Jonny Taylor does not look like your typical country singer.
In fact, the Western Australian grew up a fan of grunge music, listening to Pearl Jam in the 1990s.
But after his mother-in-law entered one his songs in the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition a few years ago, and he got to meet country stalwart James Blundell, his music career has seen him firmly entrenched in the country genre.
“It scared me at first,” the former rocker admitted about his initial dalliance with country music.
There is something really nice about the story telling in country music. I steer clear of the stereotyping.Jonny Taylor
“Even when my folks saw me, they were confused.”
But country music has become Taylor’s passion, as he labels his style of country as ‘gruntry’, in a nod to his grunge roots.
“There is something really nice about the story telling in country music,” Taylor said. “I steer clear of the stereotyping.”
For seven years he has been performing professionally, receiving national attention in 2012 when he appeared on Australia’s Got Talent.
He has also been a grand finalist at Toyota Star Maker, the Tamworth Country Music Festival competition which launched Keith Urban’s career.
But of all the competitions on the talent quest circuit, it was the 2010 Telstra Road to Tamworth that introduced Taylor to country music. It was there where he met Blundell, who was a judge and spokesman for the competition, as well as a mentor for the young artists entering.
Taylor said he Blundell became a big influence, and he is still listening to the Queenslander’s music.
Currently on a three-week tour while visiting Queensland and northern NSW, Taylor will play in Tenterfield at the Tenterfield Bowling Club on Friday, June 2, from 6.30pm.
His live show includes covers of 1960s and 70s rock, such as The Beatles, Cat Stevens and Jon Fogarty.
Taylor has also been in the studio, working on a new album, which is expected to drop near the end of the year.
While it does not have a name yet, he has had a recent single released, the energetic new track Peace and Quiet, which tells the story of a man trying to find inner peace and reflecting on his life while searching for some kind of stability - somewhere to call home.