Taylor Barker grew up in the hills of East Tennessee in a small town called Church Hill, located in the outskirts of the Tri-Cities.
As a child he always had a passion for old westerns, fixing things that weren’t broken (like his father’s lawn mowers) and country music, like Hank Williams SR, Randy Travis and Keith Whitley. When Taylor was 14, he asked his parents for a guitar, and that’s where it all started. Not even knowing how to hold a guitar correctly, Taylor put the strings on his guitar upside-down and began to play it left handed (even though he is right handed). To this day, he still plays his guitar “upside-down and backwards,” as his father says.
After high school, Taylor worked for his father’s construction company and enlisted in the Tennessee National Guard in 1994. He served until 2000, and later re-enlisting in 2009-2011.
After being around his best friend’s dad (an OTR trucker by the handle “Old Thunder”), Taylor became fascinated with trucking. He got a job at a local oil company in 1994, which then prepared him to get his CDL’s.
“One of the best days in my trucking career was the day I got to run with Ole Thunder because not very many get to truck with their heroes.”
Taylor also enjoys building furniture with his wife Cherie, for her store, Cherie’s Boutique. Some of their customers include country music singers, Joe Diffie and Daryle Singletary.
Taylor has two kids, Amanda (26) and Austin (12) and his married to Cherie Lunsford Barker, who happens to be the girl in middle school that he had a crush on.
In 1995, Taylor played his first public gig with his friend Brad Puckett, for the price of one dollar, which he still has today, inside his guitar case. From there, Taylor played acoustic sets in several local bars in the Kingsport, TN area. In 2009 he formed his own band, playing the bigger clubs nearly every weekend. When he wasn’t playing the clubs, Taylor was organizing and playing benefits for friends who had cancer or victims of accidents. He also organized and played for charities including St. Jude’s and Wounded Warriors.
Taylor has opened for artists The Band Perry, Jana Kramer, The Newsboys, Matt Stillwell, Brad Puckett and Benny Wilson.