As pretty much a one-time event with the promise of more, Taylor set “Strings Attached” aside and continued the concept of genre innovation, reverting back to what he was doing in Joy String, assembling purely as a string quartet (2 violins, viola and cello). Eventually made hungry by the low pay from these kinds of low-impact string quartet gigs coupled with their unrelenting creative wanderlust, they were compelled to continue experimenting and trying new things.

In 1999, Will Taylor received a phone call from Sara Hickman’s manager/booking agent Davis McClarty (who happened to know Will because their kids went to the same preeschool) Sara was scheduled to do a performance with the Fort Worth Symphony, and she needed someone who could write string arrangements for some of her songs for this performance. After the arrangements had been written and rehearsed, at the very last minute the gig with the symphony was canceled. So that their efforts were not wasted, they decided to book a show of their own (anyway) to celebrate working together. That one show turned into more than several, and the audience response was outstanding. Totally taken by Sara Hickman, she hired him to record two songs for her album “Newborn” (1999) 6 songs for “Spiritual Appliances” (2000) and an entire album “Faithful Heart” (2002), along with a month of Tuesday gigs at LaZona Rosa, they began performing together beyond Austin (Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston etc).

Not quite ready to give up on inspiring audiences with solely instrumental shows, vocal shows still remained few and far between (and yet wildly successful by comparison). Noticing the success of his shows increasing, Taylor decided to stretch out even further by inviting other non-jazz guest artists (performing songwriters) to do shows with him (Ian Moore and Toni Price were among them). Surprisingly enough, it was during his collaborations with singer-songwriters that even more important evolutionary events occurred.

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