Brass and Lass

Zowie Bowie’s Marley Taylor teams up with Viva Elvis’ lead trumpeter to do something entirely new

With brunet hair, Marley Taylor looks like Cinderella right after the clock strikes midnight. Famous as the female half of the outrageously blond and tanned cover duo Zowie Bowie, Taylor is as beautiful as ever, sitting for an interview before she goes onstage at Bootlegger Bistro with her new side project, the David Perrico Group. However, without her pop-star attributes, she carries the air of a just-broken enchantment. There’s a small bit of melancholy in her transformation, but it’s the necessary melancholy of growing up.

“I’ve always wanted to write, record and perform my own songs,” Taylor says. She’s written music since she was 12, and now, at age 40, Taylor is finally pursuing that dream. “For sure [my goal is] to do this full-time, because I’ve done Zowie Bowie for 10 years and it’s super fun, but for me, this is definitely where I want to head. In the direction of original music, composition, recording.”

And she couldn’t have picked a better partner (well, other than the Zowie Bowie one—her ex-fiance, Chris Phillips). Her new partner/love interest, David Perrico, is a musician with a capital “M.” He has a master’s degree in composition/film-score/jazz studies from UNLV, he plays lead trumpet in 10 shows a week in Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis and he co-wrote the songs with Taylor that they perform together. (He focuses on orchestration, writing instrumentation for their diverse 12-piece band, which includes bass clarinet, acoustic guitar, violin and more.) When not playing rich velvet on his trumpet, he’s conducting the band behind them, the band that almost overwhelms the Bootlegger Bistro, where they performed Aug. 22 to what looked like a full house.

“We went and looked at every major Vegas lounge,” Perrico says of the planning behind their project. “And what we feel is missing is adult contemporary music, not smooth jazz, but that eclectic kind. … I think it would be great to have [our band] be in a free lounge setting. Just nice, tasty, not so much sophisticated, but just really good quality music.” Onstage, Taylor is blissful. And the enchantment of the blond hair is replaced with something different. Better. The joy of being who you really are and singing songs that you wrote. Though the performance at Bootlegger feels a little more like a showcase than a permanent gig, she and Perrico seem to already have achieved their goal: live, original music in a city that caters to covers.

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