Hudson Taylor is a duo comprised of brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor. Now signed to Rubyworks Records, Hudson Taylor released the debut EP Battles in August 2012 before the group had a record deal. Battles went to #1 on the Irish version of iTunes and to #14 on the U.K. version of iTunes, leading to a record deal with Polydor Records. The first full-length of Hudson Taylor, Singing For Strangers, came out in January 2015 and would also chart high in Ireland and the U.K.
The latest studio effort from Hudson Taylor is Bear Creek To Dame Street (stream or purchase a copy here), which was released on September 21st. In support of Bear Creek To Dame Street, Hudson Taylor will be touring North American alongside Hozier, which kicked off on September 18th at Montreal, Canada’s L’Olympia. The name of Bear Creek To Dame Street is interestingly a reference to Hudson Taylor’s recording of new music at both Seattle’s Bear Creek Studios and a live venue on Dublin’s Dame Street.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with both Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor on behalf of PureGrainAudio. More on Hudson Taylor can be found online at www.hudsontaylormusic.com.
Here is “Feel It Again” in concert. Check it out!
A lot of people first learned about Hudson Taylor through its touring with Hozier. How did your relationship with Hozier start?
Alfie Hudson-Taylor: We first came across Hozier when we heard his tune “Take Me To Church.” We were blown away by the sounds, lyrics and the message behind the song. We then watched the video and was equally mind-blown. The first time we met him and opened for him was in May 2015 at a festival in Brighton and since then we’ve crossed paths and shared stages with him several times in Ireland, so now to be touring the U.S. and Canada with him is a dream. He’s a gentleman and a true artist.
Bear Creek To Dame Street is considered a “mini-album.” Was it ever the plan to be an EP?
Harry Hudson-Taylor: Initially the plan was to release 4 or 5 more tunes from our time spent at Bear Creek Studios in Seattle, but when we were planning this we had just finished an Irish tour where we got to play and record our gig in our favorite venue, The Olympia Theatre on Dame Street in Dublin. We got very lucky, the gig was hoppin. and the crowd were amazing singers and we were very happy with the live recordings. We love to play live and have never released live tunes before, so decided to put them altogether to form Bear Creek To Dame Street.
How long did you spend recording Bear Creek To Dame Street?
Alfie: We spent a couple of weeks making the “Bear Creek” side. Most of it in Seattle, some in Denmark and some in Ireland. The “Dame Street” side was recorded in one night at the Olympia Theatre.
Do you have a favorite song on Bear Creek To Dame Street?
Harry: Our favorite tune on the album is probably “One In A Million” closely followed by the live recording of “World Without You.”
Is a follow-up to Bear Creek To Dame Street, already in the works? How long has your new album been done?
Alfie: We still have some tunes yet to release and perhaps record for our next album. Hopefully we can record and release more live recordings in the future, too.
Your upcoming North American tour is mostly set in theaters. Will it be just you two on-stage for this tour?
Harry: On-stage with us two on the upcoming North American tour will be our band of 5 insanely-talented artists and musicians. We have all been playing together for years and are all very good friends.
Is playing to a North American audience any different for you than it is elsewhere?
Alfie: From our experience the North American audiences have been very kind and respectful. It differs maybe from our Irish shows, where we have played a lot more and more people know us. Looking forward to touring more in North America, there is so much more to see!
Check out the lyric video of “One In A Million”, it’s… one in a million.
Aside from this upcoming tour and album release, what’s coming up for Hudson Taylor?
Harry: We’re pretty much touring flat out for the rest of the year, always writing tunes when we can. We hope to keep releasing tunes and touring for the foreseeable future. And we hope to have our next album coming out next year.
When not busy with your band, how do you like to spend your free time? Any surprising hobbies?
Harry: On and off the road we have a list of what some may call surprising hobbies. On the road, ping pong, extreme car park frisbee, jammin’, writing tunes and finding nice food takes up the free time nicely.
Alfie: At home I have 3 dogs who keep me very busy, I love cooking and I also take photos on old film cameras.
Harry: Yoga — I specifically practise Lyengar Yoga. Also eating, reading and listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
Is there something you wish more people knew about Hudson Taylor?
Alfie: Not much other than we love to play live, and if anyone wants to see us in our comfort zone and get a good idea of what we’re all about come to a show.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Harry: Do what you love, kids!
It’s super-easy to love this live performance of “Easy Baby”.