Brothers of folk duo Hudson Taylor embark on US tour after nearly a decade of performing music
February 1, 2019
Ten years ago, brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor were busking in the streets of Dublin, Ireland, playing music for passersby to earn a little pocket money as teenagers. After countless performances and going on tour to support other musicians, the Irish folk duo is now headlining a U.S. tour with a stop in Boston along the way.
After bringing a guitar on a family holiday and singing for friends and family, Harry and Alfie were encouraged to create a YouTube channel to share their music online. Every weekend, they uploaded videos of themselves singing covers of popular songs. When they were 16 and 17, their mother suggested that they should play on the street and begin earning their own money.
While busking, they played a mixture of popular songs from the past 50 years, including tracks by Simon and Garfunkel, Amy Winehouse, the Beach Boys and The Killers. Playing hit songs from different eras taught them valuable lessons once they began to craft their own music. They learned what makes a song catchy and loveable, which showed them why some of their original songs were not getting as much money or attention.
“The different things, lyrical themes and things like that, they can all have an effect on your songwriting, which I think is very positive,” said Harry. “It’s impossible to be fully fully original nowadays. You’re always gonna be lending something from someone.”
The young duo started receiving record deal offers from London in response to their successful YouTube channel. Harry and Alfie had to quickly educate themselves about the business side of the music industry before eventually signing a contract. Since then, Hudson Taylor has since released two studio albums and numerous EPs and singles.
Hudson Taylor’s latest release, a mini-album called “Bear Creek to Dame Street” came out last year. “Bear Creek” refers to a recording studio in Seattle, Washington where half the album was recorded. “Dame Street” refers to the location of the Olympia Theatre, one of the group’s favorite venues in Ireland, where the second half of the album was recorded live.
Although their newer tunes include more of a rockier sound and some electric elements, over the years, Hudson Taylor has kept their music style consistent. Their down-to-earth, acoustic vibe is apparent in all of their songs.
“Overall, the basic barebones minimum parts that are there; me and Alfie’s vocals and some guitars,” said Harry.
At their concerts, Hudson Taylor tries to include a mix of songs where some are energetic and upbeat, and others are soft and reflective. Their live shows give audience members a slightly stripped back look at the group, as they showcase their vocals and blend harmonies.
“We like to do things with no microphone where we just really, really bring it down to a super acoustic level,” said Harry. “We can make a very small group of people quite large just by having everybody singing.”
Hudson Taylor has played in the United States while supporting artists like Hozier on previous tours, and performed some headline shows while they were in the area. This upcoming tour, however, is their first time playing in America where all the shows are their own.
Harry said that this trip to the United States will include a lot of things the brothers are not used to coming from Ireland, like long drives across the country, because the longest drive that can be completed in Ireland is only a few hours. The group is looking forward to visiting new cities as well as returning to some of their favorite ones.
See Hudson Taylor perform in Boston on Feb. 9 at the City Winery in the Haymarket Lounge.