Chip Taylor Shares his Simple, Touching Video for “Whisper Amen”

Chip Taylor by Ambrose Blaine


In June of last year, Chip Taylor added a pretty significant feather in the cap of a six decade music career—he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But for Taylor, too easily pigeonholed as “the guy who wrote “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning,”” the accolade was anything but an excuse to slow down.

That same month, he released Little Brothers, and continued to forge ahead, full steam, reuniting with singer/fiddler Carrie Rodriguez for the 10th Anniversary Red Dog Tracks Reunion Tour and releasing a mini album, I’ll Carry for You. On February 17th, Taylor put out his latest effort, A Song I Can Live With.

The singer/songwriter recorded the album’s dozen tracks at his own Train Wreck Studios in Mamaroneck, New York and Grini Studios in Norway, working with co-producer and multi-instumentalist Goran Grini, guitarist John Platania and special guest Greg Leisz on pedal steel.

Today, Elmore is premiering the video for “Whisper Amen,” the album’s final track. Taylor reflects, “This song felt sort of magical to me. It sort of wrote itself – and in a very short period of time – 15 or 20 minutes. Toward the end, it told one of the most beautiful stories I know.” He shared with Elmore the inspiration behind the piece; “My wife Joan’s little jewelry store went bankrupt not too long ago. She has time on her hands now. She and a few of her friends decided to donate some time each week to help youngsters who are lacking in certain skills – mostly reading. Joan is one of those people who never thinks of herself. She always thinks of the other person. Now she’s doing it for a few kids. I love to hear her stories after her sessions. She has such a beautiful sparkle in her eyes when she speaks of the kids. At her first session she thought the reading wasn’t quite connecting with the little girl, so she started playing “hangman” – the spelling/word game – and the child’s eyes lit up, as did Joan’s. So hangman is part of all Joan’s sessions now… and that story is a beautiful part of this final song.”

In regards to the video itself, Taylor adds, “Four-time Juno winner, Jeth Weinrich, has done wonderful videos for several of my songs, including this one. Jeth has a beautiful and unique way of connecting his heart, through his film collages, to the emotion of my songs. With “Whisper Amen,” I love the way the lyrics seem to be enhanced by the simple, magical journey he has created here. I get chills watching this… it is so beautiful! Thanks Jeth!”

The video opens with the imaginative ramblings of a young girl, which are suddenly and tenderly overlaid with Taylor’s low, hoarse whisper, one that recalls another master songwriter, Leonard Cohen. The fluid shots as the girl roams through the woods are rendered simple and stark in black and white, allowing Taylor’s touching story to ring through in clear, touching tones.

Watch the video for “Whisper Amen” below, and head to the Train Wreck Records website to read more about Taylor’s career and current projects. On April 5th, you can catch the songwriting legend at his CD release show at The Cutting Room in NYC.

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