This post is a contribution from Tom Bibey, one of our 2010 IBMA correspondents. You can see his profile here.
In dark suits and pinstripes, white shirts, black shoes and neat ties, Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa have the stage persona of a band serious in their intent to entertain and also appreciative of the opportunity. They do not fail.
Mr. Taylor sings his stories in an honest hickory smoked baritone as smooth as Southern Comfort. He’s world traveled after a career with the U.S. Navy’s Country Current, but his delivery is as enthusiastic as a youngster ready to sign on for a second tour.
Emory Lester sticks close to tradition, but with hints of jazz and Jethro he is a versatile mandolin genius on par with players like Grisman and Marshall. He matches Mr. Taylor’s vocals with perfect high harmony honed over years of friendship and professional association.
Add in the precision banjo work and the third part harmony line of Lee Marcus, choreograph it all with the visual appeal of a single mic set-up, mix in Keen Hyatt’s cool country bass with a touch of classical influence, and you have Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa. This band is worthy of the biggest of venues. Mr. Taylor has long been an ambassador for our country; now it’s time to send him back around the world as an ambassador for bluegrass. You can’t fake passion for your life’s work. This man and his fine band have it, and they intend to do us proud.