Taylor Mitchell

For Your Consideration

BY Eric ThomPublished May 5, 2009

When George Bernard Shaw so famously noted that youth was wasted on the young, he hadn't heard Taylor Mitchell sing. This not-quite 18-year-old distinguishes herself as definitively old school, if not world-weary, with the opening bars of "Don't Know How I Got Here." Mandolin and banjo collide with a brash new voice that, here, is equal parts scar tissue and optimism. Yet she has many voices, veering into convincing country with a distinctive nasal twang on the title track before her folkie take captures your heart on "Clarity," arguably the disc's best track. "Ride Into The Sunset" finds more alt in her country than one might expect from a songbird of so few years. Equally surprising is hearing her resurrect Joan Baez's "Diamonds & Rust," giving it fresh legs and, armed with the stellar musicianship of John Dinsmore and Michael Johnston, a swampy attitude that grants it serious currency. All this and a powerful live show ripe with surprises; she has an already-accomplished stage manner and the ability to rock things into Crazy Horse territory with all the confidence of somebody twice her age. Consider her worthy and relish the fact that age has little to do with being good.

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