Songs from ‘The Old Home Place’

Susan Taylor

After many years of performing on other musicians’ recording projects, Winnsboro native Susan Douglass Taylor is proud to say she has compiled a CD of her own. A CD release concert was held Saturday night at The 145 Club in downtown Winnsboro.

“My CD is ready,” said Taylor. “The CD is entitled ‘Great Falls Road.’ It has 13 original songs about where I live, and growing up in a family where there was always love and music.”

Taylor has been making music since she was old enough to climb on a piano bench. Recognizing her ability to play by ear, parents George and Clyde Douglass enrolled her in piano lessons at an early age. Her teacher was renowned composer Nelle McMaster Sprott, whose belief it was to encourage creativity and make learning fun. On Taylor’s 11th birthday, her parents gave her a guitar, and older sister Lynne taught her some chords. At age 17, she discovered a love for the five-string banjo, her father’s favorite instrument. Her parents again provided all the learning opportunities possible, which included living room jam sessions and numerous long drives to bluegrass festivals, camping in a crackly blue tent. Devoting hours daily to practice, Susan quickly progressed on the banjo, and soon joined her first “real” band, String Fever, a bluegrass ensemble of close friends. The band had a 10-year run playing regional festivals around the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee, winning band competitions and recording a couple of projects.

Recently, Taylor has discovered a joy for songwriting and solo performing. In addition, she sings and plays guitar with The BunchQuitters, a Western-Americana band featuring Cary Taylor (bass and vocals), Danny Harlow (mandolin, fiddle, tenor guitar and vocals) and Mark Fuqua (guitar and pedal steel). Susan also enjoys playing bluegrass with the Twang Bombers, featuring award-winning guitarist and banjoist Randy Lucas.

“Susan really has a great singing voice, is a talented musician and a wonderful song writer,” said Mary Lynn Kinley, who serves on Fairfield County Council. “She sang for us at Rotary some months back and we were all quite impressed!”

“The music is inspired locally by my family, friends and where I grew up (on Great Falls Road, now known as State Road 200),” Taylor said. “It’s about this place and people, and what makes it special. One song, ‘Little Town,’ is about things that people in a city don’t have, that we do. Another song is called ‘Old Brick Tavern,’ written about the sentimental loss of our gathering place (that burned down in early 2011).”

Many know Taylor as the Branch Manager at Provident Community Bank, where she has worked for 16 years, after starting there as a mortgage loan officer.

“I love working at the bank,” Taylor said. “The people I work for and with are so wonderful.”

Taylor now lives in her childhood home on Great Falls Road. She refers to it as “The Home Place.”

“It’s such a blessing to have come full circle back to the home my daddy built in the ‘50s, to my roots.”

If you missed the CD release party, don’t despair: More information about Taylor and the availability of her CD can be found at www.susandouglasstaylor.com.