally did as a tribute to my friend, a true legend.”

24 Hours at a Time from Todd Taylor is available now from popular download and streaming services online, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.