The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

January 30, 2012

Taylor Made climbing music chart; ‘Good Love’ at No. 38

BECKLEY — “We’re real people singing real songs about real subjects.” That’s how Greg Duckworth describes Taylor Made, a country band from Taylor County, W.Va., that is climbing higher and higher on the music charts.

Taylor Made’s newest single “Good Love” has reached No. 38 on MusicRow’s Country Breakout Chart.

If you’ve never heard the band, Greg says, “We are country with an edge. We have been described in Nashville as rock on the bottom and acoustic on the top.”

The band is composed of three siblings, Greg Duckworth, Brian Duckworth and Wendy Duckworth Williams, who provide the vocal talent for the band. There are eight members total, all from West Virginia, including lead guitarist, steel guitarist, keyboard player, drummer and bass player.

Greg, Brian and Wendy are three of seven siblings, and Greg says they have always sung together. They started singing in church when they weren’t even big enough to hold their microphones by themselves.

The group heard about the Colgate Country Showdown back in 2005 and decided to put an act together. They won the local competition, and radio listeners began requesting them. Greg says the band performed benefit concerts and events throughout 2005 and 2006, which led to their talent being discovered by Dale Morris Management, which manages big-name country artists such as Kenny Chesney and Alabama.

Taylor Made started out by the name of I-79, but Morris suggested a change. Greg says Morris wanted their name to be unique, and Highway 101 had already used a roadway name.

“I’m a trooper down here in Beckley, and Brian and Wendy live near Morgantown. The common bond for us to practice and rehearse was Interstate 79,” which is why Greg said the band chose the name I-79. After Morris suggested the name change, they wanted something that was still personal. “We grew up in Grafton in Taylor County, W.Va. We went with Taylor Made because that’s the county we grew up in.”

Morris then took the group to Nashville, where they recorded and released their debut single “Heavy Duty Beauty,” which went to No. 51 on MusicRow. Their next single was “Quiet Kind of Crazy,” and their most recent release is “Good Love,” which shows even higher chart-climbing potential.

Last year the band performed in Mississippi, Alabama, Las Vegas and Nashville on radio tours.

On Feb. 13, the band will travel to Nashville to do a showcase performance for some of the major booking agencies, and in the following week, they will perform for the Country Radio Seminar.

The upcoming summer agenda is already filling up, and Greg says the band is excited and looking forward to a good summer with a song on the charts.

“We all have life experience, and we’re all married with children. That alone brings a lot of experience, but we like to think we’re real people, singing real songs about real subjects. We’re not singing songs that someone else lived. We’ve lived the stuff we’re singing; they’re heartfelt and personal experiences to us. When we sing about being a country boy or being from Appalachia, we mean it.”

Greg says the response from homegrown fans has been incredible. “You can’t beat southern West Virginia when it comes to support.”

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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