Taylor Hicks stopped by The Bobby Bones Show today (February 20) to answer some uncomfortable questions from listeners and tell us how he learned to play harmonica. Plus, we find out what he’s been doing since winning American Idol in 2006.
In May of 2006, Hicks won season five of American Idol. Known for his soulful southern voice, he released some music but then took a break. He’s now been waiting ten years for something cool and organic to happen when releasing his new music. He didn’t want to just randomly put it out, he said he’s been waiting on “a beautiful moment in time to.” That moment came right around Christmas time when he woke up one morning to a bunch of text messages of people telling him they heard Bobby Bones say he is a fan of him. Then the show’s Executive Producer, Scuba Steve, emailed Hicks’ agent saying they’d love to have him on the show. That was the moment Hicks had been waiting for to debut his new music.
That new music is his song “Porch Swing,” which he played for the first time live on the show. It will be his first official single release in 14 years. He wrote the song over eight years ago with Runaway June’s Jennifer Wayne and songwriter Jason Deere. He said the song was inspired by thinking about iconic center pieces in people’s homes, places where people gather with loved ones and make memories. “Porch Swing” is the perfect soulful country song to reintroduce himself with.
Hicks is also going back on the road to tour, starting with the Armed Forces Entertainment tour in the Middle East next month, which he is very excited about. He tries to do five to six shows a month still and is hoping his new music will allow him to do more shows. Especially since he’s been working on a lot of new music. While in studio, Hicks also played “6 Strings Are Hard on Diamond Rings.” The song is about how being in a business where you have to constantly travel and be away from your loved ones can be tough on relationships.
While performing these songs in the studio, Hicks was playing his harmonica. He learned to play around 14-years-old when he bought his first one at a flea market in Alabama, which he does not recommend. He learned to play by trying to match the note from non-traditional sounds like the air conditioner hum or the sound of the truck tires on the road. He would find the key it was making and match it. He eventually started to play along to songs he heard on the radio until he fully learned.
Before leaving, Hicks took the time to answer some uncomfortable questions from listeners, like how old was he when he won American Idol and when did his hair go gray? He said he was 29 when he won, and 16 when his hair started to gray. He thinks it’s from when he was in school as a kid and people would pluck his hair out but admits his whole family has gone gray pretty early. He said he’s never thought about dying his hair, even though American Idol asked him to. He shared a story about Maroon 5’s late manager, Jordan Feldstein, who suggested he dye his hair pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness. He loved the idea and said he’s still considering it.
The final two questions he answered were: Would he sing at a wedding for $20K? He said anything is possible. And, how tall is he? 6’1.