Nolan Taylor Delivers Tour Van Performance Of Unreleased “Hold Me”

Nolan Taylor Country Music

Nolan Taylor’s got it.

Whatever “it” is, I’m not exactly sure. Whether it’s the raw emotion in his unassumingly powerful vocals, the heartfelt lyricism in each of his songs, the endearingly sorrowful disposition in his music, or some other intangible factor, there is a certain likability with Taylor, beyond his obvious talent, that has contributed to his well deserved rise in popularity.

With millions of streams, a rapidly growing fan base, and a major label Atlantic Records deal, despite a relatively small catalog of officially released music thus far, Taylor’s music packs a punch that has resonated with fans everywhere, and as a result, he has experienced several moments of semi-virality over the past couple of years..

Most notably, perhaps, was his song brutally honest song “68” catching fire on RadioWV back in December 2022, and racking up several million views on YouTube since. But years before that, a curly-haired Nolan Taylor submitted an entry into GemsOnVHS’ “Gems in the Rough” songwriting contest, and that video quickly made its way around YouTube, sending a ripple through the greater Appalachian country music scene.

Officially released to streaming platforms in tandem with RadioWV earlier this year, “500” is a tune Taylor wrote about a long distance relationship, and it made quite the impression back in 2020 for the songwriting contest.

Despite the positive response Taylor received on the video, it was ultimately disqualified from the “Gems in the Rough” contest due to a technicality, but in a somewhat full-circle moment for the Cincinnati, OH troubadour, Taylor recently partnered up with GemsOnVHS for a video of Taylor’s unreleased new track “Hold Me.”

With Clarke Sexton featured on the tune in the video, lending his beautiful vocals on a verse and harmonies throughout, this one is something special, and between Taylor’s songwriting and vocals, and the undeniable emotion of it all, makes this is another powerful contribution to his impressive catalog. I hope he releases this one soon, because it sure deserves to be heard.

For some more context on Taylor’s songwriting contest snafu, and how this recording of “Hold Me” ft. Clarke Sexton came about, see the description of the video posted to YouTube by GemsOnVHS below, and give the unreleased masterpiece a listen for yourself.

“I’ve known about Nolan Taylor a long time now. We actually met once, before Jon Grace’s much celebrated Laurel Cove festival in Bell County, Kentucky. Nolan was probably still a mailman back then, and our mutual friend Aaron Cordell (amazing drummer and former roommate of Hayden Karchmer lol) brought him along for a hike. We all talked music and played tunes and had a good ole time.

Sometime after that, Nolan entered the “Gems in the Rough” contest we were holding. He produced easily one of the best recordings ever for it, which subsequently went hella viral, his song “500 Days.” Unfortunately, he didn’t follow the rules (no cuts in the video, so we know you made it for the contest lol), and we had to disqualify his entry. Luckily that didn’t stop him from getting a record deal with Atlantic, and gaining thousands of fans.

I jumped in the tour van with him for a leg of shows in Tennessee/Georgia recently. We recorded this in the van one day, just jamming and having fun on the way to Knoxville. Nolan is seriously salt of the Earth, a normal guy with a killer voice and a humble story. I can’t stand rock stars, and despite sounding like one, Nolan is not that guy.”

Check it out:

What a song. If you were previously unfamiliar with Nolan Taylor’s music, but like what you heard, here are a few more of the many must listens in his growing catalog.


“Cincinnati Heart”

And his pal Clarke Sexton, featured on “Hold Me” has some pretty amazing music himself. He recently released a single called “The Light” that needs to be on everyone’s radar.

“The Light”

Nolan Taylor has quite a few tour dates already announced for this rest of the year, and I highly recommend checking one out if he’s coming to a city near you. He’s not going to be playing venues this small for very long…

4/9 – The 40 Watt – Athens, GA^

4/10 – Open Chord – Knoxville, TN^

4/11 – Zanzabar – Louisville, KY^

4/12 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN^

4/18 – Saturn – Birmingham, AL*

4/19 – Tulips – Fort Worth, TX

4/20 – Two Step Inn 2024 – Georgetown, TX+

4/21 – 7 Oaks Events Garden – Labelle, TX

4/30 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA*

5/2 – Record Bar – Kansas City, MO^

5/3 – Rose Music Hall – Columbia, MO^

5/4 – Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO*

5/8 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA^

5/9 – Amos’ Southend – Charlotte, NC^

5/10 – Paramount Arts Center – Ashland, KY

5/11 – Hi-Fi Annex – Indianapolis, IN

5/16 – Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall – Pittsburgh, PA!

5/17 – The Bluestone – Columbus, OH!

5/31 – Elevation 27 – Virginia Beach, VA%

6/1 – Motorco Music Hall – Durham, NC%

6/2 – Railbird Music Festival – Lexington, KY+

6/27 – XBK Live – Des Moines, IA%

6/28 – Summerfest 2024 – Milwaukee, WI+

6/29 – Reverb Lounge – Omaha, NE%

7/20 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT=

7/21 – Fairwell Fest – Redmond, OR+

7/22 – Spokane Live – Airway Heights, WA=

7/25 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR=

7/26 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA=

7/27 – Abayance Bay Marina – Rexford, MT=

9/5 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN=

10/5 – RedWest Fest 2024 – Salt lake City, UT+

^w/ support from Zandi Holup

* supporting Sam Barber

+festival date

!w/ support from Logan Halstead

%w/ support from William Matheny

= supporting The Red Clay Strays

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock