Countdown to Winterfolk 2021 – Interview with Julian Taylor

This year, Toronto’s annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival will go virtual.

We have decided to chat with some of the artists that are set to perform on the 19th installment of this prestigious festival. So far, we’ve chatted with Suzie Vinnick, Ken Whiteley, Melanie Peterson, Mandy Goodhandy, and Jack de Keyzer. Today, we chat with Julian Taylor.

Check out his latest album, The Ridge below, and find out more about Jack via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello, My name is Julian Taylor. I was born in Toronto and started writing original songs when I was around 12 years old. I released my first able in 2001 with my band Staggered Crossing and since then I have recorded and released eleven original albums.

You will be taking part in the upcoming 19th edition of Winterfolk, how does it feel to be a part of such a long-running festival?

I love Winterfolk. When I was a bartender at Dora Keogh Irish Pub the festival would come to The Danforth and that pub each February. I loved watching the performances and chatting with the volunteers, artists, organizers, and patrons. I vowed one day that I would be one of the artists to perform on The Winterfolk stage one day.

This year, Winterfolk will be virtual for the first time, due to the ongoing Pandemic, does this change your strategy for preparing your set?

It certainly does. I sincerely do miss audience participation a lot. The past year has been interesting, to say the least. I literally run out of staging in my house. There are only so many rooms and backgrounds that can be used you know. On the other hand, I have never been this close to having the stage, dressing room, and hotel in such close proximity. So that’s a plus. LOL

What can someone who has yet to see you live expect to see from your performance?

Well since the pandemic and having to transition into performing virtually one of the things that I have come to realize is that it’s pretty tricky to cover another person’s material. I tried once and then got a notification that I was in violation of copyright laws and was instantly booted off. So I can certainly guarantee that my set will be completely original music:-)

Last but not least, how have you been keeping creative during the Pandemic?

I’ve been extremely busy with parenting, doing my afternoon radio show on ELMNT FM, and promoting my latest release “The Ridge” when this whole thing began. Until recently I’d actually felt quite stuck creatively but that’s starting to change as my spiritual energy’s begun to shift into writing mode once again. I’m excited about what’s channeling through me at the moment but also trying to take my time and honour my muse.

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