Just as in the United States, music venues and festivals in Canada are facing an uphill battle to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Folk artist Julian Taylor uses his new music video, for his song "Ballad of a Young Troubadour," to spotlight a few of his favorite musical haunts, and he's asking fans to do what they can to help support them.

Directed by Kim Tarlo and Jordan Batchelor, and produced by Set or Sail, Taylor's "Ballad of a Young Troubadour" music video — which is premiering exclusively on The Boot — finds the artist performing the song at three venues near his Toronto, Ontario, Canada home: Sauce on Danforth, Dora Keogh Irish Pub and Linsmore Tavern, all spots Taylor has played often and found support throughout his career.

"I’ve been fortunate to perform at so many welcoming venues here in Toronto, and without them, I wouldn’t have a career in music. When I saw them closed, it broke my heart," Taylor reflects. "So many venues didn’t make it, which is utterly devastating. Thank goodness some did and the community is better for it. We need to support our live music venues, otherwise we as musicians will be out of work, too."

Taylor is asking fans to support the Canadian Live Music Association, which works to support the live music industry in the country. "It’s a long road to recovery for the live music industry," he notes.

"Sure, a lot of performances moved online, but it’s not the same. You can't replace or recreate the feeling of being live and in-person, sharing the experience and joy of live music with other people," Taylor adds. "Promoters, venues, clubs, theaters and festivals are vital to our community and the human condition. Live music is one of the most beautiful connections that we have."

"Ballad of a Young Troubadour" comes from Taylor's newest studio album, The Ridge, released in June of 2020 via Howling Turtle, Inc. The record — the sixth from the Toronto-based singer-songwriter — earned a Juno Awards nomination for Contemporary Folk Album of the Year, and helped notch Taylor a nod in the Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year category at the all-genre Canadian awards show (Taylor is part Mohawk and part West Indian).

In fact, 2021 has been a big year, in terms of critical acclaim, for Taylor: At the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards, the artist — a co-founder of the now-defunct alt-rock band Staggered Crossing and the frontman of the blues-y Julian Taylor Band — won Solo Artist of the Year and was nominated for English Songwriter of the Year. Other recent nominations for Taylor include a nod for Indigenous Artist of the Year at the Canadian Independent Music Award, a spot on the Polaris Music Prize Long List and a nomination for Contemporary Folk Album of the Year at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards.

The Ridge, co-produced by Taylor and his longtime collaborator Saam Hashemi, is available for purchase and streaming now. Fans can keep up with the artist at JulianTaylorMusic.ca.

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