I don’t watch American Idol. (OK, I watched the first couple of episodes of the second and third seasons; people making asses of themselves on national television has a certain appeal to me.) I am however bombarded often with American Idol images here on the WOW Report, which is my sole source of pop culture information. Well, Wednesday night I went to the Greek Theatre in Grffith Park to see a trio of talented acts: Drive By Truckers, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and the Black Crows. I was pumped. I’d been dying to see Robert Randolph for some time. Halfway through Randolph’s set, he brought out “his man” Taylor Hicks. I thought I might have heard of him, and when I saw the gray hair I realized it was the guy from American Idol. Then the general buzzing around me clued me in to the fact that he was the American Idol winner. He was met with a mixture of cheers (from fans of the show) and groans (from people who hoped this guy from some joke of a show didn’t ruin their Robert Randolph experience). I was so drunk I thought it was a joke, and was giddily laughing at everything around me. But when Taylor Hicks went to the microphone, instead of vocals, out came the sweet sound of a blues harp. And bend the blues he did. Taylor Hicks, the harmonica-playing American Idol, jammed out with Robert Randolph & the Family Band for quite a while, and did a darn tooting good job.
– Jason Bryan