Just about every post that singer/guitarist Pam Taylor puts on her Facebook page begins with “Hey, frans!” — a down-home version of “Hello, friends!” that might kick off a passage about her next show, or an upcoming recording session, or it might just let her 10,000-plus followers know that she’s feeling a little down that day and could use some encouragement.
There are musicians whose social media pages are well-oiled marketing machines without a hint of any personal voice at all. And there’s nothing wrong with that; but Pam just can’t do things that way.
“When I started it, it was just my personal page because I wasn’t a full-time musician,” Taylor says, “and as I became more involved with music, it KEPT being personal. It’s just me sharing my daily life.”
Well, it also helps that this small-town girl from Lancaster is one hell of a blues-rock singer, songwriter, and guitar player, and she’s got a lot of awards and chart positions to back that up. Taylor has taken home three consecutive Best Female Rock Artist wins from the Queen City Music Awards. She’s appeared on magazine covers next to Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi. And her 2015 debut album, “Hot Mess,” hit No. 3 on the chart for BB King’s SiriusXM satellite radio station, Bluesville.
So if Taylor wanted to, she could presumably make her social media pages all about the merch and the albums, and to be fair, she does that from time to time. But to me, the coolest thing about her is her insistence on being herself, no matter what others say she SHOULD be doing.
“I don’t really care about being famous,” she says. “I don’t WANT my life to change. I just want to play music and make enough money to pay my bills.”
It’s a connection Taylor has felt since she was a little girl, watching her dad play saxophone in the church band.
“That was my first experience with music, was in church,” Taylor says. “But my dad had me listening to James Brown and Elvis and Wilson Pickett, too.”
Taylor started out on piano, taking lessons for seven years. But she moved to guitar when she was 18 because it seemed like a lot more fun.
“I was hanging out with some friends of mine who were playing and I asked them to teach me a chord or two,” she says. “And the next thing I knew I was writing songs on this little plastic guitar we had.”
Taylor has spent the last 20-plus years writing great songs (on better guitars, of course) and rocking the stage, though there have been some ups and downs. And when the downs hit, Taylor’s Facebook fans are there for her.
“It keeps me going,” she says. “When I wanted to give up, the love and support I get from people who reach out to me, that I don’t even know, people who tell me my song changed their life, things like that keep me going when I want to give up.”
Pam Taylor will perform May 2 at Red Arrow Studio as part of its Red Arrow Concert Series. The performance will stream live on Facebook.