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Rhonda (Merrick) Taylor

Rhonda (Merrick) Taylor

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LONDON, ENGLAND

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RHONDA (MERRICK) TAYLOR

Writers

RHONDA (MERRICK) TAYLOR

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Bio

Rhonda Merrick is an American singer-songwriter, currently living in England. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 24, 1966. Merrick describes her music as 'an Eclectic blend of Bluesy-Funk-Freestyle Soul'. She has lived in several parts of the United States, notably New Orleans, San Diego, and upstate New York. She moved to the London commuter-belt in 2006.

Songwriting

In 2011, Merrick committed herself to writing and sharing a rough-cut demo of a new song every day of the year, and achieved this aim, as mentioned in The Indie Bands Blog on March 8, 2012. The songs cover a wide range of subjects. Efforts are being made by a team of volunteers to bring some of the songs to broadcast standard in 2012.

Links to the catalogue may be found in Musicbrainz.

She became a case study of Social Media Blogger, Matt Santi after amassing a following of several thousand people by micro-blogging about the daily sources of inspiration and challenges to the project. Merrick often takes big issues and relates to them in a very personal way. Over the course of the My365 Project and carried on into 2012, this approach has sparked debates on a wide range of subjects throughout each day as she considered everything from celebrity gossip to politics to the deepest needs and fears in the human psyche as potential material for a song.

Most noteworthy among these in 2011 were Steve Jobs, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Osama Bin Laden and Amy Winehouse, who was the subject of the best-known song, '27 Club', written the night Winehouse died. The song, along with an accompanying music video, which was filmed at Durley House, Sloane Square, London in February 2012, secured representation for the songwriter from MPL Communications (publishing).

Her songs are deeply embedded in her social media presence as evidenced by an incident on February 23, 2012 when a young fan from the Philippines named Gracie sent a message via Twitter to the singer/songwriter asking Merrick to write a love song for her fans all over the world. Eighteen hours later, the song ‘Thank you for taking the time’ was done.

When Twitter gossip of Bon Jovi’s death on December 19, 2011, at age 49 proved to be false, as refuted by numerous media outlets including LA Times, Gossip Cop, Rock History Book and EatThis, Merrick posted Song 354 ‘They Said Bon Jovi Died Today’and chatted online as she was creating the song about the incident. Her songs are often shared as they’re being written and her fans listen to the content as much as the sound of the music to discuss the meaning hidden in the lyrics. For Merrick, song-writing is sometimes a social media activity that spurs on discussion about headline news.

Collaborations

A co-operative of mostly volunteer musicians, producers, film makers and actors was formed over the course of the My365 project and in the first quarter of 2012. The co-operative is making it possible to remix several hundred of her songs to broadcast standard, and create music videos of songs depicting noteworthy events of 2011. The remixing is performed album by album, as Merrick may form a core band of her own at some point, to replace the loose collaboration currently in place. The producers include John Robinson of Clique Productions, DJ Nachos and Stuart Braybrooke; and Claudiu Tudor Pavel of Red White films, along with a small group of actors.

In March 2012, Merrick formed a backing band for live performances, known as Rhonda Merrick and The All-British Potluck Band. The Jules Carter Trio in London, a concert band in Birmingham, UK and several independent musicians in Colchester, Essex, are involved in live performances, as and when needed.

Contracts

In March 2012, Merrick signed contracts with the publisher MPL Communications, digital content manager Simpozia, and two music licensing companies: MusicSupervisor.com and Division of Sound.

Personal

She was heavily influenced by the music of Charles Merrick. He was known to the world as ‘The President of Soul, Charlie Merrick’ He was a frequent visitor to the home of her parents, Louis and Dorothy Merrick.

Charles and his brother Louis were both songwriters, who sometimes wrote about the society they lived in. They were taught to play guitar and sing by their father, Earlington, who according to the New Orleans Times Newspaper, was ‘...a bluesman who played Plaquemines Parish juke joints.’ He was also busy travelling the ‘chitlin circuit’ playing the bar-rooms catering to blacks in the segregated South.

Rhonda Merrick was a member of musical ensembles such as performance choirs and all-state honor choirs, all through junior high and high school. Merrick went on to earn a place in the Performance Voice program at San Diego State University, where she was a weekly voice pupil of former New York Metropolitan opera singer Mary McKenzie for four years.

She moved away from San Diego just before graduating from SDSU, and eventually earned a BA (Honours) at the Open University. She then went on to study music at the post-graduate level at Canterbury Christ University, UK. The training in music theory, harmony and counterpoint, along with an innate musicality developed and strongly encouraged by constant exposure to world-class blues players on the front porch of a shotgun house in Louisiana, have given Merrick a unique skill-set to write songs of substance and meaning.
2 tracks found
Rhonda (Merrick) Taylor "27 Club (John & Nachos Version)"
Album: Rhonda (Merrick) Taylor
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Soul
Moods: Grateful, Optimistic, Uplifting
Rhonda (Merrick) Taylor "Thank You For Taking the Time"
Album: Rhonda (Merrick) Taylor
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Soul
Moods: Grateful, Optimistic, Relaxed, Uplifting
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