Spirited Irish folk/Americana duo Hudson Taylor will be sweeping back into Boston on Saturday, February 9th. We chatted with singer-songwriter Alfie Taylor, who spoke about the band’s inspirational experiences while touring with Hozier, how their music has evolved over time, the first time he wrote a song, and some of the band’s pre-show rituals. ADB: Following the release of Bear Creek to Dame Street, you supported Hozier during his North American tour, opening to 19 sold-out shows while also playing your own sold-out headlining gigs in New York, DC, and Boston. What have these hectic past couple of months been like for you? I feel like being on the road would be a really creatively stimulating experience. AT: Oh, for sure. It’s been amazing. When we created Bear Creek we were treating it like we were listening to vinyl—we have some studio stuff on there, and we have some live stuff as well. We recorded the live stuff in Dublin. Dublin crowds are always phenomenal, getting into the music and being so passionate. The whole process was really special. Touring with Hozier was incredible as well, and it was huge for us. ADB: And how do you think its influenced your music? AT: Well, Hozier’s such a lovely guy. He’s so talented, and he has said really lovely words about us. It was a pleasure to play with him. Every day we were in a different city, and I loved seeing the how different each city was from one to another as we travelled through the States and Canada. It certainly had an impact. Two months later, we’re still taking it in. ADB: You and Harry seem to have an incredible time making music, singing it live, and just experimenting by playing with different instruments. How would you describe Hudson Taylor’s music without using genre labels? AT: Haha, hmm… well, let me see. I’d say live, energetic, harmonious, for sure. We like to get the crowd going with us. Nothing’s better than a good crowd who joins in on it. ADB: After seeing you guys pulling in the crowd at your performances in Boston, I couldn’t agree more. How do you think your music evolved since you and Harry began playing together? How do you see it evolving from here? AT: We’ve evolved a lot. We are playing more instruments, especially in experimenting with guitars. Both Harry and I are playing them now, and Harry’s been playing almost exclusively on electric at the moment. We’ve grown from just the two of us to having more musicians on stage with us. We’ve had the opportunity to meet some really brilliant musicians, go to festivals and play and meet new people. Festivals are great, because you get together with fellow artists. It’s really exciting collaborating there as well. We’ll keep evolving, keep getting inspired as we continue to meet other artists, and continue trying out new instruments. ADB: Of all the songs on your setlist, you ask the crowd to join you in “Don’t Know Why.” Why have you chosen to include the audience at your shows? AT: Heh, Boston was the loudest gig on the whole tour—with “Don’t Know Why” and when we closed our opener with “Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys. It’s brilliant to see the energy, see the crowd get involved, and we like being able to teach the lyrics to the audience. It forms a connection, I think. It’s really special to go to a city where English isn’t the first language, and you have these people singing your words back to you that isn’t the language that they know. It’s incredible, really. I think it’s better to have the audience join in. It makes it more special. ADB: Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? AT: Ah, yeah—we were moving. Our parents had just gotten divorced, so we were moving out and away from the family home. I knew I had something. I had two chords, and I went to the park, just sat under a tree, and wrote the song there. It’s floating around out there… I think it’s on Spotify. It’s called “The Place I Called Home.” ADB: Who are your biggest songwriting influences? There are so many greats coming out of Ireland and the UK to draw from—is there anyone that you find particularly prolific? AT: Yeah, that’s true. There are many greats coming out of Ireland and the UK. Ireland has some brilliant songwriting coming out of it, I think. People like Hozier, though, I mean, his songwriting is great. His lyricism is just beautiful. I find him quite inspiring. There’s lots of songwriters coming out of Ireland. Even, like, some of our friends, they hang around and they just have some really incredible ideas for lyrics. ADB: Any crazy pre-show rituals? AT: Heh, I don’t know if they’re crazy, per se… we may have a drink, or a cup of tea. We go over the setlist—who’s going to talk when, what song’s going in what order, you know. We also just sing. Sing for fun. Singing what’s on the setlist, or singing other stuff. Though, I like taking lots and lots of photos. We get so busy and things are so hectic on tour, and you’re on the road so much going from city to city to city. It’s startlingly easy to forget things, you know. You want to capture the moment, what you were doing then, what city you were playing in. You just need to remember these moments and not let them pass you by. Hudson Taylor’s cheerful vibe and brilliant songwriting will capture the audience, have you humming their songs, and tapping your foot long after the gig is over. You can catch Hudson Taylor performing intimidate, not-to-miss shows at The City Winery on February 9th, at both 5pm and 9pm. 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