In 1975 he met producer Ossie Hibbert and cut his first tune “Bad Man Comes And Goes”, recorded at Channel One and released on the Hound Dog label. The corresponding DJ version by Dillinger “Nuh Chuck It” helped Rod’s cut get greater attention, and he started to make a name for himself. After recording a number of tunes which remained unreleased (including an album for Linval Thompson), Rod hooked up with Greenwich Farm producer Bertram Brown’s classic Freedom Sounds label, which were releasing a succession of tough roots 45s by artists like Prince Alla, Earl Zero and Philip Fraser, all underpinned by mighty Soul Syndicate rhythms. Rod recorded 3 tunes for the label - “Ethiopian Kings”, “In The Right Way” and “Don’t Give It Up” - all recognised as bonafide roots reggae classics. Rod then released a succession of wicked 45s like “His Imperial Majesty” and “Hail HIM” for Mikey “Dread” Campbell; “No One Can Tell I About Jah” for Prince Far I and a vital album for Prince Hammer entitled “If Jah Should Come Now”. Most these classic cuts from this period are compiled onto the excellent Patate Records compilation “Ethiopian Kings 1975-80”. In 1980 Rod cut the album “Where Is Your Love Mankind” for producer Henry “Junjo” lawes, which was released on the Greensleeves label.
He continued to record throughout the 1980s, although with not the same level of success. At the beginning of the 1990s, Rod relocated to France where he still resides today. He recorded two albums for UK roots producer Robert Tribulation in the 90s - “Liberate” and “Tell Dem”, which were well-received in the UK roots scene at the time. The new millenium has seen Rod re-emerge again, appearing at live shows and continuing to record. A set for Jah Warrior comprising of brand new songs is due for release soon, and he has recorded an album with his own band, which will be released in France. It includes a fantastic re-cut of his anthem “His Imperial Majesty”. A visit to the Third Eye studio in January 2002 to voice dubplate specials led to Rod voicing “Going Home”, a heartful anthem, produced by Rootsman.
Rod Taylor’s voice still sounds as fresh and clear as it did in his youthman days - expect to hear more classics from him in the years to come. 2. Rod Taylor, originally from Lubbock, Texas, has been playing music for more than 30 years both as a solo artist and with regional bands including The Rounders and currently The Rifters. He has performed at many cowboy music and poetry gatherings around the country including: The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. His unique combination of being well versed in cowboy lore, traditional western music, as well as a working cowboy, enables him to bring an authenticity to the musical craft. Rod started his cowboy career while in High School/College at both the C Bar and Philmont Ranches. Rod left Texas Tech to pursue the cowboy life and has worked at the Vermejo Park/WS, TO, UU Bar, and Little Horn Ranches.
He currently cowboys on the Philmont Ranch which is owned and operated by the Boy Scout of America. Philmont has 300 horses, 250 cows, 100 burros and 100 buffalo on 137,000 acres. Rod is responsible for the cowherd and lends a hand with the additional livestock. Starting in 1990, with release of the album "Riding Down the Canyon", Rod has continued to work on music projects that include the 1995 album "A Philmont Collection", the self titled Rifters initial release of mostly original tunes, and his latest album entitled "Here, There or Anywhere". His artistic work also includes acting and has been in film projects that include The Missing (directed by Ron Howard), the Stephen Frears’ film Hi - Lo Country, the Angel Maker Episode of Lazarus Man, and other projects from Tish Honojosa’s CMT music video, to television commercials, to PBS Documentaries. Rod currently cowboys on the Philmont Ranch in New Mexico and lives with his wife Patty and has been active in coaching baseball and the Cimarron Maverick Club (that sponsors the Nation’s oldest open 4th of July Rodeo). Rod and Patty have two sons who also have added an artistic edge to their lives with one an accomplished sculptor and painter, and the other an accomplished musician and prolific songwriter. Read more on Last.fm.
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