"Things Have Changed" has not yet been released. Be the first to review it!
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In the mean time, here are some past Interviews:

Houston Chronicle   Midland Reporter-Telegram     Kingwood Observer     LaGrange Observer     

 By Jimmy Patterson - Midland Reporter Telegram

T.C. Smythe has never lost her love for Midland, Texas. She still fondly recalls growing up here. When she lived here she said "You could've walked an alleyway from one side of town to another barefooted and never picked up a sliver of glass." She is genuinely enchanted with Midland. So much so that she wrote a song about us and this place we call home. Smythe, a Houston-based folk singer, wrote "My Real Hometown" and posted it on YouTube. It has had over 12,000 views as people continue to pick up on her obvious talent as a singer-songwriter as well as her touching tribute to the Tall City.

Smythe and musical partner Gary Taylor will play Midland's Museum of the Southwest's Summer Lawn Concert Series at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 8. They will likely be well received.

And to listen to T.C., she's as excited about coming home as Dolly Parton returning to Pigeon Forge.

"The streets seemed so wide when I was a kid," Smythe said. "So wide and so slow. The streets were our playground. We only had each other for fun and there wasn't much for us to do. At that age we didn't have cars yet. Our amusement was collecting horny toads in the vacant lots and scaring our mothers with them. Those memories ... such great pictures come back to me. When I wrote "My Real Hometown," I just had those pictures floating around in my head; I always heard people say 'Midland's a good place to be from,' and finally I got sick of hearing it after the 5,000th time.

"It doesn't matter who you are, you don't have permission to hate my town unless you're from here."

Smythe's YouTube video grabbed the attention of many who no doubt have similar feelings, judging not only by the number of clicks but also by the comments that have been left.

Smythe, whose mother "lived on the Lee side of town" and whose grandmother lived near Midland High, attended both Midland and Lee before moving to Houston and finishing high school. Before devoting her fulltime talents to singing and songwriting, T.C. worked as a Competitive Intelligence Analyst for Amoco, where she met Taylor, who was also a musician.

Smythe says her husband, Kenton Smythe has been fully supportive of her change of career.

"He knows I have a passion for it. As long as I exhibit the ability to make money and pay half the bills," she joked.

Smythe and Taylor will no doubt play "My Real Hometown" during their gig at the Lawn Series, and will likely also play a second song she has written about the area's fierce wind, as maybe even "You Can't Be a Wimp and Live in Texas." Smythe has also said she would like to rework Pete Seeger's famed folk song "Erie Canal" and have it be about the flooding she remembers on Wadley.

Smythe and Taylor play internationally, were nominated this year for four Texas Music Awards and shared the stage at the TMA ceremony with Michael Martin Murphy.


By Kristin Gamboa of the Kingwood Observer

Observer: What are your zodiac signs?

Gary: Aries, with a bad moon rising!

TC: I was born on Bob Dylan's birthday, so that makes me a Gemini.

Observer: What made you begin to play music?

Gary: I learned to play the ukulele when I was about seven and my brother and I sang folk songs and skiffle music as the "Taylor Brothers". My folks brought me a guitar from Curacao when I was 12 and I was "all folk, all the time". I really got rolling playing Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot songs during my high school summers while working on the iron ore freighters on the Great Lakes - there are a lot of free hours sailing from Chicago to Thunder Bay.

TC: When I was a kid, I learned to play piano, but we moved around quite a bit, and had to let go of the old upright. I didn't do anything more than sing in school choir and barbershop quartets. Later in life, the sheer boredom of being an oilfield wife drove me to severe bouts of introspection and navel-gazing, so shortly after I returned to the U.S., I bought myself a gee-tar!

.Observer:. What are your hobbies/interests?

Gary: Most of my interests revolve around music, but I also consider cooking and Surrealistic art other hobbies.

TC: Since taking up music full-time, my hobbies and interests are almost exclusively centered around music. If I'm not playing, I'm probably experimenting with some new piece of sound equipment, or trying to find better ways to transport it.

Observer: Do you remember your first song?

Gary: My first songs were written to "commemorate" week long geologic field trips so they had a shelf life of one performance, but that was about what they were worth. The first song beyond those songs was "You Should Have Been Here Yesterday", a tongue in cheek song about windsurfing. By contrast, TC's first song won a guitar in a song writing contest - now that' s a confidence builder, eh?

TC: My first original composition was a song called "The Ballad of Wanda Vista". You can hear it at http://www.tcsmythe.com in the free music section. I finished it in January 1998 for the Fort Bend Songwriters Association critique session. It's a rags-to-riches ballad about my maternal grandmother. She had a great story.

Observer: How would you describe your musical style?

Gary: My style is a blend of folk, bluegrass, old country, old rock and roll, and standards from the 20's-40's. My voice sounds a lot better if TC is singing harmony behind it.

TC: My vocals have a pretty clean finish. Because of that, some folks say I sound like Allison Krauss - others think I'm closer to Judy Collins, but I prefer to think of myself as a good vocal 'blender'. I love harmony so much, I wish I were triplets! On the guitar, I have a fingerpicking pattern that really sound nice behind Gary's more percussive style. He's a pretty good flatpicker, too. Genre-wise, I call us 'eclectic', because we write so many different kinds of music, but it's also safe to call us 'acoustic'.

Observer: What experience do you have?

Gary: I've morphed every decade: I was in a Peter Paul and Mary trio in the 60's, a folk duo with my brother playing coffee houses in Ohio in the 70 's, playing solo in the 80's, in a newgrass band in the 90's (where I seriously started writing), bringing us to Smythe and Taylor over the last few years. And I might add, I've made many tens of dollars with my music over those 40 years.

TC: Well, I have 8 years on the guitar now, and a lifetime of singing harmony. Lead vocals started in 1997, and I've been writing since 1998 and recording since 1999. Between us, we have 4 albums published with White Cat Records

Observer: How did you meet each other?

Gary: The late Houston songwriter, Joe Ed Davis, asked TC to sub for him at a Saturday night gig at Diedrich's Coffee House on Montrose, so she suggested that we try to put a couple of sets together. We found that we had quite a few songs in common and a strong interest in vocal harmony and songwriting.

Observer: Any events coming up soon that we should know about?

TC: We'll be the featured musical act on PBS Channel 8's "The Connection" on March 2nd (8:00pm) and the 7th (5:00pm). It's a locally-oriented variety show about art, news and music in Houston. On March 18th and 25th, we'll be playing live on KPFT 90.1FM's HAAM Radio Show. It airs at 3:00pm both days. The rest of our dates can be found on the calendar page at www.smytheandtaylor.com.

Observer: What advice do you have for aspiring songwriters and musicians?

TC: I'll speak to the career side of this and let Gary tackle the craft of songwriting. The answer depends on what your resources are like. If you're trying to make a living at it, I would learn to do more than just sing and play. Learn to design webpages, duplicate CDs, or intern at a recording studio. I say this because even if your band is outstanding, the Houston nightclub market has an unwritten law that 'musicians-shall-not-be paid-more-than-$100-each'. If you're only playing Fridays and Saturdays, that makes it extremely hard to pay the rent! Breaking that barrier is extremely difficult, especially if competing bands are charging less just to get the stage time. However, you can make good contacts by joining your local songwriters association, or joining groups like HAAM (Houston Association of Acoustic Musicians) For more on this, I have posted a series of articles on the music business in the Knowledge Section of www.soundchick.net.

Gary: As far as learning the craft of songwriting, there are many good avenues. Visit the Houston Fort Bend Songwriters - www.hfbsw.org - TC and I are both members - it's a great place to trade ideas with those who share your interest. Also check out Nashville Songwriters Association - www.nashvillesongwriters.com and American Songwriter Magazine - www.americansongwriter.com. The key is just to get into the habit of writing and develop your own songwriting voice and style.

Observer: Which song personifies your unique musical style?

Gary: People would recognize me as a "Dylan/James Taylor/Paul Simon meets the Austin Lounge Lizards" kind of guy. I think my writing style most resembles Steve Goodman and Tom Paxton.

TC: I don't have a straightforward answer to this. I'd have to list what's in my CD collection to show you what kinds of things influenced my growth. But I can say that my current favorite artist is David Wilcox. Or Cheryl Crow. Or Gary.

Observer: Where is your favorite place to play?

Gary: Any campfire or anybody's living room where there are a few people listening.

TC: For playing cover music, we get a good response at Grappino's Italian restaurant. For originals, I like original music venues like the Hops House or McGonigels Mucky Duck. My favorite is the house concert circuit. I wish more folks would learn about them - they are so easy to pull off, and everyone gets a better show.

 By SARA CRESS - Houston Chronicle

When TC Smythe quit her job in the oil industry to pursue music in 1999, she promised her husband the music would pay for itself. The only way for that to happen was for her to take every aspect seriously. When her performing partner, Gary Taylor, who left his job in the oil industry around the same time, calls their relationship a "business partnership," he's not kidding.

 "Once a year we have a long-term planning session," Taylor says. "We review what we did the previous year and what we want to do this year. I was a research scientist, so it's part of my nature".

"This wouldn't be possible for me without him," Smythe says. "There's nobody else who has the same combination of talent and business acumen."

Before you decide this is a rather cold way to view a music career, let the duo persuade you otherwise with its passion for music, performing and community. Smythe and Taylor swear they don't tire of playing, even though they average around 15 gigs per month ("I don't think we've been doing it long enough to be jaded after five years," Smythe says). Taylor is the president of the Houston Fort Bend Songwriters Association, while Smythe is on the board at KPFT and hosts an open mic night every Sunday at JP Hops House.

Taylor has been playing guitar for much of his life, learning as a teenager while aboard the iron-ore freighters that he worked on during summers in Ohio. He played Gordon Lightfoot songs and credits the songwriter as a key influence.

"I started out writing topical songs for specific events. I used to go on geologic field trips and write a song at the end of it, making fun of what happened. That was a good teacher as far as how to put things together."

Smythe has a different story. She didn't get her first guitar until nine years ago.

"Then I found the HFBSA and started going to their meetings. They taught me how to perform, to sing, to write songs. They have an open mic night that I went to religiously. They have a wonderful group of people who review your new songs. I listened to them for months before I wrote a song. It had six verses, so I boiled it down to the three best, entered it into their songwriting contest, and it won first prize in the folk category."

Remember, that was the first song she'd ever written.

"It was a fluke! I thought I'd never write another one. But then one of my mentors, Dale Dickerson, passed away. In my grief of losing him I was moved to write another song. The first six songs I wrote were about dead people. I am the dirge queen of west Houston."

Together, Smythe and Taylor have released two albums, the latest, Maybe It's Because I'm Missing You, came out earlier this year. It's a traditional collection of feel-good folk with songs about land, love, life and Smythe's defense of driving an SUV.

I'm Taking It With Me When I Go, about hauling a trailer full of stuff and beer and a blonde up to heaven, showcases Taylor's wry sense of humor, which he injects into many of his songs. My Real Hometown is a standout Smythe song featuring her pretty warble. Hit the Road Again won Taylor first prize in this year's Woody Guthrie songwriting contest. The prize included the chance for the pair to perform at the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, Okla.

 "That was cool for me because I played folk songs in the '60s and Woody Guthrie was folk's patron saint at that time.

Being recognized in that festival brought it full circle," Taylor says.

Though the duo rarely writes songs together whole hog, they subscribe to a brand of collaboration to which they prescribe. "One of us will write 90

percent of the song and the other will finish it off," Taylor says. "He tempers all of my emotional flotsam and jetsam," Smythe says.

The two big goals for 2006 will be opening for a major name (Smythe rattles off Dar Williams, David Wilcox and Erica Luckett) and touring Europe. Smythe also pushes house concerts, which are concerts a fan's house or backyard, as the wave of the future for acoustic acts.

"They will be the saving grace of live music," Smythe says. "It's the best experience for the listener, it's best for the musicians and they are so easy to put on. They enable people like us to make a living. It's hard to make a living doing this, even when you work like hell, it's hard."


Houston Chronicle - "HandStamp Asks" by Sara Cress and Joey Guerra

August 30, 2005
1. Why should anyone care about the music you make?

"We have a good time every time we play and we hope that rubs off on the audience. We have five CDs between us of original and obscure music ranging from folk, blues, bluegrass, country to jazz, so there is something for everyone. The best compliment that we hear is, 'Hey, I heard you guys last week and I've been humming that song all week and it's driving me crazy!'"

2. How attractive is your band?

"The most attractive part of our group is Gary's Martin D-18 -- cracks and all -- and TC's Gibson CL-40 Songbird. But seriously, we're a mighty good-looking pair of songwriters!"

3. How much do you rock, percentage-wise?

"It depends on the audience. Last New Year's Eve we rocked all night, as people were in a partying and dancing mood. Some nights are more mellow. Left to our own devices, we tend toward thoughtful and funny original songs with good guitar licks and 3-D harmonies."

4. What is the best thing to ever happen at one of your shows?

"That's a tough one -- there's a lot of entries in that contest. One night after a show, this drunk guy paid us $100 to sing one song Mariachi-style outside of his girlfriend's apartment window at three a.m. He was trying to win her back after messing up somehow. It was a surreal moment. You could almost hear her thinking, 'Dude, when these songsters leave, I'm going to kill you!' And we haven't seen him since!

During our recent Colorado tour, we were packing after a show at Zeke's Cafe (in the mining town of Victor) and a woman was walking a six-day-old burro on a dog leash up the middle of the street. Just then, a guy pulled up in a beat-up pickup to tell us his story about how a bear had come in through the dog door of his trailer and mauled him. He even had the scars on his head and neck to back it up. There's a song in that somewhere!"

5. Next five songs on your iPod or what disc is in your car/home right now?

"David Wilcox, James Taylor, Old and In The Way, Gordon Lightfoot, Joel Rafael."


Git’cher Coffee Sugared Up! (LaGrange Observer)

“Look, Gary – we can get outta here!”, says TC Smythe, upon decoding the maze of tiny lines and furrows on her outdated and tattered map of Greater Houston. “West looks pretty good to me”, laughs Gary Taylor, half of the acoustic duo, Smythe and Taylor.

These two are on a quest to continue to introduce their comical and poignant brand of songwriting to audiences outside their backyard of Houston, Texas.

“Organizing a real tour was just a dream in the beginning”, says TC, “but now that we have a solid fan base in Houston, and a solid collection of songs on the radio, we decided it was time to start competing on a higher level. That means touring”.

The Smythe and Taylor tour begins in Fayette County, proceeds to Kerrville, San Fransisco, Memphis, and Nashville. After that, the duo will set their sights on Colorado, Gary's home state of Ohio, TC's hometown of Midland, Texas and Gary’s old stomping ground of Warsaw and Krakow, Poland.

Gary turns to reveal the back of his black t-shirt which is covered with text. “Our first tour only exists on the back of this shirt with the names of all the venues we’ve ever played. There were so many, it’s hard to read.”

On Saturday, May 28th 8:00pm, ‘S&T’ will appear at The Bugle Boy Espresso Bar, 1051 Jefferson. They plan to offer a combination of traditional and contemporary music, including original compositions in country, folk, rock, blues and bluegrass. Their symbiotic harmonies, ‘funnier-than-all-get-out’ lyrics and 3D guitar playing are the hallmarks, all of which can be found in Gary’s radio hit single, “You Can’t Be A Wimp And Live In Texas”.

Their new CD, “Maybe it’s Because I’m Missing You” was released in March to critical acclaim, and the group was instantly overwhelmed with 16 dates in April and an appearance on the Bugle Boy’s ‘Peace From The Porch’ stage at the Houston International Festival.

Their first appearance in LaGrange was during the BP MS150 bike ride last year. The organizers enjoyed them so much, that they were featured again last month under the BP Big Top, and have already been booked for next year.

With 5 CDs between them in less than 5 years, this duo gathers no moss. Both have won multiple “Songwriter of the Year” awards, and enjoy the company of the finest musicians in the state on their projects. This duo is hitting the trail, Saturday, in LaGrange.