Gustafer Yellowgold returns to Carrboro Saturday; Q&A with his creator
Posted January 30, 2014
Since 2005, Morgan Taylor has been entertaining family audiences with his character Gustafer Yellowgold, a friendly, tiny alien who lands in Minnesota. Adventures, as you might imagine, ensue.
Taylor, a singer, songwriter and artist, tells the story of Gustafer through song and moving picture books in concert and with CD/DVD sets. It's a mellow, wildly entertaining combination that's been a pretty constant part of my family's life since we discovered him when my older daughter was small. A stuffed Gustafer is a favorite toy.
Over the years, Taylor, who is a father of two, has been bringing Gustafer to The ArtsCenter about every year. He's played the N.C. Museum of Art as well. He returns on Saturday with an 11 a.m. show at The ArtsCenter. I highly recommend his show and am so sorry to miss it this time around.
I checked in with Taylor, who has been performing in South Carolina this week, to find out how things are going and what's in store for Gustafer.
Here's our email conversation:
Go Ask Mom: For people who aren't familiar with what you do, give us the basics. Who is Gustafer, what's he all about?
Morgan Taylor: Gustafer is a little, friendly alien who came from the Sun and landed in Minnesota. He’s quickly making friends with a lot of wildlife and has a pet Eel named Slim. He loves to explore and has some strange quirks regarding Earth food.
GAM: You created Gustafer Yellowgold before you had kids. How has being a dad informed the songs and stories?
MT: Oh, yes. My eldest son, (nearly six) is going a mile a minute along with me during the creative process. He’s an exceptional, young artist and I’ve already begun including his drawings in my animated videos! He’s full of fun ideas, and getting a bit eerie at how quickly he’s catching up to me.
GAM: Do your kids think Gustafer might be another family member?
MT: He’s certainly as present as the rest of us!
GAM: You have a new CD coming out soon. What's the schedule? What can you tell us about it? One of the songs is already hitting the charts on Sirius XM?
MT: Actually I’ve got a few things cooking at once. The next DVD/CD set is due out this year, “Gustafer Yellowgold’s Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom” is another visual narrative story-line album that connects all the music videos into a story. And the singles I’ve been putting out this past year are going to be on the next DVD (No. seven) next year. It’s going to be an “all food-related” song DVD that i promise will be an untapped angle for food songs!
(Editor's Note: With songs like "Pancake Smackdown," I can't wait to check out those food-related songs!).
GAM: You also work on other projects in addition to Gustafer. What else are you up to?
MT: I’ve got a “grown-up” indie pop duo with Todd McHatton, a musician who is also mostly known for his work in the family music circles, called UNDERBIRDS. We had an absolute blast recording our album that came out last year, and are already beginning to choose songs for the next one! I play guitar and accompany my wife, Rachel Loshak, with her music pretty often, and we’re getting songs together to record a duet album. AND I’ve been doing some recording as a guitarist for Frances England’s last two records that I’m really proud of. I co-wrote a song on Lisa Loeb’s last album - a song called “Matches."
GAM: Where do you think Gustafer will go from here?
Well, I’ve got song “nuggets” for another two or three DVD albums past No. 7. I’m interested to see how technology evolves and whether or not I will stop printing physical copies of my music anytime along the way there.
Really, I just want to say how fortunate I feel to get to create so freely and play for people all across the country and see that it actually makes a difference in the lives of families.
Click here for more about Saturday's concert. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids and $32 for a family four pack.
Check out some of our favorite Gustafer videos: