Tom Taylor, 31, strays from the path in a good way.
The Sequim musician released his newest Christian album, “Solid Rock,” on March 7 featuring a combination of blues, jazz and rock. His two previous albums are acoustic. Taylor said the album title comes from his “solid” faith in Jesus Christ, using a rock sound and the 1834 hymn “The Solid Rock.”
His original intent was not to release “Solid Rock” so soon after the release of “New Arrival,” his second album, but Taylor realized he had enough songs for another one.
One of his influences in the album was The Beatles’ medley on the second side of their “Abbey Road” LP. Taylor pieced together unused and new material for eight tracks.
“It came out fairly well. I mean compared to The Beatles,” he said jokingly.
Taylor said lyrically, the medley deals honestly with struggles in his Christian life.
In the medley, a few not-able songs come from his personal experiences: “My Calling” is about using the talent and ministry God has given him and “I Stand Saved” refers to his family’s survival of a major car accident in 2008. He ends the medley with a song left off his first “self-titled” album, “A Fire in My Heart.”
A lot of Taylor’s personal experiences turn into or influence songs.
A few years ago, he and his wife, Becky, and his then 3-year-old son Liam moved to Tennessee so Taylor could pursue his music career further. While driving to Liam’s 3rd birthday party, their van was T-boned and flipped over. Becky was briefly hospitalized but everyone came out of the incident fine.
Taylor said the experience made the couple evaluate where they wanted to be with their lives. They shortly moved back to Sequim to be closer to family.
The young couple also had difficulties with the births of Liam and their other son Raleigh, 16 months old. During the second pregnancy, Taylor said his mother-in-law gave them Bible verses that helped them through the experience.
“What’s amazing is that she is OK,” Taylor said about Becky.
He attributes his family’s health and ministry to their faith.
“(Jesus) Christ is my very hope for eternal life and that my faith and hope in him has helped me through my life,” he said.
Pursuing a musical career and ministry wasn’t in Taylor’s mind originally, despite playing guitar for more than 15 years at the time. It wasn’t until 2005, when Becky became pregnant, that he began writing acoustic songs on guitar.
“I had instrumental pieces but for some reason couldn’t get the lyrics out,” he said.
“Becky had a lot of ideas and co-wrote lyrics with me early on.”
His first completed song was “Forgive Them.”
“It was exciting to finally to be able to do,” he said.
Taylor’s father was a hobbyist musician whom he asked regularly to teach him songs. His dad said it was not something he could teach because it’s something you just have to do — it’s inspired. Taylor said he agrees to a certain extent.
“Those are the best songs — inspired — you can’t force them.”
Taylor grew up in San Diego, Calif., and said he became a Christian at age 9.
“I wasn’t raised in church. My dad was kind of reserved,” Taylor said. “I heard preaching through the radio. I didn’t become a regular churchgoer until after I was married in 2001.”
He calls his albums and performances a ministry he’s called to do.
“I’m a shy, reserved person,” Taylor said. “It’s a great outlet to share.” He said people are quite receptive in concert.
“I’ve had people come up to me in tears saying how the songs have touched their hearts,” Taylor said. “Online I get great comments, too.”
So far he has toured Oregon, Washington and a large portion of the East Coast.
His upcoming concert on April 9 is his second in support of “Solid Rock.”
As for his music career as a whole, Taylor said, he’ll “pursue it as far as it goes.”
Taylor’s albums are available on most major online music retailers, at The Good Book
in Sequim, at concerts and at www.tomtaylorministries.net.