Sam Taylor

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A onetime student of ZZ Top Svengali Bill Ham and former producer/manager/guru to Texas' holy-rock troika -- King's X, Galactic Cowboys and Atomic Opera -- Sam Taylor went into a lengthy early-‘90s seclusion…
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A onetime student of ZZ Top Svengali Bill Ham and former producer/manager/guru to Texas' holy-rock troika -- King's X, Galactic Cowboys and Atomic Opera -- Sam Taylor went into a lengthy early-‘90s seclusion brought on by career burnout, divorce and health problems. But by the spring of 1996, he seemed back on track, even mustering the nerve to step out from behind the studio console and play in front of a live audience with his eclectic jazz fusion trio, Moons of Jupiter. Taylor was also touting a new pet project, Houston's Sonnier Brothers Band (featuring former members of Galactic Cowboys), whose demo he produced and was shopping to major labels.

Then, almost as quickly as he resurfaced, Taylor beat an unexplained retreat. He skipped town for the West Coast, presumably to rally industry support for the Sonnier Brothers and find work for himself. L.A. didn't suit him. And after he returned home in 1997, he met a Fort Worth, Texas, woman, remarried and settled near Dallas. He produced Conspiracy No. 5 for Atlanta-based Christian rockers Third Day; it was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock/Gospel Album category.

For a while, Taylor made good on Moons of Jupiter's considerable promise, rounding up Ray Dillard (percussion) and Max Dyer (cello, fretless bass) to record 1998's Compositions for the Moons of Jupiter, Volume One: Callisto. But by the start of the millennium, Taylor was again laying low.