The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 8, 2013

Home-grown hits

Taylor Made is a good fit in the national music scene

BECKLEY — “We’re just three kids from Grafton, West Virginia, who started out singing on a back porch with Mom and a guitar.”

Although the country band Taylor Made has recently received MusicRow Magazine’s Independent Artist of the Year Award, band member Wendy Williams said she and her brothers, Greg and Brian Duckworth, are staying grounded.

“I knew we had been working hard. You’re always trying to get radio play, but when we were on the stage with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert, just to be amongst such artists is humbling and flattering. We were standing there kind of starstruck.”

These Taylor County natives definitely deserve the recognition they are receiving though, as their songs keep climbing the charts and hitting the radio stations.

MusicRow Magazine’s Independent Artist of the Year Award is based on the amount of radio spins an artist receives throughout the year, and Taylor Made came out on top.

Williams explained that there are only a few major record labels remaining in Nashville, so the “Independent” category includes labels like Stoney Creek, with Thompson Square, and Curb, with LeAnn Rimes and Wynonna Judd.

Taylor Made brought home the win for Little General Records, a label that branched from the Little General convenience stores.

“We want to keep winning,” Williams said with a smile. “It won’t be our last.”

She said being on stage in Nashville at Country Radio Seminar Week to accept their award was quite an experience.

“Being on that stage, that’s when the reality of it comes to you. To be standing on that stage with that kind of company, it’s just a ‘wow’ feeling.”

Although their hard work and dedication are starting to pay off, the Taylor Made trio isn’t letting it go to their heads.

“That’s the ultimate goal — You don’t forget where you come from. West Virginia fans are more like friends than fans. We try to meet everyone and get to know more about them. That’s the stuff that keeps you grounded. A lot of people in this state feel exactly like that.”

She said God is No. 1 to them, and their family is a very close second.

“The whole reason I get up every morning and I go to work, or I write a song, or I sing a song is so that I can give my kids things that they want. It doesn’t have to be something I didn’t have, it’s to give your kids what they want and to let them lead a great life.”

Williams said her family has always been really close and since she and her two brothers formed Taylor Made, their trio has become even more tightly knit.

“I think being on the road together and doing things together, it really does strengthen the trio’s relationship with each other, because we’ve got each other’s backs, not matter what.”

She said her entire family sings, so when they travel home for Christmas, the whole family is singing along with them — but not without some light-hearted teasing from their older sister.

“Our older sister is like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not as good as Taylor Made,’” Williams said with a laugh. “When we’re there, we’re not Taylor Made. We’re just the Duckworth kids singing around the Christmas tree or on the back porch with Mom.”

As for traveling for tours and recording, Williams said they just make it work.

“Without the support of our families and our employers, we just couldn’t do it. You have to have people backing you and supporting you.”

They are currently working on another radio tour and booking events for their spring through fall tour. They recently finished recording the vocals for their current album and Williams said it will hopefully be out within the next month or so.

She said they really love that this album features several songs that they have written or have co-written.

“It touches people. I write a song or part of a song because it’s something I have actually felt. To know you hear that song and it puts a tear in your eye because you’ve been there, that’s exactly why I do that. We keep saying this, but it’s true: We’re real people singing real songs about real situations.”

She said they are all adults with full-time jobs, and they are all parents and spouses.

“We have a lot of experience. When we sing about something, it’s because we truly lived it, or we’ve loved someone who has lived it. We’re not up there just blowing sunshine and smoke.”

To stay up to date on all their awards, tour dates and new music, visit

Williams added, “We want to say thank you. We didn’t win this alone. We’ve had a lot of support, whether it’s from the radio or newspaper or our families. There’s just so much support.”

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • rock VIdeo: Experts dislodge precariously perched remnant of a rockslide

    A highly-trained crew in climbing gear hoisted chainsaws and other specialized equipment high above the road in Hinton Tuesday morning to remove a boulder that hung precariously above a busy intersection.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preliminary hearing set for Bluefield ‘warlock’

    A Bluefield man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him remains incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges.

    April 23, 2014

  • New River Gorge fire still burning

    Firefighters are still trying to control the fire at Fern Creek along the Endless Wall area of the New River Gorge, according to a press release from the National Park Service on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • fff Experts help growing entrepreneurs

    John Yates wants to grow potatoes to supply Monroe County schools.
    He’s got a business plan, he can get the equipment and 3 tons of seed potatoes. The land for lease in Sweet Springs is farther from his Ballard home than he’d like, but with a little help, the active duty Army staff sergeant and his sister Rebecca are ready to begin.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rahall calls meeting on W.Va.’s drug problem

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall says he has arranged a roundtable discussion with federal and West Virginia officials on the state’s prescription drug abuse and trafficking problems.

    April 23, 2014

  • Arch Coal reports wider 1Q loss

    Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss widened as weaker prices and demand cut into its margins, prompting the mine operator to shave its outlook for shipments of coal used in making steel.

    April 22, 2014

  • Former Concord University police officer sentenced on sex charge involving juvenile

    A former Concord University police officer was sentenced Tuesday to a term of 10 to 20 years in prison on a single count of sexual abuse by a parent or custodian.

    April 22, 2014

  • Bly6bH3CYAA6Xdl.jpg-large.jpeg UPDATE: Ill. crew helps fight New River Gorge fire

    An Illinois-based firefighting crew has joined the effort to contain a wildfire in the New River Gorge National River.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thunderstorms, showers heading our way

    Today’s forecast lurches us a little further toward real spring weather, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible after 2 p.m.

    April 22, 2014

  • State spring gobbler season to open next week

    The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says spring gobbler season will open Monday and run through May 24.

    April 22, 2014