If Brit Taylor is not a name that’s on your radar yet, then it’s about time you change that.
The Eastern Kentucky songstress released her debut album Real Me in 2020, and followed that up with the 10-track Sturgill Simpson produced sophomore project Kentucky Blue in February 2023. And now, just barely a week into 2024, Taylor is picking up where she left off and keeping the momentum going with her latest single “Saint Anthony.”
A clever bluegrass tune with driving string instrumentation backing Taylor’s silky vocals and clever lyricism, “Saint Anthony” tells the story of a seemingly ne’er-do-well, whiskey-drinking man who has gone missing, and his lady who affectionately and desperately prays to the patron saint of the lost and found to return him safely so she can set him straight.
Co-written by Taylor alongside her frequent collaborator Adam Wright, “Saint Anthony” is loosely based on the stories Taylor has heard over the years of her grandparents’ courtship, adding a heartfelt and personal aspect to her latest single.
“I love this song. I learned about Saint Anthony one day when I was hunting for a lost belt, and a good friend told me to ask to Saint Anthony to help me find it. So I did. I found the belt almost immediately.
A couple days later, I started singing ‘St. Anthony, won’t you help me find my keys’. Not only did I find the keys, I started thinking about what a cool song it could be, especially about a man who has run off and his wife asking St. Anthony for help.
It reminded me of my grandparents’ courtship and love story – my Pawpaw Hillard was a bit wild in his drinking days and my Mamaw was always hunting him down.”
Check out “Saint Anthony” below:
What a song. Brit Taylor continues to prove that she is an artist everyone needs to know, and with songs like this as proof, it’s just a matter of time until she takes off.
If you paid any attention to the single’s cover art, or follow Taylor Instagram, you may have noticed that “Saint Anthony” appears to be the first single of a full blown bluegrass follow up to her previous record, titled Kentucky Bluegrassed.
Set for release on February 2nd, the eight-song album will offer three original tunes and five songs reimagined from Kentucky Blue, a heartfelt tribute to her Kentucky roots and the music she grew up playing:
“I always knew that, at some point in my career, I’d make a bluegrass album. I grew up in the East Kentucky hills surrounded by incredible pickers and listening to bluegrass with my Papaw Hillard. He had an old 8-track player.
Honestly, I was probably listening to bluegrass before I ever heard any other country song. Papaw introduced me to Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs, and that’s probably when I found country music.”
Produced by her husband, Adam Chaffins, the record also featured a number of stellar blurgrass pickers, including Rob Ikes, Stewart Duncan, Dominick Leslie, Seth Taylor, and Matt Menefee. And Taylor confirms that the band absolutely crushed it.
“The band was on fire, and the first five songs went so quickly we even had time to cut three brand new songs. I absolutely love what Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson did with Kentucky Blue so it was really fun getting to revisit those songs and to reimagine them in a completely different way.”
If you haven’t listened to Taylor’s latest record Kentucky Blue, I highly suggest you do so. A spectacular display of her impressive songwriting prowess, with an eclectic yet cohesive sound that will keep you on your toes sonically, the project has been extremely well received by fans and critics and truly has something for everyone within its 10 tracks.
Here are a few of my favorites, though, to get you started.
“For a Night”
Lastly, since Taylor is originally from the same region of the Bluegrass State as fellow Appalachian songwriter Nicholas Jamerson, and his legendary duo Sundy Best, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that there is another classic song that draws from similar inspiration and geographical location.
Coincidentally named after Taylor’s hometown of Hindman, KY, Sundy Best’s song “Hindman” tells the story of Jamerson’s grandparents’ courtship back in the day, and it is one of my all time favorite songs. So if you’ve made it this far, you should give “Hindman” a listen as well, and then keep on listening to Brit Taylor and her latest release, “Saint Anthony.”