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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Little Memphis shares his "soul" with Taylor Hicks and his fans


It first rang out over the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta and then migrated to the streets and clubs of Memphis. It went on to influence the sound of music all over the world. Memphis, Tennessee is the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll. Being raised among such rich musical history, it is easy to see why the talented Brian Less is affectionately known as “Little Memphis”. His extraordinary talent has been nationally showcased over the past two years since his good friend, Taylor Hicks, won American Idol in 2006. First as the keyboard player with Little Memphis Blues Orchestra (LMBO) and then as the organist with the Taylor Hicks national touring band, Brian Less has proven himself worthy of his nickname. His incredible musical talents coupled with his sincere appreciation of his fans have made Brian a favorite among Taylor Hicks’ Soul Patrol.

But how did Taylor Hicks come to appreciate the musical abilities of Brian Less? The story is fascinating.

The Taylor Hicks band played a gig in Mobile, Alabama several years prior to his catapult to fame with American Idol. Taylor and a friend stopped into a bar that night after their performance and took note of the keyboard player, Brian Less. Taylor immediately remarked to his friend, “I want that kind of piano player in my band”.

Coincidentally, two weeks later, the Taylor Hicks band was in Nashville, Tennessee for another important gig. This time, Taylor’s bass player tried to convince him to allow a friend of his to sit in with the band on the keyboard. Taylor adamantly refused, stating that they had to be at their best that night. But as fate would have it, Taylor finally agreed and Brian Less strolled into sound check. Immediately recognizing him, Taylor Hicks said to him, “were you playing in Mobile two weeks ago?” With the answer of “yes”, Taylor immediately asked Brian to join the band without the first note being auditioned.


The talent of Brian Less has always been evident to Taylor Hicks. Perhaps that is why, after winning American Idol and forming a top-notch touring band, Taylor once again asked Brian to join the now famous Taylor Hicks band this time on the organ. Brian quickly became a fan favorite and friend of Taylor Hicks’ Soul Patrol as they traveled from coast to coast on Taylor’s first solo tour in 2007.

(video credit: Catwoman52)

Recently, Brian was gracious enough to sit down and answer some questions posed by Taylor’s Angels. His words give you a greater knowledge of his musical background and insight into Little Memphis himself.


Taylor’s Angels: At what age did you begin to play musically and did you ever think it would become your career?

Brian: I started playing when I was 5 yrs old. I knew I wanted to make it my career when I was probably 10 or 11.

Taylor’s Angels: Besides the keyboard and organ, do you play any other instruments?

Brian: I play "at" the drums and bass guitar.

Taylor’s Angels: How did you get your start in music?

Brian: My parents put me in an after school piano program in kindergarten, I guess I caught on.

Taylor’s Angels: Was your family supportive of you when you decided to become a musician?

Brian: If it wasn't for the support from my family, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Taylor’s Angels: Have you enjoyed the fame? What things have you been able to do or not do because of it?

Brian: I don't see myself as famous. I am more well known which allows me to meet a lot more “music appreciaters”!

(video credit: cuckoomimi)

Taylor’s Angels: Where do you see yourself as a musician in 5 to 10 years?

Brian: Playing in a band.

Taylor’s Angels: If you were not making music, what would you be doing for a living?

Brian: Probably something in Law Enforcement.

Taylor’s Angels: We have heard that your parents live in Memphis (Cordova). Did you grow up there? Have you ever played on Beale Street?

Brian: I grew up in Germantown. My parents moved to Cordova when I left for college. I have played on Beale Street a few times.

(video credit: cuckoomimi)

Taylor’s Angels: What are your hobbies other than music? What do you do when you are not playing?

Brian: Well, my wife, family, dogs, and friends pretty much take up all of my time. I enjoy football ("Roll Tide"), and seeing the country with my spare time.

Taylor’s Angles: Do you have any advice for someone trying to make it in the music industry?

Brian: Be yourself, play from the heart, and bands come and go. As long as you keep playing you will succeed.


We thank Brian for allowing us the opportunity to know more about him, and wish him the best of luck in his career! We also invite you to leave comments for Brian or share wonderful memories of our friendship with this incredibly talented man.

Edited by Tina (DidNotExpectThat)
Media by Teri (Cydter)

Special thanks to Cassidy for arranging this interiew and for some fantastic photos!

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Anonymous said...

Hi Brian. I met you in Seattle (the nutjob fan who asked you to deliver the gift with the big green bow to Taylor). It's nice of you to take time out for this interview.

I bought the LiMBO CD set and love it. You guys are phenomenal. I hope to hear more from you in the future and am waiting on pins and needles to see you perform with Taylor in the future. Best of luck to you...


Anonymous said...

Brian, you guys are wonderful musicians and flat-out nice to all of us crazies. I fell fortunate to have been able to travel some to see you and LMBO at several gigs, most notably in the awful rain on New Year's 2006 in Destin.

Keep on playin' - we'll be there listenin'. Thanks for the music.

tishlp said...

I met Brian when the Taylor Hicks tour was in San Antonio, TX. Brian is so friendly that I immediately felt at ease. My husband and I are planning to attend the Soul Affair in Birmingham in May and are looking forward to seeing Brian Less and LiMBO again. They are wonderful!

KTINTN said...

I to still enjoy the LiMBO cd as well as those who have received them. TY Brian for the Q&A and can't wait to see what's next on the agenda.

RagsQueen said...

Fantastic interview! The most exciting part of seeing Brian perform is watching his fingers fly across the ivories! Sometimes he goes so fast that when you capture it on film his hands just seem to hover over the keys! Brian is remarkable musician as well as person! I wish him great success!

WOO said...

Just rewatched the LiMBO DVD with my hubby the other night and we both enjoyed it so much. The excitement just jumps off the screen! He added your CD to his very selectve library...high praise from him!Wishing continued success!

maryann1 said... and LiMBO are not only wonderful musicians but also very nice to everyone that meets you. I have had the pleasure of seeing you at Woodlands and Workplay and at several of the Taylor Spring/Summer concerts...Your artistry on the keyboards is amazing and you are a pleasure to watch and a wonderful musician. I wish you success in future. Thank you for being down to earth and treating everyone with respect.

The friendship between you and Taylor is one that I hope lasts a lifetime.

Anonymous said...


I had the pleasure to meet you in February 2007, in Jacksonville, Fl. I watched as you walked thru the Hyatt greeting fans that had come to see Taylor's opening night. What a gracious gentleman you are. You spent time with many many fans ..posed for numerous photos and the smile never left your face. You seemed as glad to meet us as we were to meet you.

Thank you for those memories and thank you for the music. You and LMBO will long live in my heart. I wish only the best for you and your family.


tygrlillie said...

I have had the honour of meeting this sweet individual a number of times, and each time he has been gracious and loving with me. I find that as much a fan of Taylor's I am, Brian and the other members of LiMBO hold me closer because I genuinely feel that they care about me as a person and cherish me as much as I do them. They don't know what a treat that is for me, and how very much I will love them eternally for it and all they've done for me. Thanks, Cassidy, for arranging this. I miss hearing from the guys. Thanks Angels for writing it up. Thanks, Memphis, for taking the time to talk to us. come to Nashville again soon, you and the others. I so miss you all.

Bloom said...

Woo hoo finally, I've been trying to add to Brian's bio in Taylor's scrapbook for a coon's age!
I had even asked for help from Cassidy and Gypsee and still didn't come up with what I wanted.
I haven't seen Brian in what seems forever or I would have asked him myself ... he is such a sweetie :-)
Thank you girls, this interview made my day!