top of page

Introducing 14 Year Old Guitar Phenom Taj Farrant

Updated: Mar 10

This young guitar prodigy hits Northern California with his band, crew and fab family.

Mid week in the fairly quiet-ish North Bay, 30 miles north of San Francisco in Novato, The Hopmonk Tavern + KCTurnerProductions presented a mind blowing show by the 14 year old Australian guitar virtuoso, Taj Farrant and his fantastic band. Complete with the ingredient I love AWESOME hard hitting drummer, Dylan Halacy. The venue removed the seats to accommodate more people, and a couple hours before showtime the tickets were completely sold out.

The young guitarist Taj Farrant, known as Tagy in Australia was set to blow the minds of the 300+ attendees in that room. Just like my experience in January when I saw him for the first time in a room full of 500+ pro music industry people at NAMM. Since he started playing Taj has had very little publicity apart from word of mouth, and his appearance once on The Ellen Show. And when he was nine he finished second on Australia's Got Talent. It all began when he started playing guitar at the age of seven and was sharing videos of his guitar playing with his family members. The videos of Taj leaked to more than simply family members and a future guitar legend was born! But don't let his age of only 14 fool you. He seems to have been born with musical talents, and his guitar skills seems like that of a very seasoned pro even at this young age. Taj may be young chronologically, but he's got an old soul. In my opinion, now that I've seen him perform three times, he is on his way straight to the top. In the near future I predict that this young man will be walking the same path of greatness and revered in the same light as Stevie Ray and Jimi Hendrix. Three of his songs have already hit number one in the iTunes Blues charts amongst legends such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Taj Mahal and Joe Bonamassa.

Both of these Taj Farrant shows I covered were midweek, the first one being on a Tuesday night where not a lot happens normally. Many shows mid week have low to decent attendance. On this Tuesday Taj blew it out of the park with a complete sell out. 300+ people packed the Hopmonk. Standing room only.

On this night there was something extra added to the heart and soul of this show... There was one attendee...a woman whose last wish was to see young Taj perform. She had severe health problems and her prognosis was bleak as she may have only a couple weeks left in this life. The band heard this story and made every effort to accommodate this woman's last wishes. They reserved a spot right in front of Taj's mic front and center. She was brought by ambulance and wheeled in during the meet and greet portion of the evening. She sat semi reclined with her loved ones surrounding her. Taj and her chatted, took pics and her wishes on this evening were being fulfilled. As I'm reliving the evenings' events and writing this, I'm getting chills recalling what I saw and felt on the night whilst being a witness to it in real time hearing all the details of the arrangements as they were unfolding in front of me.

Tajs' 13 year old drumming sister, Jazel opened the show at 7.45, and then Tajs' backing band, 'Nathan Bryce and Loaded Dice' played for another 30 minutes. Taj wasn't supposed to start until 8.40 but when he saw that the woman had to be taken back into the ambulance, he went onstage a few minutes early and for his first song, and arranged something I've never seen before. The crew asked the ambulance to be backed up to the fire door by the stage, and they opened the door, and Taj played his guitar to the opened door and performed the first song to her before she had to be taken back to the hospital. It was a truly beautiful moment for all of us watching this unfold. I can only speak for myself when I say it was one of those unforgettable situations where us humans can really help one another. I was standing with Tajs' dad, Brandin when this was unfolding. He was texting with his mum, Karin, in Australia narrating the situation unfold and judging from her replies back to Brandin via text, which he was sharing with me, she was feeling it too. What a stunning heartfelt moment in time. With the main ingredient being the purest magic of music.

Regarding the show itself...Jazel opened the show with her drumming to three tracks. The ease in which she plays the drums is lovely and with the strong family unit she has around her, I'm pretty sure she will be going far in the music industry also. She seems as much a natural behind the kit as Taj is with his guitar. Then Tajs' band, 'Nathan Bryce and Loaded Dice' played. They are a solid trio. All three amazing players and super nice guys. They played for 30 minutes and Nathan (guitars) is lead vocalist. Along with Jerry Paswaters on bass and the badass drummer Dylan Halacy, Nathan Bryce and Loaded Dice are a good band I'd go to see again for sure. All great stuff. However, if you read The Music Soup on a'll know that I have a great appreciation for amazing drummers. I've said many times before, if the drummer is good it elevates the band to another level. And in this case.....OMG, Dylan Halacy is AMAZING!!! I cannot stress that enough! I was blown away by Dylan when I saw Taj play at NAMM in January and even more-so after these performances. Dylan did not miss a beat and then some. He is definitely one of my newest favorite drummers. Dylan lays down some big heavy rock blues beats that works so well with Taj's brilliant, and soon to be legendary mind blowing guitar playing. After Dylan finished both sets, off stage I looked at him feeling a giant ear to ear smile and found myself speechless. The speechless thing doesn't happen a lot to me but when it does...OMG. My enthusiasm for his drumming talent was all encompassing and left me feeling high (without any substances!) I absolutely LOVE when this happens! Thanks Dylan. And to top it off he's a super nice guy, with a dynamite smile and a warm vibe about him just like the rest of the Taj team.

Then Taj walks onstage, donning his signature hat with dreadlocks hanging down around his face and within a couple minutes, the audience seemed mesmerized with the talent they saw before them. Many jaws dropped in shock at the amazing music being heard. And even more insane, these guitar sounds are being created by such a young musician. Taj is a natural. It's as if Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray inhabit his body and play through him. He plays barefoot normally and in colder climates he wears socks. He told me that he plays without shoes so he can feel the kick drum.

The first time Taj knew that he wanted to play guitar was when he and his dad went to see AC/DC when he was six. When Angus played Thunderstruck, Taj turned to his dad and said, "thats what I want to do." And as we can see today, that's exactly what he has done! On a side note....I thought it was interesting that Cassie, his Mum told me that when Taj was born, Thunderstruck was being played in the delivery room. Weird coincidence, or are there no coincidences in life? After the AC/DC gig at age six, when he realized that was what he wanted to do, by his seventh birthday he got his first guitar. For two months he had a guitar teacher. Then the teacher stopped as he couldn't teach Taj any more, probably realizing he was a natural. Then Brandin picked up for a bit teaching Taj. But he didn't need much instruction as some say he's a savant. The first time I saw him, his dad and I were sat on the floor in front of the stage and he turned to me and said, "he's a freak of nature", and his next sentence was ...the next song will blow your mind! Brandin has not been wrong yet.

Taj plays Gary Moore (his favorite), Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix with complete ease as if these artists were playing through him. At the Great American Music Hall show a guest guitarist Doug Doppler joined Taj and band onstage. Doug was obviously a great guitarist and added his own flare for a couple songs. Taj ended his set on both nights with Princes' Purple Rain. At the very end of Purple Rain, drummer Dylan does something I haven't seen... he holds the cymbals up whilst striking them for a truly exciting finale to both of these stunning gigs. Reminded me a tad of my fave, Keith Moon. Dylan told me prior to the gig that he would be doing this, as we had been discussing Keith Moons' signature move of drum kit destruction. But the kit Dylan was playing on belonged to Jazel so he wouldn't damage Jazels' gear...but I have a feeling if the kit was a throw away and easily replaceable, he may have done a drum kit destruction reminiscent of the days of Moonie with The Who!

Each time I've seen Taj play, after the show he asked me if tonights gig was better than the last time. And each time my (honest) answer was an enthusiastic "YES"! He replies, "that's how it should be!" For such a young person, it's quite incredible that he has this foresight to continually keep his focus and improve with each gig. We also agreed after the gig at GAMH, the second to the last song he did, Gary Moores' Parisienne Walkways was the song that was improved from the night before. I'd think for many 14 year olds as talented and well received as Taj, they may have a bit of a big head about them. Not this young man. He's as down to earth and humble as one can be. At the end of each show he thanks the audience for coming out, and he thanks the band and crew. And lastly he gives a deep and gracious thank you to his parents for making it all happen.

As far as his family goes...Taj told me a random cool fact of the Farrant family is that three of the four were born on the 21st of different months. Taj will be turning 15 on the 21st of May. Being able to hang with the Farrant family for a couple nights this week and chatting extensively with his dad back in January at NAMM as well, I got to get a good feel for what keeps this team on track. Tajs dad Brandin impressed me then, but after our time shared this week being able to have some really deep chats, the Farrant family will hold a special place in my heart that I wont soon forget. Everyone on the Farrant team seems to have a great overall vibe and a deep sense of human kindness with very big hearts. All whilst keeping a clear sense of what needs to be done in the way of business and music to keep the Taj team moving forward. Keeping focused on why they are there and doing what they're doing. Not forgetting Manager Mel, who wears many hats on the Taj team, including roadie and photographer...she is focused and seems to be driven to reaching the same goal. Total respect to Mel for all she does! For Taj it's a pretty obvious journey straight to the top of the music business and with this band, the crew, and this amazing family supporting him and his talents and dreams...I haven't got any doubt they as a team will make it happen. I hope I can be part of this team down the road when photographers will be a permanent part of the Taj world tours to come!

The Farrant family all plays a part... Brandin acts as the MC doing the introductions, Jazel opens the show, Mum Cassie takes care of the merch and from what I hear she takes care of keeping the family happy and healthy. And Dad Brandin is a guy with a heart and soul that every woman should strive to find in life. I for one, want a guy just like him in my future! His life stories that he shared with me shall forever be a model for my new standard of what I will be looking for in a partner. Cassie is number one in his world. He would never hurt her. He's protective and respectful of her and her needs. Then comes the kids. Their love is obvious and their goals are strong and they are very united. The two of them are a team. Love is what seems to be their first priority and Brandins' protective nature towards his family is deeply authentic and a really beautiful thing. Something we all hope to have in a partner. I've put in my order with Cassie and Brandin. I've requested that when they come across a guy, that is straight, single, music loving and age appropriate, with a heart and protective qualities like Brandins' please introduce me! And last but not least, perhaps Brandins' Mum in Australia should have some acknowledgment for his being such an amazing human. They sound very close. So here's a shout out to Mum Karin for raising such a wonderful, mindful and respectful son. I wish more men were like him.

The following (affiliate links) are some of Tajs' songs for purchase: Bad Trip Crossroads No Words

Taj and I had a chat in the green room on the afternoon of the first of the two shows, and this is part of what we chatted about:

The Music Soup: So what does school look like for you and Jazel?

Taj: School for us is all online. We get a test to do and complete it daily, send it back and thats it. Pretty easy. I'm in year ten.

The Music Soup: What do you like to do when you're not playing guitar?

Taj: I play X Box with my mates a lot. The time difference is a problem cause it's like 4am here when they want to play. Otherwise, most of the time I like to do outdoor stuff, thats what we do in Australia. Camping and hunting. I played one sport, ice hockey.

The Music Soup: What are your favorite artists that you listen to?

Taj: I like to listen to a lot of rap music. But guitar wise Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The Music Soup: What was it like when you were on Australias' Got Talent?

Taj: That was pretty cool, on a big stage. I felt that was what I was meant to do. I placed second or third. I dont really like competitions. I didn't care if i won or not. I don't care if I'm playing to two people or none just in my bedroom.

The Music Soup: Do you have a favorite guitar?

Taj: Yes, a '71 Strat body with an '81 neck and some random parts i found. Its a whole heap of guitars put together. It's a black and brown Strat. A Sunburst...I'll show you. It's all put together. The neck and the body were from different guitars. I'm a Strat guy. My dad had the body and he snapped the neck on his...and my friend, (my guitar teacher) had a neck but no body. So they put them together. My first guitar was an Ibanez Prestige, signed by everyone I've played with. I keep it at home.

The Music Soup: Do you play any other instruments?

Taj: Bass guitar and I am trying to learn the sax. And I can play a little piano.

The Music Soup: Do you read music?

Taj: No, everything's by ear. I love it. And I get to do what I love everyday. And I get to choose where I want to play.

The Music Soup: You dont have any pets I presume?

Taj: We do actually. We have a dog and he's being trained to be a service dog. His name is Ozzie and hes been on tour with us. Then after we come back from Austrailia we'll go pick him up and he'll go back on tour with us.

© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2024 | Great American Music Hall show:

© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2024 | Hopmonk Tavern show:

Recent Posts

See All

2 commentaires

I have seen him 2x in 2023, March and November. I always had my meet and greet and I used to be able to live chat with him when they still lived in Australia. My husband says I am obsessed. I tell him your damn right!! That kid is a gift from God and an old soul. I have my tickets for June when he will be playing 20 minutes from where I live in Ohio. I think that might be his last meet and greet.

So, I will photos of him and I when he was 13, 14 & 15. Plus, it's a week before my birthday!!!

Great article, thank you for making me cry and loving the family…


Am Hengst
Am Hengst
09 mars

Wow , great article with music and lots of photos. Taj is a very caring young man. Also a out of this world talented musician. THE BEST EVER.

bottom of page