Musician Joe Taylor's job is to entertain you, and he takes his occupation seriously.
"I put on a heartfelt experience. It's gong to hit you right between the eyes. I work very hard to not just be some guy in a band," the Canadian singer/songwriter said.
A Toronto native, Taylor gained notoriety when The New York Times dubbed him as the "Subway Idol" and featured him in a video interview. Taylor prides himself on being a working musician, and has lived that lifestyle since 2004. On top of recording an album and consistently touring, Taylor said he really honed his performing chops as a street musician along the New York City subway.
"You get angry people leaving work, and they're waiting at the subway. If you can pull people over, that's the ultimate test. You channel into them, so people feel they're getting more. I've had to tap into giving more, and that comes through in my shows," he said.
Consistently playing in the rock club scene whipped him into shape, as well.
"I love Philly, but in New York, it's different. You have to catch lightning in a bottle to perform night after night. If you're just another band going through the changes, you'll get killed, destroyed in the venues," he said.
Taylor's eclectic sound is embodied through the musicians and producers he has recorded with. Crews from Rick Springfield, Patti LaBelle, Alanis Morisette, Toni Braxton, Lady Gaga, and Santana recordings have put together his music, and demonstrates his versatility.
Generally, Taylor plays solo or with a full band. So his two-man guitar act, set with Kevin Hunter, in Manayunk is unique.
No matter the outcome, Taylor has one operating goal for his show.
"I'm going to perform like it's the last gig in my life. The emotional ride you'll get from it—I make it an intense experience," he said.
Taylor will open for Bruce Torres April 7. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. $7. For more information, visit the Grape Room's website.