Jackson Taylor & The Sinners “Live At Billy Bob’s Texas”

April 12, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  14 Comments


Jackson Taylor & The Sinners are the best hard-driving country band you’ve never heard of. How do I know you’ve never heard of them? Because nobody has, except for the people that have, and as those people can attest, nobody has heard of them. Hell even when despite all their unknown-ness, they were somehow nominated for one of those Dale Watson Ameripolitan Awards a while back, at the awards banquet in February the presenter called them “JASON Taylor and the Sinners” when reading off the names of nominees. For the people in attendance who knew about the band, it seemed every bit appropriate. Why? Because nobody knows about them. Here they were amongst friends, and they were still unknown. “And the winner is…” the presenter then continued, and someone yelled out from the crowd, “Jason Taylor!” Unfortunately for them neither Jackson Taylor nor Jason Taylor won. But dammit, everyone in attendance that night will remember Jason Taylor from here on out, while Jackson Taylor remains sandwiched in some sort of weird no man’s land between Red Dirt, underground country, and Southern rock & roll.

It ain’t from a lack of sweat equity that Jackson Taylor & The Sinners aren’t any better known. They’ve paid their dues and then some. Maybe it’s because the uptight crowd that would usually get into their hard country sound don’t like the cussing, and the underground cusses don’t care to pay attention to anything outside of their Facebook feeds. But the jokes on them, because Jackson Taylor & The Sinners is one hell of a good time. Just ask the people who know about them.

Don’t take it that Jackson Taylor & The Sinners are like the sisters of the poor. They’ve had their days in the sun, and it certainly must be a proud achievement for them to be featured a part of the prestigious, critically-acclaimed, world-renown, and long-running album series called Live At Billy Bob’s Texas right beside names like Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe, Billy Joe Shaver, and on and on from there. Created by Rick Smith some years back and recorded at the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk” in Ft. Worth, it’s a high honor to be asked on the series even if you get up there on stage and lay an egg.

jackson-taylor-sinners-live-billy-bobsLuckily we don’t have to worry about that outcome with Jackson Taylor. They come out swinging like Joe Frasier with some of their most lethal haymakers right out of the gate like “Jack’s Drunk Again” and “Old Henry Rifle”. And when they’ve pinned you to the ropes only four songs in, they shift gears into some of their more subdued, songwriting material like “The Mirror” and “Sunset”.

Something cool to note about this set captured live in both excellent audio and full concert DVD is that it all transpired on July 27th, 2013, only a few months after the passing of the Ol’ Possum, Mr. George Jones. So despite this being very much a signature set of Sinner’s music, No Show is there in spirit and is given a healthy tip of the hat when they cover “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (capped off with some of Jackson’s alternative lyrics), as well as their song “No Show” early in the set.

Jackson Taylor is one of these guys you can’t take too seriously or you lose touch with the total enjoyment you can get from him, while at the same time he can be deceptively deep when you read between the lines, or when he performs a song like “Faulkner By Dashboard Lights”—a true and personal track from Jackson and one of the standouts from the set.

Can you really still be unknown and have your own Live At Billy Bob’s release? That wouldn’t seem right, and this 16-song disc/DVD combo that includes an interview with Jackson is probably the perfect introduction to a band for someone who isn’t scared off by the warning that Jackson isn’t shy about cussing a little and getting a little strange, or mixing some over-driven rock guitar into his country. But Jackson Taylor & The Sinners is still country no doubt with the Johnny Cash train beat behind most everything they do, and they do great justice to the weight behind the Live At Billy Bob’s stamp that marks this album’s cover.

1 3/4 of 2 guns up.

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14 Comments to “Jackson Taylor & The Sinners “Live At Billy Bob’s Texas””

  • I got to know them through an internet radio station on iTunes (can’t remember whether it was “The Badlands” or “Texas Revolution Radio”)… good band indeed!


  • This band was very popular in Manhattan, KS when I was in college a few years back. They regularly made tour stops there, and even recorded a great live album there at Longhorn’s Saloon. It always seemed odd to me that they were nearly as popular in Manhattan as the red dirt heavyweights who also played Longhorn’s (Ragweed, Boland, Randy Rogers), but they were almost invisible online, including sites that catered to red dirt country. Glad to see them getting some more attention.


    • Logistically I think they fit into the Red Dirt / Texas Country scene. I know they’re good friends with Jason Boland, etc., but they may be a little too rowdy for the mainstream of that more straight laced crowd. Sonically, they probably fit better with bands like Hellbound Glory and Whitey Morgan. But as you said, even without having a proper home, they still have a rabid following amongst the people that know about them.

      Jackson isn’t willing to compromise. He’s fiercely independent, and I don’t think wants to be tied down to anything and stand on his own two feet. You can argue that type of spirit is what got Billy Bob’s interested in featuring him.


  • I got into Jackson last year on my way home from seeing Merle. Sirius played Whiskey Drinkin Song and I was HOOKED! I dove into his back catalog on iTunes that weekend!! Great stuff! I can’t wait to get this combo (I still need Charlie Robisons too). The Sinners will be playing down in Sioux City this summer. I am looking forward to seeing them.

    Between Jackson Taylor and Dallas Moore, I enjoy both these guys and they have a similar sound….

    Great review!!!


  • My poker buddy got me hooked on Jackson Taylor and The Sinners a couple years back with their awesome cover of “Honky Tonk Heroes” and we’ve been dying to see them live ever since. Just seems like some fun guys to hang out with. I just wish they were a bit more known so they could justify a trip east of the Mississippi. Keep on doin’ what you’re doin’ JT and the Sinners. Don’t let anyone change you and you’ll always have a fan in me.


  • I’ve loved them for a couple years now, really great band that can balance fun with the deeper stuff.

    Plus Jackson still refers to Yakima, Washington as his hometown, which is not far from where I grew up. Always gotta love that!


  • Count me as part of the uptight crowd that don’t want to hear filthy language in my Country Music. It seems classless. Leave the cussing to the rappers and the anal sex rockers. Besides, it seems like he’s intentionally going overboard with it because he thinks it’s funny or to get attention or something. Boring.


    • What in the world is an anal sex rocker?


      • I dunno, the latest in kinky rocking chairs?


  • I discovered them probably three years ago, just by clicking one of their songs on Youtube. They have since become my favorite band along with his buddy Jason Boland from Jason Boland & The Stragglers. I have seen them twice, once just Jackson acoustically and the other with the full band. I just picked this CD/DVD combo up today, good stuff! I have 8 other of their albums. Thank you for giving them some publicity, and keep up the great work with the website, enjoy reading it all. I have discovered many good artists, from J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices to Whitey Morgan & The 78’s. Thanks again!


  • I got into Jackson Taylor a few years ago and since then have picked up all his albums and seen him live once in Idaho (great show)… While he can be a polarizing and outspoken character, I appreciate his music pure and simple. Keep up the good work JT and keep pumping out albums because I’ll buy them… I’m a big fan of the “Greatest Honky Tonk Band in the F**in’ Universe!”


  • One heckuva live band saw them open for BJS back in 2007 and was blown away they bring it with both barrells every night. Jackson and the boys deserve a much higher rung on the music totem pole !


  • I have been excited since I learned this was coming out, and I plan to pick it up ASAP.

    These guys, along with some other choice artists, are what authentic country music is all about.


  • Being born in the 60s, gave me 3 decades of the best country music stars to ever hit a stage , and now we have Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, that is among the elite stars of yester-year. Theres not another group , that can get the crowd going , like these guys can and every performance is better than the last , My absolute favorite band in this decade . So glad that thanks to guys like these ,country music will live on for decades to come


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