"I ain't no story maker. I'm a teller, and that's the truth," Taylor Shae sings on the second track of her fourth bluesy country album, Legend Keeper, which drops on October 2.
At twenty Shae has been telling her truth through music for a few years now. Growing up in a music-loving family in Longmont, she started writing songs on the piano when she was thirteen. By sixteen, she'd picked up a guitar.
"I drained my whole bank account to get my first guitar," she recalls. "It opened up a different pathway for my songwriting."
The singer says the nature of Colorado and the Denver music scene inspired her.
"I saw people playing their own original music, and I thought, why am I not jumping on that train?" Shae says. So she did, playing her first show alongside her brother when she was thirteen. From there, she got hooked on live performing and knew that making music was something she wanted to continue.
"I started reaching out to venues and different breweries, and I wasn't even 21. Just any local live venue that would have me," Shae says.
Some of her songs are rooted in personal experiences, while others are about the characters she creates. Her music has been influenced by her time studying, writing and learning about different people and perspectives as a journalism and media communications major at Colorado State University.
One day she hopes to get a band together and expand beyond her home studio, where she records. But for now, she plays live in a duo with her dad.
Legend Keeper offers lyrics about relationships, the unpredictability of life, and environmental issues.
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"A couple of the songs on the album are about how beautiful Colorado and the outdoors are," she says, referring to "Streetsweeper" and "What's Left When," which asks what will be left of the planet once we take everything from it.
Regarding the album's name, Shae says she "wants these stories to live on and have a timeless quality."
"Legend Keeper is how I felt as a songwriter," she says. "I can be a legend keeper myself. The music I'm putting out now is a reflection of who I am, who I am becoming, and how I perceive the world."
Hear more from Taylor Shae on her YouTube channel.