CAJT-Collectif des Amis de James Taylor
CAJT-Collectif des Amis de James Taylor

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JT & HIS ALL STAR BAND - AMERICAN SUMMER TOUR 2016

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James Taylor & His All Star Band - Tour Dates 2016 U.S.



THE ALL-STAR BAND:

Luis Conte - Percussions
Jim Cox - Keyboards (Larry Goldings joins tour in June)
Walt Fowler - Trumpet
Lou Marini - Saxophone and Flute
Steve Gadd - Drums
Michael “Mikey” Landau - Guitars,
Jimmy Johnson - Bass
Andrea Zonn - Violin & Background Vocals
Arnold McCuller - Background Vocals
Kate Markowitz - Background Vocals







TOUR DATES US & CANADA

April 13, 2016 - United Supermarkets Arena - Lubbock

Apr 15, 2016 - WinStar World Casino - Thackerville

Apr 18, 2016 - Baton Rouge River Center Arena - Baton Rouge

Apr 19, 2016 - Pensacola Bay Center - Pensacola

Apr 23, 2016 - UTC McKenzie Arena - Chattanooga

Apr 24, 2016- Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY


May 05, 2016 - Carnegie Hall 125th anniversay - Isaac Stern Auditorium Perelman Stage - New York

May 6, 2016 Canadian Tire Centre Ottawa, ON

May 8, 2016   First Ontario Centre Hamilton, ON

May 10, 2016   Budweiser Gardens London, ON

May 12, 2016   K-Rock Centre Kingston, ON

May 13, 2016   Bell Centre Montreal, QC

May 15, 2016   Harbour Station St. John, NB

May 16, 2016   Summerside, PEI Credit Union Place

May 17, 2016   Scotiabank Centre Halifax, NS

May 20 & 21, 2016  Mile One Center St. Johns, NL


May 28, 2016 - Seagate Center - Toledo

May 29, 2016 - Peoria Civic Center - Peoria

May 31, 2016 - Alltel Center - Mankato

Jun 01, 2016 - AMSOIL Arena - Duluth

Jun 3, 2016 - MTS Centre - Winnipeg, MB

Jun 04, 2016 - Fargodome - Fargo

Jun 7, 2016 - Rexall Place - Edmonton, AB

Jun 8, 2016 - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB

Jun 10, 2016 -Save On Foods Memorial Centre - Victoria, BC

Jun 11, 2016 -Pepsi Live @ Rogers Arena - Vancouver, BC

Jun 18, 2016 - Valley View Casino Center - San Diego

Jun 19, 2016 - TUCSON ARENA - Tucson

Jun 21, 2016 - Don Haskins Center - El Paso

Jun 22, 2016 - Frank Erwin Center - Austin

Jun 24, 2016 - BOK Center - Tulsa

Jun 25, 2016 - CenturyTel Center - Bossier City

Jun 27, 2016 - JQH Arena - Springfield, MO

Jun 28, 2016 - Mid-America Center - Council Bluffs

Jun 30, 2016 - Stadium Club at Wrigley Field - Chicago (en double affiche avec Jackson Browne)

Jul 03, 2016 - Tanglewood Music Center - Lenox

Jul 04, 2016 - Tanglewood Music Center - Lenox

Jul 12, 2016 - Save Mart Center - Fresno, CA

Jul 13, 2016 - Harveys Outdoor Arena At Lake Tahoe - Stateline

Jul 15, 2016 - Matthew Knight Arena - Eugene

Jul 16, 2016 - Spokane Arena - Spokane

Jul 18, 2016 - Brick Breeden Fieldhouse - Bozeman, MT

Jul 20, 2016 - Taco Bell Arena - Boise, ID

Jul 21, 2016 - Maverik Center - Salt Lake City

Jul 23, 2016 - Rushmore Plaza Civic Center - Rapid City

Jul 24, 2016 - Denny Sanford Premier Center - Sioux Falls

Jul 26, 2016 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum - Fort Wayne

Jul 27, 2016 - Nutter Center - Dayton, OH

Jul 29, 2016 - Broome County Arena - Binghamton

Jul 30, 2016 - Oncenter War Memorial Arena -Syracuse

Aug 1, 2016 - Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion - Gilford, NH

Aug 03, 2016 - Fenway Park - Boston (en double affiche avec Jackson Browne)




Dernière édition par Admin le Ven 05 Aoû 2016, 11:51 am, édité 6 fois


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April 13, 2016 - United Supermarkets Arena - Lubbock

SETLIST:

First set

* 1. “Wandering.”

* 2. “Secret O’Life.”

* 3. “Everyday.”

* 4. “Montana,” new.

* 5. “Today Today Today,” new.

* 6. “Country Road.”

* 7. “Fool to Care.”

* 8. “Copperline.”

* 9. “Carolina In My Mind.”

* 10. "Your Smiling Face."

* 11 “Fire and Rain.”

* 12. “Shed a Little Light.”

Second Set

* 1. "Only a Dream in Rio."

* 2. "Me and My Guitar."

* 3. "I Will Follow."

* 4. “You’ve Got a Friend.”

* 5. “Angels of Fenway,” new.

* 6. “Before This World/Jolly Springtime,” new.

* 7. “Sweet Baby James.”

* 8. “Steamroller.”

* 9. “Mexico.”

* 10. “How Sweet It Is.”

Encore

* 1. “Not Fade Away.”

* 2. “Sun on the Moon.”

* 3. “You and I Again,” new.


CAROLINA IN MY MIND



A FOOL TO CARE


   
TAYLOR MAKES STATEMENT, HAS FUN VIA FANTASTIC CONCERT WEDNESDAY AT USA
Posted: April 14, 2016

By William Kerns - A-J MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

I have seen James Taylor headline concerts five times in three different cities. But I never have seen Taylor, who paced himself and appeared a full decade younger than his 68 years, look happier than he did on stage Wednesday night at the United Supermarkets Arena.

Opting to open his 2016 tour in Lubbock, he had been spotted walking about the venue, personable, impressing strangers with smiles and conversation since his Friday arrival in Lubbock, USA director Kent Meredith mentioned Wednesday evening.

“We’ve been in this Texas Tech building more than five days,” said Taylor, “and people here have been so good to us.”

Taylor was a man on a mission.

Consider, 15 years had passed since Taylor’s August 2001 concert at the USA and, prior to that, three decades separated that 2001 show from his local debut at the smaller Lubbock Coliseum in October 1971.

Far more important, Taylor released “Before This World” in 2015, an amazing 13-year wait since his prior studio album of original material, “October Road,” arrived in 2002.

Certainly, no one expects him to wait 13 more years and return with new songs in his 80s.

Yet in a Sunday A-J Media interview, Taylor insisted he feels re-energized, going so far as laying claim to an “addiction to performing and touring” with a 10-piece ensemble of close friends and proven musicians whom he calls his All-Star Band.

The first thing one notices is the beautiful, inventive stage production design. A pop-up book on screens that accompanied “Sweet Baby James” is only one blow-me-away visual. Historical art accompanying “Angels of Fenway” may seem obvious choices, but remains a clever invention.

The very first thing one hears, though, is not the overall gorgeous instrumentation, not quite yet, but rather vocals with the power of an angelic choir.

Taylor’s baritone is immediately recognizable, and will remain so: clear ... strong ... stirring. Yet there is a near-echoing power within the manner in which his own vocals are fueled by harmonies from vocalists Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller and occasional fiddle player Andrea Zonn.

There was thought, as well, placed on the order of songs performed.

Consider that Taylor, with the concert’s start pushed back to 8:15 p.m. by latecomers, would open with an emotional delivery of “Wandering” from 1975’s “Gorilla,” his theme an unsuccessful search for happiness as he sang “snakes in the ocean, eels in the sea, I let a redheaded woman make a fool out of me.”

It would be balanced by the concert’s last song.

Taylor appeared to scamper to embrace each band member on a darkened stage, convincing all to return to their instruments so he could close the now-three-song encore with “You and I Again,” a new love ballad inspired by his wife Kim.

He closes with lyrics both moving and positive: “So although I know we are only small/in the time we have here. This time we have it all/You and I again. This time, this time.”

Is it any wonder that the headliner’s grin was infectious afterward when he and the band took bows? Taylor could barely be heard over the crowd’s applause, describing the concert as “absolutely best start (to a tour) ever. Thank you, Lubbock.”

Of course, the fans who filled the 6,000 to 7,000 seats on the floor and in the lower bowl — no balcony seats were sold — really were but benefactors.

Credit for this amazing show belonged to Taylor, his crew and the All-Star band: Latin percussionist Luis Conte, keyboardist Jim Cox, trumpet player and arranger Walter Fowler, former Blues Brothers and “Saturday Night Live” bands' saxophone and flute player Lou Marini, respected drummer and “citizen of the world” Steve Gadd, lead guitarist Michael “Mikey” Landau, bass player Jimmy Johnson, violinist and vocalist Zonn, and previously mentioned harmony vocals from McCuller and Markowitz.

It is a safe bet that more than half of those attending were older music fans. That’s not to say that Taylor does not continue winning over new generations; I was accompanied by an 18-year-old lad, who loved the show.

But for those who have followed Taylor for decades, many of his songs became a soundtrack for their lives, at the least reminding many of where they were when they found his songs so important.

To his credit, Taylor combines no songs to squeeze more titles in. He updates no lyrics on stage. He delivers precisely what fans want to hear, but is not afraid to share more.

Taylor slipped in no fewer than five songs from 2015 release “Before this World,” with “Angels of Fenway” receiving a standing ovation. But then so many others also did, especially when that twinkle in his eye returned while he delivered “You’ve Got a Friend” and a, yes, very sweet “Sweet Baby James.”

Time spent rehearsing became readily apparent when he and fellow vocalists Markowitz, McCuller and Zonn stood along the front of the stage and, even with the band playing, challenged the audience with an accappella-type delivery, closing the first set with “Shed a Little Light” (a Martin Luther King tribute) and, it would seem, initially meaning to close with “Sun on the Moon.”

Taylor was handed his electric guitar and had fun with “Steamroller,” injecting fans with higher energy and also providing laughs while defying his moniker of the “mild” man of rock ’n’ roll.

Fans loved all of Taylor’s references to Tech and Lubbock. He mentioned a victory by Tech’s baseball team over Sam Houston State before singing his wonderful ode to the Red Sox Nation ("Angels of Fenway"). And of course, Taylor — like Paul McCartney, who visited the USA in 2014 — paid tribute to the late legendary Lubbock native Buddy Holly.

Wednesday’s concert quite often found Taylor expanding his arrangements of even his hit songs, repeating stanzas and giving an excellent band opportunities to add color and bite. That was the case, too, with Holly’s “Everyday.”

Taylor’s version of "Everyday" remains one of the very best recorded.

Playing Holly’s “Not Fade Away” in his encore — so many performers do — was fun for a while. Taylor had no way of knowing that even his prestigious All-Star Band’s version could not match the combined soul and perspiration that Lubbock-based act The Maines Brothers Band has injected into this same Holly song as a set-closer for decades.

This was the first time I’ve not seen Taylor play for three hours or more. Big deal. He mentioned that he paces himself these days, and yet still performed two one-hour sets, separated by an intermission — plus his encore.

Nobody should have asked for more. (There were a few chants of “one more” until the house lights arrived.)

True, it was Taylor’s first time back on stage, first time back under the lights in some time. Yet this concert was not simply a brilliant performance; it served as a statement.

The twinkle is back in Taylor’s eyes. His vocals could not have been more effective. Indeed, he performs and sounds like a younger man, never mind that bald pate he uncovers during bows.

His message? “I’m back.”

And fans everywhere should celebrate.













Dernière édition par Admin le Dim 17 Avr 2016, 5:06 pm, édité 3 fois


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Apr 15, 2016 - WinStar World Casino - Thackerville

MONTANA




CAROLINA IN MY MIND



SHED A LITTLE LIGHT



JOLLY SPRINGTIME




YOU AND I AGAIN


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Merci Sam pour toutes les infos.

Une tournée sans "Larry Goldings" au clavier ? C'est inhabituel !
Que sait on de Jim Cox,qui le remplace ?

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Jim Cox et le pianiste attitré de Boz Scaggs et Mark Knopfler. (dont Sailing To Philadelphia qui comprenait JT en duo sur le morceau titre)

Il a déjà fait partie du groupe de JT lors de la tournée US 2014.

Jim Cox, un natif de Californie joue du piano depuis l'âge de quatre ans. Pratiquement autodidacte, sa passion pour la musique l'a conduit a accumuler une discothèque impressionnante et sa fascination pour l'histoire de la pop music frise l'obsession.

Au cours des 25 dernières années il a gangé sa vie dans les studios d'enregistrement du sud de la Californie.

En plus de son travail derrière Mark Knopfler, Jim s'est produit, a composé et arrangé pour des artsites tels que Aerosmith, Pink, Faith Hill, Ozzy Osbourne, Aaron Neville, Barbra Streisand, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson, Boz Scaggs, Chris Botti, Rodney Crowell, Robbie Williams, Leonard Cohen, Burt Bacharach, B. B. King, George Strait, Ray Charles, Adam Sandler, Albert Lee et Queen Latifah.

Il a également travaillé pour des centaines de musiques de film et de télévision - parmi lesquels "Aladin", "Mulan", "Cars" et la série "Austin Powers".


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April 18, 2016 - Baton Rouge River Center Arena - Baton Rouge

CAROLINA IN MY MIND




FIRE AND RAIN



SWEET BABY JAMES




YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND




HOW SWEET IT IS (TO BE LOVED BY YOU)





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Apr 19, 2016 - Pensacola Bay Center - Pensacola

CAROLINA IN MY MIND



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Apr 23, 2016 - UTC McKenzie Arena - Chattanooga


James Taylor Plays To Near Capacity Crowd At McKenzie Arena (Chatanooga.com)

James Taylor’s most recent album “Before this World” debuted at #1 in 2015.  I’ve been listening to him my whole life, along with almost everyone I grew up with, but I had never seen him live until Saturday night when he played at UTC’s McKenzie arena to a near-capacity crowd.

This new album is a good listen.  It feels mellower and broader than some of his earlier work, orchestral in arrangement but understated.  The fiddle, flugelhorn,  3 cellists including Yo-Yo Ma, steel guitar and Taylor’s own distinctive finger picking style make up its broad landscape.

My two favorite cuts are the last two, “Far Afghanistan” and his remake of Robert Tannahill’s traditional favorite, “Wild Mountain Thyme.”

Taylor's life has been an open book, read out in the public, played over the radio with chapters told in his distinctive storytelling fashion about recovery from heroin addiction, treatment for psychiatric disorders and the pitfalls of learning too much too fast.

His relaxed and contemplative nature were an easy read tonight as he talked back to the audience, spoke about how much he enjoyed visiting Chattanooga, and made jokes in his self-deprecating way.

It might be time to go back and listen again to the other albums.  James Taylor rode the back of a rocket in the form of the Beatle’s Apple Record label, where Paul McCartney and George Harrison were guest musicians on one of his first recordings, “Carolina on my Mind.”  He was the first non-British artist signed to their label.

Taylor's life is distinctive and relatable.  Love found and lost, a near fatal motorcycle accident, battles with personal demons and now with hindsight, he’s still able to pour that out into haunting music that sounds distinctly James Taylor with a voice seemingly unchanged by time.

“['Fire and Rain'] is sort of almost uncomfortably close, almost confessional. The reason I could write a song like that at that point, and probably couldn't now, is that I didn't have any sense that anyone would hear it. I started writing the song while I was in London...and I was totally unknown.... So I assumed that they would never be heard. I could just write or say anything I wanted. Now I'm very aware, and I have to deal with my stage fright and my anxiety about people examining or judging it. The idea that people will pass judgment on it is not a useful thought.”



WANDERING



STEAMROLLER BLUES



YOU've GOT A FRIEND




April 24, Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY.


It wasn’t the most flamboyant of entrances for a veteran pop star, even one as seemingly retiring as James Taylor. Prior to beginning his first ever Rupp Arena concert, the songsmith took off his cap and bowed to the crowd of 8,300. He looked less like a celebrity and more like a cabbie come to collect a fare.

Such an unassuming profile, however, more than befitted a concert that relished in simple, folk-pop comfort. For over two hours, Taylor played decades-old favorites, almost apologetically delved into five fine works from his 2015 album Before This World and, in some the show’s finest moments, uncorked a few generous surprises.

One of the latter opened the performance – a relative obscurity from 1975’s Gorilla album called Wandering. It was a beaut of tune to begin with, too – one with such melodic delicacy and wistful vocal deposition that you tended to overlook the verse about how the protagonist’s thief father was executed by hanging. Such was the genial nature of the song’s lyrical construction and Taylor’s lullaby-like delivery.

Sometimes the arrangements altered several of the more familiar soundscapes, like the way all-star drummer Steve Gadd erupted with a few rolls of thunder as the otherwise plaintive Country Road drew to a close or the way Mexico turned into a travelogue featuring a mariachi turn by trumpeter Walt Fowler and saxophonist Lou Marini before percussionist Louis Conte veered the resulting jam straight to his native Cuba.

But these were simple adjustments in frame settings for tunes Taylor’s fans know every syllable and note of. Luckily, these are also works that Taylor, given the hundreds and even thousands of times he has performed them, still sings with fresh and almost impish vigor. His voice, still clear in tone and intent, has also lost none of its unhurried charm.

That leaves the songs themselves, the majority of which are quite extraordinary. Sure, Your Smiling Face, which almost approximated rock ‘n’ roll, and the blues-jazz party piece Steamroller didn’t push the envelope much. But what did was taking arguably Taylor’s most unabashedly comforting tune, Shower the People, and using a chorus snippet of Purple Rain as its intro and the titanic soul voice of Arnold McCuller as the captain of its coda. It was part eulogy, part affirmation and part testimony.

Speaking of eulogies, Taylor’s best known work, Fire and Rain, still packed the emotional impact of a tidal wave. What was surprising last night wasn’t how quietly commanding the song remains, but how a story of such overpowering sadness could still sound so unobtrusive and darkly intimate.

The Before This World music fit in nicely with the classics, as well, especially Jolly Springtime, which was prefaced by the album’s brief instrumental title tune. Both combined to form a saga of new beginnings, but the story was told with the same quiet contentment that dressed Taylor’s oldest material, like the homesick 1968 reverie Carolina on My Mind, performed earlier in the evening.

It should be noted that Taylor hasn’t been on a Lexington stage since the early ‘70s. As such, veteran fans that have witnessed his frequent performances over the years in neighboring cities might have viewed last night’s show as something of a rerun. But for everyone else wondering why in the world it took half a lifetime for him to play Rupp, patience was rewarded. With cap literally in hand, Taylor returned like an old friend, full of stories that still stir and soothe the soul.




SWEET BABY JAMES



PURPLE RAIN + SHOWER THE PEOPLE



YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND



MEXICO



CAROLINA IN MY MIND




STEAMROLLER



FIRE AND RAIN



YOU AND I AGAIN



KNOCK ON WOOD





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REVIEW Apr 23, 2016 - UTC McKenzie Arena - Chattanooga

By Joshua Pickard for Nooga.com

Since his debut record came out in 1968, James Taylor has been crafting meticulous folk rock and pop that has appealed to people across generations and that resonates across genres. Regardless of whether you grew up with his music or came to it later in life, there's an undeniable spirit and joy to songs like "Shower the People," "Sweet Baby James" and "Carolina in My Mind"—songs that made him a household name four decades ago. But his music is nothing if not completely inclusive, allowing for these songs to pass from one year to the next, never losing that feeling of commonality and communal association. And on Saturday night, he brought that sense of jovial familiarity to Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena.

Having never seen him in concert before, my expectations were tempered by an uncertainty. I assumed that he would play most of his hits, but I wasn't entirely sure how long he would play or what kind of interaction he would have with the audience. All these concerns wound up being baseless, as he performed for roughly two hours and was constantly engaged with those in attendance for the entire show. From relating humorous anecdotes about his father to the time he auditioned for Paul McCartney and George Harrison (he was the first artist signed to Apple Records), Taylor was a true showman—one of those musicians you generally take for granted as being great but who you don't truly understand until you see live.

Opening with a track from 1975's "Gorilla," he strolled through "Wandering," and a feeling of laid-back breathlessness settled over the room. His voice was clear and his all-star band never missed a beat. Fun fact: His saxophonist was one of the original musicians in the "Saturday Night Live" band and played in the original Blue Brothers band. His backing band was so in step with Taylor that each song rose above their studio counterparts—these tracks were given weight and buoyancy through the band's ever-changing rhythmic interplay.

I knew that he has recently made it a habit of performing Buddy Holly's "Everyday" in concert, and when he announced it, I was on my feet. It was a more robust version of the song, stripped of its naïveté and laced with a muscular rock backbone—but it worked, and Taylor's genuine love of the source material shone through.



Taylor's acoustic guitar moments before he stepped onstage. (Photo: Staff)

The full set was culled from his entire career, picking songs from his debut on through to his most recent release, last year's "Before This World." The atmosphere was casual; you could tell there was an anticipation for particular songs—as evidenced by various people yelling out the names of songs they wanted to hear. I'm sure this is all part of the routine for Taylor after all these years. But he took the outbursts in stride and would often give the person a thumbs-up if that specific song were about to be played.

What really surprised me, though, was how rocking the entire set was. Of course you have the quieter moments (his version of "Sweet Baby James" was a standout), but other tracks were built around a more solid foundation. His covers of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" and Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" were downright riotous, with the band shaking the seat underneath you. "Steamroller," taken from 1970's "Sweet Baby James," was originally written to mock the then-prevalent environment of white bands appropriating the blues—but here, it came across as simply a loud and rocking ode to some of his influences.

There was very little left out that people wanted to hear, and you could tell that he was loving every minute. He has played these same songs so many times that he could probably do this in his sleep, but there was never a moment when he wasn't present on that stage, never a second when his attention drifted away. For someone with such an accomplished career, his attention to providing everyone with a night of amazing music was nothing short of miraculous.

His generosity was also surprising—not just in his selection of songs but in the way that he interacted so personally with the audience. After playing "Shed a Little Light," he announced that they'd be taking a brief intermission but that they'd be back soon. Shortly after they exited the stage, Taylor appeared and positioned himself on the edge of the stage. People rushed up to meet him, and he spent the next 20 minutes signing shirts, tickets stubs, LPs and a photo/press pass from one very appreciative person. In fact, he stayed there longer than he had intended but was adamant about getting to everyone who approached him. He didn't have to do that.
James Taylor at McKenzie Arena. (Photo: Staff)

As someone whose own expectations were tempered a bit by my lack of history with Taylor in a live setting, I can safely say that he met and exceeded any hopes I had. The people were incredibly receptive, and Taylor gave that back to the audience tenfold. The song choices couldn't have been better, and the music was loud, joyous and confirmed to everyone present why so many people revere him and his songs. He couldn't have done a better job at explaining the relevance of his own musical lineage, and gave us a night of quiet introspection and vivacious rock 'n' roll.

I'd like to think that he'll come back through Chattanooga again on a later tour; he certainly seemed to be enjoying himself. And if he does, be sure to see him wherever he is playing. Despite your own history with his music, you've never really experienced these songs until you hear them performed live. At the end of the evening, we all shuffled outside, where the night and our memories of the past two hours were waiting for us.


Set list

   "Wandering"
   "Secret O' Life"
   "Everyday"
   "Montana"
   "Today Today Today"
   "Country Road"
   "I Was a Fool to Care"
   "Copperline"
   "Carolina in My Mind"
   "Your Smiling Face"
   "Fire and Rain"
   "Shed a Little Light"

   "Only a Dream in Rio"
   "Promised Land"
   "You've Got a Friend"
   "Shower the People"
   "Angels of Fenway"
   "Before This World/Jolly Springtime"
   "Sweet Baby James"
   "Steamroller" (née "Steamroller Blues")
   "Mexico"
   "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)"

   "Knock on Wood"
   "Sun on the Moon"
   "You and I Again"


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JAMES TAYLOR BRINGING ‘THE BEST BAND THERE IS’ TO MILE ONE




By Louis Power for the Telegram on May 01, 2016

Artist reflects on shifts in the music business; says new artists face a ‘different climate’

James Taylor can’t seem to get enough of his band.



He’s been playing with some of them since the 1970s, but still talks about them as though he’s any ardent fan. The dozen musicians he shares the stage with these days — Steve Gadd, Mike Landau and Jimmy Johnson among them — each have strong careers outside the band, and when he’s not onstage with them, he finds himself listening to their music.

“It’s really a joy of my musical life that I get these people to play and travel with. I’m saying it myself, but it’s the best band there is. I mean these guys are just fabulous players,” Taylor told The Telegram last week.

That gushing is coming from a guy whose own career included  releasing 16 studio albums, recording alongside The Beatles, winning multiple Grammys and playing with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder and Carole King — among many, many others. He’s managed to keep a steady fan base since he first rose to fame with “Sweet Baby James” in 1970, and has sold more than 100 million albums in his fruitful career.

During his current tour, Taylor and the band are reaching further into Canada than ever before, and he’s excited to see more of Atlantic Canada — particularly Newfoundland. They’re playing at Mile One Stadium in St. John’s May 20 and 21.

“It’s one of the benefits of having a Canadian manager — you get these connections a little bit better connections with our neighbours to the north, and we’re really excited to be coming up,” he said.

Live performance has always been Taylor’s bread and butter. Speaking to The Telegram last week from the barn where he recorded his  recent album “Before This World,” he agreed that in his almost five-decade career, live concerts are the part of the music business that’s changed the least.

“And they’ve changed a good deal. but they’ve changed for the better. Sound systems are better. Lighting is better. The expectation of the audience to hear good sound, that’s improved,” he said.

“In the beginning, we hardly had monitors on stage. We couldn’t hear ourselves. The Beatles couldn’t hear themselves at all, or Elvis. But we can hear ourselves and each other really well now, so that’s changed. Also, as time goes by, you get better at being fit for it. You realize what your limits are. You don’t book too many shows in a row. You find out how to get enough rest and eat well and stay fit, because it’s very physical work.”

Other changes in the industry have been favoured less by musicians — particularly how artists get paid. He said the record business “went into freefall,” and he thinks it’ll take another generation for songwriters and recording artists to be properly paid again for what they do.

“I think that will develop, but instead of the record companies adapting as they should have done, what happens instead is that it all goes into freefall, and then ... people start finding ways, as time goes by, to make money off of web content, how to monetize that stuff.

“And as people get more and more sophisticated about how to do that, then the artist can start to say ‘Hey, if you’re making money off this I deserve to have a piece of it.’ And that’s probably how it’s going to come back around.”

Taylor, who was 20 when he made an album with Apple Records while The Beatles were there recording “The White Album,” recognizes that he was lucky when he started out.

“I got a good record deal, and that got my name out there to a certain extent, because the record company would promote you. And then you start to be able to play live because people want to be able to see you because they know your music. The record company helps get it on the radio, all of that stuff.

“It was a very different climate. If you got a record deal, you were 50 per cent of the way home. You then had a very good chance of having a career. But nowadays, of course, that kind of support from a record company isn’t there.

“It’s almost like anyone can record. There are probably thousands of records coming out a year — who knows what the actual figures are — but independent things, home recording which is now the technical level of home recording is much better than when I started recording in professional studios.

“So it’s like anybody can go through the door, but once you’re through the door, you don’t have that 50/50 chance anymore. You’ve got a one in 10,000 chance, because the room has got a million people in it.”

Taylor said his career hasn’t been hugely affected by record sales because he’s always made his living on the road.

“I signed some really bad contracts early on in my career, and I never thought of records as being a source of income. I just always thought they were a way to get my music out there to the people. So for me, things have not changed that much. I don’t think in terms of revenues. I think in terms of exposure, and I just want to get my music to as many people as possible,” he said.

He’s been successful in that. Almost 50 years into his career, his 2015 album “Before This World” reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 list. He said what’s helped him maintain popularity over the years is the kind of support he gets from his audience.

“I get the sense that, as time has gone by, my audience has grown up with me. But there’s a lot of family to it, too. So people who’ve been bringing their kids, they’ll bring their kids. You end up seeing generations of people there, and it also has a certain feel as an experience. Not just the music itself, but in a way the crowd is there to be with each other,” he said.

It won’t just be his new music the band will play during its St. John’s concerts.

“We’re aware that, particularly when we play a place for the first time, that we’ve never visited before, that people really probably want to hear greatest hits. They want to hear the most familiar tunes, and not only do they want to hear those tunes; they want to hear the versions that they know — obviously with variations for it being live. I’ve been to see people before who play songs that they’re known for, but you wouldn’t recognize the version they play, so we’re true to those tunes,” he said. “We’ll do maybe two new songs from the new album, a smattering of songs from the middle distance and then a lot of the stuff that came from the two greatest hits albums.”

Taylor looks forward to his first and second St. John’s concerts at Mile One Stadium May 20 and 21. The doors open both nights at 7:30 p.m. with the concert starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $89.50-$125 and can be purchased at the Mile One Centre box office or online at mileonecentre.com.

TAYLOR'S FAVOURITE JAMES TAYLOR ALBUMS

Ask James Taylor which of his albums he likes the most, and he’ll give long, thoughtful answer.

It’s hard to pick just one of the 16 he’s recorded since 1970, but he can pinpoint the four that mean the most to him (listed in chronological order).

1. “James Taylor” (1968) Apple Records

“The most exciting was to record with The Beatles in 1968 in London, where in a sense you were in on a moment in cultural history and musical history. I was present like a fly on the wall when The Beatles were recording the White Album.”

Taylor’s big break came after his band in New York failed. He went back to North Carolina to lick his wounds, and his folks sent him off to London to stay with some friends. He started playing around, found some encouraging fans and eventually got in touch with producer Peter Asher, who had worked with a member of his New York band.

“It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time, but the most amazing example of it. Peter got me an audition with Paul and George. I played a couple of songs for them. Paul asked Peter, ‘Do you want to produce this guy for our label?’ And Peter said, ‘Yeah, I’ll produce him.’ And Paul said, ‘Well let’s sign him.’ And that was it. It was that simple,” he said.

“I can’t stand to listen to that record. It’s so raw, so new and so half-baked, but it was enough for me to get started. I would have loved it if I could have continued recording for Apple records. Unfortunately this guy named Allen Klein, who’s really a pirate, a real charlatan, took over the label and fired all of us who had been signed, just dropped us all. He was only interested in the Beatles and only interested in what he could make money off.

“It was only a short-lived opportunity, but that window is something that, as time goes by, I’m more and more grateful for.”

2. “Sweet Baby James” (1970) Warner Bros.

Taylor considers this one of his favourites simply because it “basically put me on the map.”

3.”Gorilla” (1975) Warner Bros.

Taylor says he worked on “Gorilla” at a time when he had hit a plateau.

“I very much had my skills together, and I had been through the transition, the upheaval of becoming successful. I’d been at the top of the charts, I’d been on the cover of Time magazine, and on Rolling Stone a couple of times, and I weathered that storm of success that actually killed off a lot of my colleagues, that was just too much. For an artist, particularly an introspective one, to take his work to market can be a real upheaval and sort of shocking, and in ways very disappointing given your expectations.

“I feel as though I was pretty much at peace with who I was as an artist and a musician, and I was working wtih two great producers ... and it was a very good working environment. It was just solid. We had great access to great players.”


4. Hourglass (1997) Columbia


5. “Before This World” (2015) Concord

“Before This World” is James Taylor’s 16th studio album, but his first to reach No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart.

“I love the most recent work, because I think that my ability to record these songs for the first time, and have them be as close to the ideal as possible, gets better and better as time goes by. I get better at recording, essentially,” he said.



The Band

Steve Gadd: drums
Mike Landau: guitars
Jimmy Johnson: bass
Arnold McCuller: vocals
Andrea Zonn: vocals and fiddle
Kate Markowitz: vocals
Jim Cox: keys (Larry Goldings joins tour in June)
Lou Marini: horns
David Lasley: vocals
Luis Conte: percussion
Walt Fowler: horns, keys


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JAMES TAYLOR: WHY HE LOVE CANADIANS, HOW HE OVERCAME HEROIN

James Taylor will embark on an extensive 15-show run through Canada over the next month in support of his 17th studio album "Before This World."

By David Friend for Hamilton Spectator


James Taylor has Canada in his mind.

The five-time Grammy Award winner will embark on an extensive 15-show run through many of the country's biggest cities over the next month in support of his 17th studio album "Before This World."

Taylor begins the trek in Ottawa on Friday before rolling into Hamilton, London, Ont., Kingston, Ont., Montreal and Saint John, N.B. over the next few weeks. Additional tour dates are booked for late May in Summerside, P.E.I., Halifax and St. John's, N.L., as well as Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver in June.

The 68-year-old "How Sweet It Is" and "Carolina in My Mind" singer spoke to The Canadian Press about life on the road, what he loves about Canadians, overcoming a heroin addiction, and the complexities of working alongside his wife.

CP: You're embarking on a pretty exhaustive touring schedule for someone who's nearly 70. How do you keep it up?

Taylor: I think it all comes down to luck and genetics. The music I play doesn't tear up my voice. There's some people who you just know are going to have a tough time when they get to be older because it's hard to scream your head off. For instance, Steven Tyler still does it really well. I can't imagine that kind of vocal production at my age, so total hats off to him.

CP: Have you received any memorable advice about performing at this age?

Taylor: It was Tony (Bennett) who told me that you've got to use your voice every day. At least four days a week I do an hour of singing — and hard singing too — that really taxes my instrument and makes it tired. That's essential. You've got to use it or lose it.

CP: It's surprising how many Canadian dates you have on this tour, especially considering most U.S. musicians make one or two stops here. Why the strong focus on Canada?

Taylor: We've done it before too — in 2008, we did nine dates across the country. The simple answer is I've got a Canadian manager in Vancouver named Sam Feldman who's been (with) me since 2006 or 2007, so he's Canada-centric. That's in his mind and he's familiar with the territory.

CP: Are there differences in playing Canada?

Taylor: There's a directness I find from Canadians. There's a self-doubt that comes with feeling somewhat provincial, as if the neighbours to the south are the main event and Canada has been used to feeling — as a nation — sort of overshadowed. Self-doubt is one of my favourite conditions in other people. People who are blindly self-assured, I just don't get 'em and I don't like 'em.

CP: You've overcome some major obstacles, in particular both heroin addiction and alcohol abuse. Do you reflect on that time in your life?

Taylor: In the beginning I had weights tied around my ankles. I was drug addicted, I was paying no attention to my health. I managed to survive 20 years of active addiction. There were five times when I should've never gotten up, but I did. I transferred addictions from substance — mostly opiates — to exercise. It was the only way I could feel comfortable in my own body. In a way, I overdid that too — I wore out my knees — but it put my heart and lungs in great shape and I'm seeing the benefits of that now.

CP: You met your wife Kim when she was director of marketing at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and since marrying in 2001 she oversees much of your business and also performs with you sometimes. What's the appeal of such a close working relationship?

Taylor: The partnership me and my wife have is we kind of share everything. There really at this point is only "we." We exist as a couple and not really as individuals. Trying not to be an individual is the hardest thing we do (as people). I never consider doing anything myself in which I don't assume her participation and vice versa. I don't know if all marriages are like that or not.

CP: I don't think they are, particularly in music where touring can get in the way of balance. Musician couples are often scrutinized for their partnerships — Paul and Linda McCartney, for example. How do you manage the outsider presumptions?

Taylor: The French have an expression that marriage is a covered dish. What it means is, you really don't know what goes on inside a marriage. The nature of that intimate connection ... that's such a private thing. (Paul) McCartney saw me and Kim working together and he (said), "Don't ever let anyone tell you that's inappropriate — anything you can do that keeps you together. This life on the road has a tendency to tear couples apart, so don't hesitate to work together whenever you can."

The Canadian Press


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James Taylor, ou la minutie du bonheur
7 mai 2016 |Sylvain Cormier | Le Devoir



« Monsieur Steve Gadd ! » s’exclame-t-il au bout du fil. Je viens de dire à James Taylor que je pourrais nommer des gens qui seront au Centre Bell le vendredi 13 mai prochain pour Steve Gadd autant que pour lui. « Je sais ! Chaque soir c’est lui qui a l’ovation ! » Eh ! C’est pas tous les jours que l’as batteur sort des studios où sa frappe si souple a fait sa légende… « C’est ma chance extraordinaire de partager la scène avec l’homme qui a joué sur le Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover de Paul Simon ! »

Taylor me fera l’article à propos de chacun de ses musiciens, le claviériste Larry Goldings qui a son propre trio, « Blue » Lou Marini qui souffla dans son saxo pour les Blues Brothers, et ainsi de suite. « Je pense que ces douze musiciens et choristes qui viennent avec moi à Montréal, ils sont les meilleurs au monde. Peut-être que je ne suis pas assez… How do you say "humble" in french ? » C’est James Taylor qui a insisté pour que l’entrevue se passe en français, quitte à chercher un mot ici et là, et revenir à l’anglais « pour confirmer que je comprends la question… »

Dans cette volonté de parler en français au Devoir, il y a plus que le geste d’un gentilhomme de bonne éducation, né au Massachusetts, élevé dans une jolie campagne de Caroline du Nord pas trop loin de l’université où le paternel enseignait : c’est l’application d’une conception de la vie… et de la musique. L’idée de « faire toujours le plus grand effort possible pour établir une véritable connexion avec les gens », comme il dit en parlant de la minutieuse préparation qui permet aux spectacles de « dépasser le plus possible l’efficacité technique pour que l’on puisse vivre une expérience commune et vraiment s’amuser ».

J’ai dû l’écrire après son Centre Molson en 1997 et ses passages au Festival de jazz en 2008 et 2012 : au-delà de l’horizon de la perfection, il y a James Taylor et les siens, dans un lieu de groove heureux où les chansons aimées deviennent bien-aimées. « I will tell you this : pour moi, il faut arriver à ce moment où tout le monde peut s’abandonner à la musique. Il faut que ça devienne une église, où quelque chose de vraiment “ spiritual ” se passe. C’est ça que nous cherchons chaque fois. » Et il poursuit l’explication en anglais, parlant plus vite : « Beaucoup de conditions doivent être remplies. Tout le monde doit être plus que prêt, il faut être en forme, physiquement et vocalement, et il faut que le son soit bon et que nous nous entendions parfaitement les uns les autres. Il faut tout ça pour que la rencontre ait lieu. »


À lui les harmonies.

La plus grande part de son travail à lui, ce sont les harmonies. Les entrelacs de voix à trois, à quatre. « Je laisse le pianiste s’occuper de son piano, le bassiste trouver ses lignes de basse : ma responsabilité, c’est l’arrangement de ces harmonies. C’est essentiel aux trois quarts des chansons du spectacle. Je les construis ainsi : la fondation, c’est Arnold McCuller et sa voix très puissante, il y a deux sopranos, et moi. Ça permet beaucoup de dynamique, c’est mon plaisir. Tu sais, je viens des Beatles, moi : à la base, il y a la guitare, et les voix en harmonie. » Drôle de penser qu’il a commencé chez Apple, la compagnie des Beatles, en 1968. « Je me pinçais quand Peter Asher m’a présenté à eux, dans cette bâtisse. C’était comme rencontrer Charles de Gaulle, en mille fois plus important. » Paul McCartney et George Harrison participeront à l’enregistrement de Carolina in my Mind. « J’essayais de faire bonne contenance, mais ils savaient que j’étais un fan, ils m’avaient tout appris. Un moment incroyable. »

Des moments incroyables, il en vivra d’autres (« quand ils m’ont mis en première page du Time Magazine en 1971, c’était overwhelming, man ! »). Et il insiste : il y a des moments incroyables possibles à chaque spectacle. « C’est pour ça qu’on fait très attention… » La liste des chansons, précise-t-il, est « l’objet de notre plus grand soin ». Ça avoisine la trentaine de titres, l’accent est mis sur les incontournables qui ne sont pas contournés, mais il y a « des petits ajouts selon les villes, à Montréal on pourrait faire Snowtime… » C’est l’une des chansons de l’album Before the World, paru en 2015, le premier de matériel neuf en 13 ans. Qu’il échantillonne pour le spectacle. Cinq titres, pas plus. « Si je voulais seulement ma propre satisfaction, j’en jouerais plus. Mais ma satisfaction quand je joue l’intro de Fire and Rain est aussi grande, c’est comme si je décidais d’entrer dans la maison et d’aller dans le salon, là où se trouvent tous les invités. C’est un moment très gratifiant. »


Plus gratifiant qu’Elvis interprétant Steamroller pour son spectacle Aloha from Hawaii diffusé par satellite en 1973 ? « À l’époque, c’était… étrange. Elvis, c’était Las Vegas, et j’étais dans une génération qui voyait ça comme de l’entertainment de jadis, d’antan ! Nous, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, on était sans artifices… Et Steamroller était une parodie de blues, ce qui échappait probablement à Elvis. Je suis un blanc-bec de classe moyenne, je n’ai pas ramassé le coton dans le delta, tu comprends ? J’aime le blues, mais je ne me sens pas le droit de chanter le blues au premier degré. Cela dit, aujourd’hui, je suis très fier qu’Elvis ait interprété une de mes chansons. Et c’était une bonne version. Merci Elvis, où que tu sois. »


Steamroller sera au programme vendredi. « C’est une chanson pour s’amuser. Tous ensemble. Toute mon intention dans le spectacle se résume à ça : partager la joie de la musique. It takes you out of the self, you know ? Avec la musique, on peut s’échapper. Tous ensemble. »


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May 6, 2016 Canadian Tire Centre Ottawa, ON


Music review: James Taylor takes his time and lets his songs, band work their magic

by Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen

A genial James Taylor uncorked a deceptively complex performance at the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday, the sweet-sounding songs blossoming at the hands of his seriously talented band.

There wasn’t a harsh note as the 68-year-old Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer moseyed through two generous sets, dishing out the aural equivalent of comfort food to a receptive audience of about 5,000, which wasn’t quite enough to fill the arena in its theatre setup.

Dressed casually in neutral tones, Taylor looked more like a kindly grandfather than a rock star as he perched on a stool at centre stage, armed with an acoustic guitar. But when he sang, the warm tenor of his voice carried the intimacy of an old friend, a kindred spirit who’s been part of our lives for decades.

He was in no hurry to rush through the concert, nor was there any desire to show off. His songs stand for themselves, without the need for bombast. Taylor obviously understands that having a great band is the key to letting them shine. “This band is the joy of my musical life,” he declared early in the show.

The starting point was a tender-hearted version of 1975’s Wandering. At first, it was just Taylor and his acoustic, but the band soon jumped in. A curiously inventive rendition of Buddy Holly’s Everyday came next, brightened by the horn section and punctuated by congas, courtesy of Latin percussion master Luis Conte.

The first half of the show was understated, the simple songs made intricate, but never cluttered, by the instrumentation and arrangements of the 10-piece band. The abundance of talent on stage included guitarist Michael Landau, fiddler/singer Andrea Zonn, bassist Jimmy Johnson and keyboardist Jim Cox.

Country Road featured the impressive stickwork of drummer Steve Gadd, while I Was a Fool To Care highlighted the luscious harmonies of the backing singers and the rousing sound of Walt Fowler on trumpet and former Blues Brother “Blue” Lou Marini on sax.

Other first-set highlights included Your Smiling Face and an especially poignant Fire and Rain, the perfect song to dedicate to the thousands displaced this week by wildfires in Alberta.

It may surprise some to learn that Taylor is still writing and making music. A new album, Before This World, came out last year, and a handful of new songs were interspersed with the oldies on the setlist.

With a self-deprecating nod, Taylor warned the crowd whenever a new song was about to be played. “We’re gonna play some new songs, and get them out of the way fast,” he quipped. One of the best was Snow Time, a song inspired by a visit to Montreal.

The Boston-born and North Carolina-raised performer was also a great storyteller as he reminisced about the old days, touching on his time spent in London when he was signed to the Apple label in the ’60s. The homesickness drove him to write Carolina On My Mind, one of his best tunes.

After an intermission that saw Taylor sign autographs from the stage instead of resting, the hits continued. Highlights included Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend, the lilting Sweet Baby James, a mariachi-inspired take on Mexico and a full-tilt soul- and gospel-infused reading of How Sweet it Is (To be Loved By You).

The temperature rose during the encore as the band finally had the chance to let loose with big, splashy versions of Knock on Wood and Sun on The Moon before downshifting to You and I Again, a beautiful ballad from the new album that reflects on the passage of time. “I wish that I could slow the whole thing down,” Taylor sang, expressing a sentiment that connected with everyone in the boomer-aged crowd.


EVERYDAY



CAROLINA IN MY MIND



COUNTRY ROAD



FIRE AND RAIN



MEXICO



HOW SWEET IT IS



YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND



Dernière édition par Admin le Lun 09 Mai 2016, 2:54 pm, édité 1 fois


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May 8, 2016 First Ontario Centre Hamilton, ON


JAMES TAYLOR: a voice as warm and comfortable as a pair of favourite slippers

Hamilton Spectator
By Graham Rockingham

James Taylor was born in Boston, raised in North Carolina and now lives in a country home in The Berkshires of Massachusetts — he's a huge Red Sox fan, of course, but he's also got a big place in his heart for Canada.

Shortly before his Sunday night show in Hamilton, Taylor announced that he plans to donate the proceeds of two upcoming concerts in Alberta to the Canadian Red Cross to support victims of the Fort McMurray wildfires.

"I can't stop thinking about the people up in Fort McMurray, it's hard what to say," he told the crowd of some 7,000 Sunday at FirstOntario Centre. "So much hardship is unimaginable."

Taylor, clearly moved by the tragedy in Alberta, then dedicated his most famous song, "Fire and Rain," to the people of Fort McMurray.

But that wasn't all. He even performed a new song, written as a tribute to Canada's multicultural mosaic. The song, called "SnowTime," features an "O Canada" refrain and is the centrepiece of Taylor's latest album "BeforeThis World."

"This is a song that absolutely took place in Toronto, a song that's set in the city," Taylor said as he opened the second set of his 24-song concert.

Taylor isn't the most prolific songwriter in pop music — "Before This World" is his first album of original songs in 13 years. But when he does sit down to write a song, it's usually very good. This is the guy, after all, who wrote "Fire and Rain."

"SnowTime" doesn't disappoint. It's a storyteller's narrative, scored to a Latin shuffle, about an American lost on the streets of downtown Toronto on a chilly December night. The narrator finds warmth through the sounds of a group of Latino musicians busking on a side street.

OK, I could get cynical about this. Back in 1975, Taylor also wrote a song called "Mexico," about an American getting lost in a Mexican border town. It has a similar refrain -- "Oh Mexico," instead of "O Canada." Unfortunately, Taylor played "Mexico" in the same set as "SnowTime," making it hard to miss the similarities.

I'm not going to get cynical, however. I like James Taylor too much. The 68-year-old troubadour may not possess a lot of street cred … but, wow, that voice. Taylor sings with a tone that is so wonderfully mellow, it deserves to be turned into a verb. (I'm thinking Eddie Murphy telling Pee-wee Herman to 'please jamestaylor it down.')

What's not to like about James Taylor? He's warm and comfortable like a favourite pair of slippers that never gets stinky — warm, fuzzy and backed by a crack 10-piece band, so good you sometimes forget they're on stage.

He could easily have pushed through by regurgitating all those 70s hits — "You've Got A Friend," "Copperline," "Carolina In My Mind," "Country Road," "Shower the People," "Sweet Baby James," Your Smiling Face," – all of which he did and more.

Still, he featured several new songs off his latest album, including his ode to Canada, "SnowTime." And they fit in very well with the hits. As a matter of fact, "SnowTime" was one of the highlights of the show.


ANGELS OF FENWAY



MONTANA





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James Taylor's songs transport fans — and their writer — through time

Bernard Perusse, Special to Montreal Gazette - 9 May 2016


It could be one of the most intriguing couplets from a veteran artist in quite some time.


“Somehow I haven’t died / And I feel the same inside,” James Taylor sings in Today Today Today, from his most recent album, Before This World, released last June.

Certainly the singer-songwriter’s survival from addiction after recovering in the early 1980s has been exhaustively chronicled. But at 68, he now seems more relaxed than ever about discussing those feelings mentioned in the song. It was a thoughtful and candid Taylor on the phone line — one who not only tackled every question thrown at him with self-analytical gusto, but even kept the conversation going by volunteering information long after his manager’s cut-off time for the interview had gone by.

Surprisingly, Before This World is Taylor’s first No. 1 album. Granted, such recognition is different from what it was in 1970, when LPs were big business, music was a life-and-death matter and the bona fide Taylor classic Sweet Baby James was released. Still, that earlier record-collection staple stalled at No. 3.

Clearly, a loyal fan base bought the new album, which is as satisfying a third-act release as anything by Taylor’s contemporaries. But on his current tour, which stops in Montreal on Friday, May 13, he is, as ever, mindful of the nostalgia that brings so many people to his concerts. Luckily, it doesn’t stretch his imagination to put himself in their shoes — even if it involves a song like Fire and Rain or Carolina in My Mind, both released when he was in his 20s.

(Performing in Ottawa May 6, Taylor dedicated Fire and Rain to evacuees in Fort McMurray. He has announced that the proceeds from his two upcoming Alberta concerts — June 7 in Edmonton and June 8 in Calgary — will go to victims of the wildfires.)

“The phrase most often used is, ‘These songs were the soundtrack of my life,’ ” Taylor said in reference to those early favourites. “It’s like the songs represent a time to people, or a very difficult passage one song helped them get through in their life, or a relationship with a certain person and the song was the theme song of that relationship. Or it will remind them of a trip they took across the country with their dad.

“I think that same thing happens to me with these songs,” he said. “I’m taken back to where I was when I was first visited by the song, when it first came through. I also get a lot of the energy the audience generates when they receive the song. The experience of listening to music is 95 per cent the same as being on stage and making music. The kind of ad hoc community that happens can be extremely powerful. When I play one of these old songs that resonates a lot with an audience, I get the buzz from it. It’s definitely a spiritual thing for me.”

Spirituality, as it happens, is among the recurring themes in Taylor’s work, with Montana and Before This World’s title track providing recent examples. Although he has described some of his songs as hymns for agnostics, he said his interest in religions is an ongoing fascination — even though he was not brought up under any faith.

“Sometimes if you miss that boat when you’re young, it’s very difficult to put it on later in life, (but) I’m basically on a spiritual quest — like all of us are in some sense — looking for ways of dealing with the human condition, ways to integrate the self and the whole. It is something I never stop thinking about,” he said.

Self-imposed solitude is what brought forth enough new material for Before This World — Taylor’s first album of original songs in 13 years (although if you count live recordings, a Christmas album and two collections of covers, the new releases have been steady).

“It was very hard for me to get back into my writer’s chair. What really works best is une semaine entière, loin de chez moi,” said Taylor, who appears to enjoy slipping in the occasional sentence in his more-than-respectable French when speaking to a Montreal publication. And even before getting the writing process underway, he said, he needed a couple of days of silence and isolation.

At the dawn of his career, he explained, songwriting happened unconsciously, fuelled by energy and an urgency for self-expression. “It’s definitely easier in the beginning to write songs, because you can’t not write them,” he said. “But after a while, that goes away a little bit. You learn a craft. You learn to write songs. You get better at songwriting itself. It’s a trade-off.”

Keeping his gentle but supple tenor voice in shape as well has, for decades, been a matter of doing an hour of vocal exercises virtually every day when he’s not on the road. “It’s use it or lose it,” he said. “Fortunately, the music I sing doesn’t tear your voice out. I’ve got a couple of screamers every night, but by the time I get to them, I’m pretty well warmed up.”

Although you can expect boomers to be the ones cheering for playful vocal showcases like Steamroller in a live Taylor setting, some of his songs have also resonated with 26-year-old Taylor Swift. He and the multiplatinum-selling singer guested at each other’s concerts in 2011 and 2012.

“We met before she was such a sensation,” Taylor said. “We did some benefits together. I really liked her as a person and I loved the songs. I thought she was the real thing. She stood there with her songs and her guitar and reminded me very much of myself at an earlier stage. Her folks, who named her after me, exposed her to a lot of my music and a couple of my songs meant a lot to her. I do recognize her as someone who has a real craft.”

If other contemporary singer-songwriters are more inscrutable in their lyrics than he or Swift have ever been, elder statesman Taylor is cheering all of them on anyway.

“Nothing is out of bounds, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “All is fair in love, war and music.”

---------------------------------


May 12, 2016 K-Rock Centre Kingston, ON

TAYLOR SOOTHES KINGSTON CROWD

By Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig-Standard





For the almost three hours singer-songwriter James Taylor was onstage Thursday night, he succeeded in making the cavernous arena seem like an intimate venue.

While the musical side of Taylor's show likely sated the appetites of his fans, it was those moments in between the songs that were particularly endearing to me. He tried harder than any musical act I've seen at the Rogers K-Rock Centre to engage with the audience the old-fashioned way: by listening and reacting.

Sure, the stories the 68-year-old shared Thursday with the 4,500 in attendance were likely stories he's told at each stop along his tour, but they're good ones and bear repeating. Take, for example, the one about his hit Carolina In My Mind. It was 1968 and it was "the best year of my life," Taylor confided to the rapt audience, because he travelled to London, England, where he was discovered and signed by The Beatles' record label, Apple, but, despite all of that excitement, he was terribly homesick. So he wrote a song, and, when he played it, the lyrics resonated with me more than they had before.

Also impressive was the way Taylor interacted with the crowd. I felt there was, at first, a kind of aw-shucks awkwardness or shyness about him, as if he wasn't entirely at ease in the spotlight despite having performed for as long as he has. That soon fell away, however, as the show wore on, and he displayed his sharp wit when responding to those in the crowd who felt compelled to yell requests -- pointing out on his large-lettered setlists that the song was forthcoming was a running gag -- and comments between songs.

While all of the above made the show feel more intimate, nothing, for me at least, tops what he did in between his two sets. Rather than walk off the stage with the rest of his band, Taylor instead moved to the front of it, plopping himself down to sign autographs and pose for pictures with excited fans with floor seats. He remained there for the entire 20-minute break, and only stood up after members of the band returned to the stage. In an age when bands look to social media and the like to engage with fans, it was refreshing to see an artist of Taylor's calibre just spend time hanging out with them instead.

And then, of course, there was the music.

Taylor began the concert seated on a stool and reached back into his 1970s catalogue for openers Wandering, which segued into Secret o' Life. He then perforned Buddy Holly's Everyday, the first of three cover songs during the night, and the first chance to show off his impressive All-Star Band -- guitarist Mike Landau, bassist Jimmy Johnson, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Larry Goldings, percussionist Luis Conte, saxophonist (and former member of the Blues Brothers Revue) Lou Marini, trumpeter Walt Fowler -- many of whom have played with Taylor for years. The band was not only impossibly tight, but played with subtlety and restraint.

Taylor then proceeded to play Today Today Today, the opening track of his last year's record, Before This World. Playing new songs, of which he played five, was good to get over with quickly, he told the crowd, like ripping off a Band-Aid. Maybe it's because of my unfamiliarity with the tracks, but I have to agree; in fact, I wish he had granted the audience member's wish later on in the show to play Only a Dream in Rio -- he paused and appeared to consider it -- instead of playing the hokey Boston Red Sox ode Angels of Fenway.

The audience warmed up, though, when he started into Walking on a Country Road -- which, he happily recalled during his banter, was written during his "hippy bull----" days in the late 1960s, a "vibe" he still loves to this day -- the first of many hits he would roll out.

While it's not my favourite James Taylor song, my favourite Thursday night was Shower the People, which he played about halfway through the second set. For me, it summed up the evening perfectly: it was breezy and warm, with a homespun feel to it, thanks to Taylor's still-soothing voice; it showed off the impeccable playing of his backup band; and it was highlighted by a soaring solo from backup singer Arnold McCuller, who has sung with Taylor since 1977. (I'm pretty sure that, given enough rehearsal time, Taylor and his All-Star Band are so adept that they could smoothe any hard rock song, such as Highway to Hell, into a real toe-tapper -- not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Like many in the audience, the concert was pretty much everything I hoped it would be, musically, while I gained a new respect for him as he went to such lengths to win over an audience that he already had in the palm of his hand.


Setlist

Here's the setlist for Thursday night's James Taylor concert at the Rogers K-Rock Centre

1. Wandering/Secret o' Life
2. Everyday (Buddy Holly cover)
3. Walking Man
4. Today Today Today
5. Walking on a Country Road
6. I Was a Fool to Care
7. Copperline
8. Carolina In My Mind
9. Up on the Roof (Drifters cover)
10. Fire and Rain
11. Shed a Little Light

Intermission

12. Snowtime
13. You've Got a Friend
14. Promised Land (Chuck Berry cover)
15. Shower the People
16. Angels of Fenway
17. Before this World/Jolly Springtime
18. Sweet Baby James
19. Steamroller
20. Mexico
21. Smiling Face

Encore

22. Knock on Wood (Eddie Floyd cover)
23. How Sweet It Is
24. Wild Mountain Thyme



YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND



YOUR SMILING FACE



HOW SWEET IT IS



Dernière édition par Admin le Sam 14 Mai 2016, 9:00 pm, édité 4 fois


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James Taylor: l'homme derrière l'artiste

Alain de Repentigny
La Presse - 13 mai 2016



James Taylor s'amène vendredi au Centre Bell avec sous le bras son premier album de chansons bien à lui en une dizaine d'années, Before This World, paru en 2015.



Rares sont les artistes qui donnent autant que James Taylor l'impression d'être tout à fait les mêmes sur scène que dans la vie. Voilà déjà cinq minutes que nous conversons au téléphone et, comme il le fait chaque fois qu'il renoue avec le public montréalais, le grand sec du Massachusetts cause dans un français fort respectable pour quelqu'un qui l'a appris il y a longtemps dans une colonie de vacances. L'instant d'après, il ajoute qu'il aimerait s'installer un mois en France avec sa femme, qui se débrouille également dans notre langue, et en profiter pour écrire les chansons d'un prochain album.

C'est le même homme allumé qui, au premier concert de sa tournée canadienne vendredi à Ottawa, a dédié sa chanson Fire and Rain aux victimes des incendies en Alberta et qui a décidé de leur verser les recettes de ses deux concerts à Calgary et Edmonton le mois prochain.

«C'est très difficile d'organiser un grand concert-bénéfice, mais comme on donnait deux spectacles en Alberta, on s'est dit: allons-y, répond-il tout bonnement. Quant à Fire and Rain, ça s'est décidé sur le coup. Tout le monde avait ça [les incendies] en tête, et ça me semblait être le bon moment.»

L'artiste de 68 ans s'amène vendredi au Centre Bell avec sous le bras son premier album de chansons bien à lui en une dizaine d'années. Before This World, paru en 2015, prouve une fois de plus qu'il n'a pas perdu la forme même si, pour en écrire les textes, il a dû se retirer seul dans une maison au Rhode Island.

«J'avais l'habitude d'écrire dans un petit atelier près de ma maison où je passais quelques heures par jour, mais maintenant, j'ai besoin de tranquillité, peut-être parce que j'ai deux adolescents à la maison ou qu'à cette étape de ma vie, il faut que je fasse le vide complet pour pouvoir écrire.»

«J'aime le contact avec mes grands musiciens, qui sont comme une famille, ainsi qu'avec le public qui me fait vivre des moments très intenses. Mais j'aime également beaucoup la véritable solitude.»

Taylor avait l'habitude de coucher sur des musiques déjà composées des textes qu'il écrivait par la suite. Cette fois, pourtant, deux sujets fort différents se sont vite imposés: dans Angels of Fenway, la conquête de la Série mondiale par les Red Sox de Boston en 2004, après une longue disette de 86 ans associée à la vente du contrat de Babe Ruth aux Yankees de New York - la malédiction du Bambino, qui a marqué des générations d'amateurs de baseball de Boston; puis, dans Far Afghanistan, le sort d'un jeune soldat qui s'en va combattre pour se prouver des choses et sa difficulté à réintégrer la société à son retour au pays.

«À l'époque de la guerre du Viêtnam, j'ai perdu plusieurs amis, dont mon meilleur ami, qui s'est suicidé deux ans après son retour», explique Taylor.

Pour Hillary Clinton

Comme en 2008 et en 2012, le hasard ramène James Taylor à Montréal en cette année où son pays s'apprête à élire un nouveau président. On pourrait soupçonner ce partisan convaincu du Parti démocrate d'avoir un faible pour son voisin du Vermont, le vénérable Bernie Sanders. Mais s'il félicite Sanders d'avoir rappelé aux démocrates les véritables valeurs libérales et d'avoir tiré un peu le parti vers la gauche, c'est Hillary Clinton qui remporte son adhésion.

«Je suis très déchiré entre les deux, mais je crois que Hillary va être capable de composer avec Washington mieux que Bernie, estime-t-il. J'aime son enthousiasme et sa force morale. Pour tout dire, en fait de personnalité, je préfère de beaucoup Hillary. Peut-être suis-je très cynique, mais je trouve que le climat actuel à Washington exige vraiment quelqu'un qui a beaucoup de doigté et de patience. Ça ne suffit pas d'avoir le bon agenda idéologique. Ça va être très difficile de travailler avec les républicains.»

Taylor ne s'étonne pas le moins du monde du succès de Donald Trump. Il a d'ailleurs sa petite théorie sur le sujet.

«Les républicains peuvent compter sur les 10 % des électeurs qui sont très riches parce que c'est là que se trouve leur véritable électorat. Mais comment font-ils pour que 50 % des gens votent pour eux? Premièrement, ils disent au Sud qu'ils défendent les droits des États et qu'ils ne laisseront pas le gouvernement fédéral s'en mêler. Puis ils rallient le reste des électeurs partisans d'une cause unique comme le lobby des armes, la droite religieuse qui veut enseigner le créationnisme dans les écoles, les xénophobes et les homophobes et ceux qui veulent dire aux femmes que leurs corps appartiennent aux hommes. C'est comme si la base électorale qu'ils ont constituée était tellement déplaisante et nourrie par la peur qu'elle n'attendait que quelqu'un comme Donald Trump pour s'en emparer.»

Ce qu'il y a de plus urgent, ajoute Taylor, c'est une réforme électorale en profondeur qui permette vraiment à tout citoyen américain de se prévaloir du droit de vote.

_______________________________________________________________________

Au Centre Bell, le vendredi 13 mai.


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James Taylor au Centre Bell

Dans ce lieu qu’ouvre l’excellence

14 mai 2016 |Le Devoir - Sylvain Cormier | Musique



Des arrangements idéalement déployés, jamais d’esbroufe, jamais de paresse : c’est ce qu’on s’attend de James Taylor et son All-Star Band à chaque passage, et c’est ce qu’on obtient invariablement.

À la fin de l’entrevue, la semaine dernière, James Taylor a voulu savoir où il jouerait. J’ai dû teinter mon « Centre Bell » d’un brin de dépit. Il a ri. Comment ne pas lui souhaiter — se souhaiter à nous tout autant — un Wilfrid-Pelletier, pourquoi pas une Maison symphonique ? Un écrin digne d’épouser les contours d’une telle expérience, digne de l’exigence de dépassement qu’il s’impose ? « Nous pouvons remplir cet espace : c’est un grand band, c’est moi avec dix musiciens et choristes. We make a big noise. » Dans le cadre de cette tournée, la même équipe jouera dans des stades de baseball cet été, notamment le Fenway Park de son Boston d’allégeance. « Nous avons joué là déjà, devant 40 000 personnes. J’ai confiance que ça va se passer très bien dans votre Centre Bell… »


Du beau gros bruit ? De la musique parfaitement calibrée, oui. Des arrangements idéalement déployés, jamais d’esbroufe, jamais de paresse : c’est ce qu’on attend de James Taylor et de son All-Star Band à chaque passage, et c’est ce qu’on obtient invariablement. Et ça se vérifie une fois de plus ce vendredi soir au Centre Bell, même si le chanteur tient à s’excuser (en français) pour un restant de petit rhume qui l’embête. « Il faut être prêt, il faut être en forme », disait-il au Devoir l’autre jour. Quelques notes un peu rauques dans les basses, dans Carolina In My Mind, viendront surtout ajouter de l’humanité à l’expérience : le contrôle est tel, cette voix si pure, que l’imperfection est presque bienvenue. Ça nous rappelle que ça se peut.

Car pour le reste, on est comme d’habitude dans cette zone de bonheur qui existe au-delà de l’exquis, de l’autre bord du travail de peaufinage extrême : le sourire du grand James en témoigne, il est dans son grand carré de sable, et nous avec lui. Nous : ses musiciens, ses choristes, le public. Tout le monde. Le très légendaire et très vivant Steve Gadd tape avec une telle souplesse derrière qu’on oublie toute la vie d’expertise qui l’a mené là, Andrea Zonn promène son violon autour des mélodies avec tant de naturel que l’on jouit de son apport dans le son d’ensemble sans qu’il n’y paraisse, et pareil pour les autres. C’est un cliché mais rarement aussi digne de redite : le jeu conjugué dépasse la grammaire au point où le langage résultant semble émaner directement du cœur du chanteur. Cette musique autour de lui, c’est lui.

Chanter ensemble, c’est vivre ensemble

Ces trois voix qui se marient à la sienne, dans la toute récente Today Today Today autant que dans Shower The People, c’est à la fois les voix de Kate Markowitz, Arnord McCuller et Andrea Zonn et la sienne multipliée par quatre. Ce degré de proximité. Cette joie irradiante. « We might as well enjoy the ride », chante le grand gaillard dans le doublé Wandering/Secret O' Life qui démarre le show : c’est le secret de ce spectacle. Sans surprise ? Peut-être. Et puis après ? Le bonheur est parfois très exactement dans le fait de donner aux gens ce qu’ils veulent, mais au superlatif.

SHOWER THE PEOPLE


Oui, on célèbre les liens qui nous unissent dans You’ve Got A Friend. Bien sûr que l’on goûte chaque note de Sweet Baby James. On est forcément émus par l’histoire de baseball dans Fenway Park, on fait sans se forcer la fête dans le caricatural blues Steamroller, les sombreros sortent tout naturellement pour Mexico, les popotins se brassent parce qu’il ne peut en être autrement dans Knock On Wood et How Sweet It It (To Be Loved By You). Et on sort heureux. Heureux ? Comblés. Remplis de musique et de sentiments bienfaisants. Et James Taylor est content aussi sous sa casquette, et ses musiciens également. « A communal experience », expliquait notre homme en entrevue. Très exactement ça.

*******************

FIRE AND RAIN



UPON THE ROOF



STEAMROLLER BLUES



YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND




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CONCERT REVIEW: JAMES TAYLOR OFFERS COMFORT AT THE CENTRE BELL

Bernard Perusse, Special to Montreal Gazette



For a while Friday night, there was no Trumpocalypse on the horizon. No political columnists warning you that ISIL will be in your living room in a couple of hours, before you have a chance to check the locks. The collapse of the economy, the health-care network and the judicial system could be put off until tomorrow.

It happened for 6,000 well-groomed boomers attending James Taylor’s concert at the Bell Centre, luxuriating in a cocoon made mostly of sweet, sensitive songs from decades past, but which was, oddly, just what the doctor ordered in 2016. In dark times, there’s surely a place for songs about having a friend, showering the people you love with love and the light that needs to be shed on the ties between us.

In fact, in the face of mainstream intolerance and polarized politics, it’s almost as if Taylor has become countercultural again after almost 50 years. Apparently, that “hippie bulls–t from the late `60s” he joked about onstage still has legs.

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time,” the musician and writer sang, only two songs into a two-and-a-quarter-hour concert. Secret O’ Life, with its velvety melody and disarmingly simple inspiration, is easily one of his most enduring compositions.

“Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill/ But since we’re on our way down, we might as well enjoy the ride,” he continued  — a line that clearly resonated with a crowd made up largely of people who looked as if they were around when Taylor launched his career. (Clearly an old soul in a young body, the singer was only 29 when Secret O’ Life was released.)

Enjoy the ride they did, cheering Taylor’s vamping over drummer Steve Gadd’s backbeat during Country Road, reverently singing along with Fire and Rain and very politely rushing the stage to do a two-step during Your Smiling Face.

Taylor’s stellar band was fully on its game, with Andrea Zonn’s fiddle providing the lonesome twang required by Sweet Baby James and underscoring the wistful yearning in Copperline. The two-man horn section of Walt Fowler and Blues Brothers alumnus Lou Marini added punch to Walking Man, I Was a Fool to Care and Mexico, while guitarist Michael Landau shone on the Chuck Berry classic Promised Land.

One thing Taylor rarely gets enough praise for is the importance he clearly gives to his background singers. Zonn, Kate Markowitz and Arnold McCuller (who snagged a show-stealing moment during Shower the People) are an integral part of the show’s sonic textures, proving crucial foundation, counterpoint and colour as needed. It’s hard to imagine a song as anthemic as Shed a Little Light without them.

Although Taylor announced early in the show that he was drinking tea to fight a cold, his smooth tenor sounded fully intact — even during the playful, button-down raunch of his crowd-pleasing blues parody Steamroller (which, over the years, has morphed into a blunt showpiece that bears only a passing resemblance to the wry 1970 original.).

When Taylor was finished with the greatest hits, the covers he has made his own and the undervalued blue-eyed soul beauties, he closed the show by digging out — to the audience’s delight — a deeply-buried treasure: Chanson Française, from his criminally-underrated 1979 masterpiece Flag.

The song, written and sung entirely in French, finds Taylor — whose French, incidentally, is more than respectable — gently making light of his struggles to express himself in that language.

The crowd was charmed. Taylor basked in the affection for a few minutes and took his leave. There was no following that.

Set list:  

1. Wandering
2. Secret O’ Life
3. Everyday
4. Walking Man
5. Today Today Today
6. Country Road
7. I Was a Fool to Care
8. Copperline
9. Carolina In My Mind
10. Up On the Roof
11. Fire and Rain
12. Shed a Little Light

Intermission

13. Snowtime
14. You’ve Got a Friend
15. Promised Land
16. Shower the People
17. Angels of Fenway
18. Jolly Springtime
19. Sweet Baby James
20. Steamroller
21. Mexico
22. Your Smiling Face

Encores:

23. Knock on Wood
24. How Sweet It Is
25. Chanson Française


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May 15, 2016 Harbour Station St. John, NB


ANGELS OF FENWAY



SWEET BABY JAMES




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May 17, 2016 Scotiabank Centre Halifax, NS

IN PICTURES: JAMES TAYLOR PERFORMS TO PACKED HOUSE IN HALIFAX



The American singer performed many hits and some new songs at the Scotiabank Centre.


From the moment lean folk icon James Taylor walked out of the shadows onto the stage, the Halifax audience was on their feet with cheers and clapping that rarely stopped throughout the night.

Over the course of three hours Wednesday evening, Taylor strummed guitar and sang old favourites as well a handful of songs from his latest album Before This World with the backing of his powerhouse All-Star Band.

Taylor opened with the Secret O’ Life, wearing a dark polo and grey slacks and tipped his ever-present newsboy cap to the crowd before launching into the song.

“It’s amazing to me that we’ve never played here before,” Taylor said to the audience with a smile as he perched on a stool.

A Buddy Holly cover was followed by Walking Man, with Taylor’s first chat to the audience about details that influenced the song, like autumn and his father.


Throughout the night Taylor would take a few minutes to tell a story or share a memory, always singing with a smile on his face, lending the show a family atmosphere that felt like you were included in a warm circle for a few hours.

There were often shouts from the crowd when Taylor would pause between songs, at one point two women called out “I love you JT.”  

“What a nice thing to say,” Taylor said with a wink.

The next second a deep masculine voice shouted “I love you too!”

Golden and blue lights softly twinkled above Taylor’s head while the stage’s backdrop often changed colours depending on the mood, or showed scenes like rolling hills for Carolina In My Mind.

Taylor said that song came about when he was in England in 1968 before his career took off, and a friend of a friend managed to get him in front of The Beatles and signed to their Apple Records label.

He actually recorded in the same studio while The White Album was being made, Taylor said, and while it was exciting he was “clinically homesick” for North Carolina and wrote down the song.


The 68-year-old’s energy never flagged during the two sets, broken up with a 20-minute intermission, and he could often be seen jumping up and down in time with the beats of the drummer, at one point actually doing Angus Young of AC/DC’s famous duck walk across the stage.

Although the sold-out crowd seemed to be mostly middle-aged or older, teens and younger couples could be seen rushing the stage during intermission to hand up albums and t-shirts for Taylor to sign.

Great cheers and standing ovations went up for favourites like "Country Road", "Mexico", "Up on the Roof", "You’ve Got a Friend", "Shower the People", "Your Smiling Face", and "Sweet Baby James", but the iconic opening notes of "Fire and Rain" had the house singing along from the beginning.


Taylor’s yearning voice, unchanged for decades, floated above the swaying crowd as red lights washed over the stage.

The funky blues tune "Steamroller" had Taylor’s expressive face screwed up, his eyes and mouth flying open wide as he wailed on a powder-blue electric guitar.

For the encore Taylor covered Eddie Floyd’s "Knock on Wood" to keep everyone dancing, and finished with "How Sweet It Is (To be Loved By You)".

WANDERING / SECRET OF LIFE



EVERYDAY



WALKING MAN



TODAY TODAY TODAY



COUNTRY ROAD



FROZEN MAN



COPPERLINE



CAROLINA IN MY MIND





FIRE AND RAIN





ENTRACTE

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND



SHOWER THE PEOPLE



ANGELS OF FENWAY



BEFORE THIS WORLD/JOLLY SPRINGTIME



STEAMROLLER



MEXICO



YOUR SMILING FACE



ENCORES

KNOCK ON WOOD



HOW SWEET IT IS



WILD MOUNTAIN THYME





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May 20 & 21, 2016 Mile One Center St. Johns, NL

Concert review: James Taylor is sincere and sweet at Mile One Centre

Singer James Taylor performs to an appreciative crowd at Mile One Centre Friday night. It was the first of two shows, with the second show starting tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Tara Bradbury - for The Telegramm  May 21, 2016

 
James Taylor has had every opportunity to be, well, a jerk.

A successful musician by the time he was a teenager, Taylor was the first non-British act signed to The Beatles’ Apples Records label at age 20, with hits like “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got a Friend” and screaming fans in North America and the U.K. by his early 20s.  

You might excuse him if he had taken the Bieber-style view of early fame and let it go to his head — but it appears he hasn’t. On stage at Mile One Centre in St. John’s Friday night, Taylor was chatty and friendly and personable, coming across as just a really nice guy.  

With no opening act, he walked out onto the stage alone and unassuming, taking off his cap and giving the audience a deep bow, earning a standing ovation just for being there before even picking up his guitar.   Explaining that he’s had a couple days off and calling his time in St. John’s “remarkable” so far, Taylor launched into a medley of “Wandering” and “Secret O’ Life”.

His songs, mainly gentle, sensitive tunes from a simpler time, remain relevant today and his audience of baby boomers were appreciative, standing up to applaud no less than six or seven times through the show.  

“This one is about having that special connection to nature, kind of that hippy bullshit from the ‘60s. I love that,” Taylor said before starting “Country Road.”  

“Giv’er!” shouted a male voice in the audience.  

“Don’t give that man any more Screech. Don’t do it,” Taylor joked back.  

Now 68, Taylor is a five-time Grammy winner and a longtime rock ‘n’ roll hall of famer, as well as one of the best-selling artists of all time, selling more than 100 million records. His most recent release is last summer’s “Before This World,” and his voice has remained remarkably unchanged over the years, both on the album and in person Friday night.  

Taylor’s passion for his lyrics seemed evident; incredible given the length of time he’s been performing songs like “Sweet Baby James” and the amount of touring he’s been doing lately. He seemed genuinely happy to be on stage, spending most of the two-and-a-half hours he was on stage smiling.  

The troubadour was backed by a 10-piece band of stellar singers and musicians, including bassist Jimmy Johnson, two-man horn section Walt Fowler and Lou Marini (of Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live band fame), percussionist Luis Conte, guitarist Michael Landau, pianist Jim Cox, drummer Steve Gadd, and backup singers Andrea Zonn (who also played fiddle), Kate Markowitz and Arnold McCuller — who earned a standing ovation of his own for an incredible vocal bit during “Shower the People.”  

Before starting his homesick ballad, “Carolina on my Mind,” Taylor gave some of the background behind it. 1968 was one of the best years of his life, he said.  

“I convinced my parents to buy me a ticket to England. I didn’t intend for it to be a career move, but I took my guitar.”  

Taylor told of meeting Peter Asher, a head of The Beatles’ newly-formed Apple Records label, and of having an audience with Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

“I was one nervous puppy,” Taylor said. “I was surrounded by this heavenly host of my idols, and I knew how lucky I was.”  

Taylor played a dozen songs before taking a 20-minute intermission but no break: admitting he was only going to use the time to stand behind the curtain and keep an eye on his watch, he instead sat on the edge of the stage, signing autographs and taking selfies with fans.   His second set was a little more rock ‘n’ roll than the first, and included a playful blues parody, “Steamroller” (complete with fun background screen graphics), the Caribbean-inspired “Snowtime,” and encores of Eddie Floyd’s “Knock on Wood” and “How Sweet It Is.”  

Taylor is playing a second show at Mile One tonight.  

SET LIST:

“Wandering”

“Secret O’Life”

“Everyday”

“Walking Man”

“Today Today Today”

“Country Road”

“Frozen Man”

“Copperline”

“Carolina in my Mind”

“Up On the Roof”

“Fire and Rain”

“Shed a Little Light”

Intermission

“Snowtime”

“You’ve Got a Friend”

“Promised Land”

“Shower the People”

“Angels of Fenway”

“Jolly Springtime”

“Sweet Baby James”

“Steamroller”

“Mexico”

“Your Smiling Face”

Encores:

“Knock on Wood”

“How Sweet It Is”

“Wild Mountain Thyme”


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22 May 29, 2016 - Peoria Civic Center - Peoria le Mar 31 Mai 2016, 8:43 pm

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May 29, 2016 - Peoria Civic Center - Peoria



WANDERING / SECRET OF LIFE



COUNTRY ROAD




Le cycle sur la Caroline du nord


COPPERLINE (grand moment que de voir Lou Marini faire du playback sur la chanson!!)
CAROLINA IN MY MIND



INTERLUDE



JOLLY SPRINGTIME



MEXICO



STEAMROLLER



KNOCK ON WOOD



YOU AND I AGAIN




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May 31, 2016 - Alltel Center - Mankato

JAMES TAYLOR CHARMS HIS WAY THROUGH 2 PLUS HOUR
OF HAPPY MUSIC MAKING



James Taylor's performance was worthy of 5 out of 5 stars.

   Robb Murray rmurray@mankatofreepress.com Jun 1, 2016



*****



In his trademark brown ascot hat, plaid shirt and brown pants, James Taylor walked onto the stage very much the man everyone expected to see. And after sitting down on a stool, strumming a few chords on his guitar and belting out a few notes with his familiar baritone, he struck a grandfatherly presence; a man who who stood in good company with the largely grayish crowd that clearly adored him.

But when Taylor walked off that stage -- still wearing that ascot, although he'd ditched it momentarily at one point for an audience member's Twins cap -- he'd probably surprised a few folks.

At 68, Taylor is at an age where most would have forgive him for missing a guitar note or maybe singing around some of the more vocally challenging passages in his songs. But Taylor missed nothing (as far as I can tell). What's more, his charmingly humble demeanor made you wonder if he hailed from southern Minnesota instead of North Carolina.

"I was excited to come here," Taylor said. "One of my favorite characters in all of fiction lives here: Virgil Flowers."

Audience applause suggested many were familiar with the works of John Sandford (I am not -- I had to Google it. I mean, I've heard of John Sandford. I think I even started one of his books. Something about prey? But I didn't know Virgil Flowers. Anyway ...)

The front end of the show was loaded with Taylor's newer material, a fact for which he apologized: "I think we'll do some new tunes," he said. "We'll try to get them over with quickly. Like pulling off a Band-Aid. ... The good news is the news ones sound just like the old ones."

And he was right. If all you knew of Taylor was the hits, and then you heard a song such as "Montana," you might say to yourself, "Mmmm ... Do I know that song?" Its beautiful melody and soulful warmth feel right at home with the hits that would come later.

ANGELS OF FENWAY


The first hint at the hits sprinkled through his career was "Country Road." At the sound of something familiar, the bulk of the crowd grew visibly animated. (I mean, let's face it -- new stuff is great, it keeps artists creative, keeps them getting up in the morning, and even the legendary songs that massive crowds sing in unison at one time spent time being the new song no one wanted to hear. When fans come together, they want those touchpoints, those reasons they became fans in the first place. Which is why a beautiful new song like "Montana" plays to a largely placid crowd while "Country Road" concludes inaudibly because of the roar of the fans -- many of whom have had their tickets for MONTHS -- who are dying for a hit.)

"I Was a Fool to Care" followed, then "Down on Copperline." "Carolina on my Mind" was followed by "Sun on the Moon."

Mid-show -- and pre-intermission -- Taylor dropped what might be the most soulful version of "Fire and Rain" I've ever heard. This is his musical icon, the song he's probably played more than any other, the song that will forever be the people associate with his career. Still, when he played it in little Mankato to a crowd that I guarantee you loved him more than the previous few crowds combined, he did so in a way that shined with sincerity. A lot of artists play songs over and over again for years, sometimes decades, and they do a good job of making it look like their heart is still in the game. Taylor's "Fire and Rain" last night felt like he was genuinely and sincerely singing from his heart. Which, considering it's a song about a friend's suicide, maybe he was, and does so every time he plays it.

At intermission, while the band went backstage for 20 minutes, Taylor greeted folks in the front rows. He stayed there for the entire intermission signing shirts, shaking hands, posing for pictures. Only when the band returned and started beckoning him with background music did he relent, pick up his guitar and dive into the second set.

"Up on the Roof" and "You've got a Friend" were followed by Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" and "Shower the People," a song that prompted another standing ovation.

SIDENOTE ABOUT "SHOWER THE PEOPLE": I witnessed an unfortunate bit of poor concert etiquette during this song that needs to be addressed. A woman arrived mid-song with a pair of drinks and tried to return to her seat in the row behind me, but she was thwarted by an irritated/obstinate woman. "Wait 'til the song is over please." Befuddled, the drink-holding woman said, "What?" "Wait 'til the song is over." So the woman sat on the aisle steps and waited three minutes or so for Taylor to finish, then was allowed to return to her seat. ISSUE 1: Your need to get a rum and Coke is less important than the right of someone who paid $120 to see the show. Now, having said that, ISSUE 2: The audacity of someone who refuses to allow a fellow paying customer access to a seat she paid for is, quite simply, ridiculous. No song at any show by any artist is so good that it justifies this type of juvenile behavior. In the time it took you to refuse this woman access to her seat, you could have just let her walk by. Aren't we all at the same concert? All trying to appreciate artistry? Is this really the time to let your disdain for people who "bug" you show? Are you really that petty? OK, RANT OVER.

"Fenway," -- which prompted a Red Sox fan to offer his cap, which was followed by a Twins fan donating his -- was followed by "Jolly Springtime" and "Sweet Baby James," "Steamroller," "Mexico," "Your Smiling Face," and others.

Throughout, Taylor's willingness to talk to the crowd was charming and delightful. And the crowd upon his exit, as they'd done five times prior, rose in thunderous applause to show their appreciation.

Taylor left the crowd of 6,000-7,000 pleased. But he wasn't done pleasing people.

After everyone had gone, after he'd sent then on their way to hum "Fire and Rain" on their car rides home, Taylor remained at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Marketing Director Eric Jones said: "James was one of the last people to leave the building last night. He had asked one of our staff if he could use our washer and dryer to do a load of laundry. As in, James Taylor, doing his own laundry, in a back room in the Verizon Center, at 1 a.m., after performing a sold out show. A kinder, sweeter, more down to earth icon you will not meet."





Dernière édition par Admin le Sam 11 Juin 2016, 11:01 am, édité 2 fois


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Jun 07, 2016 - Rexall Place - Edmonton

JAMES TAYLOR CHARMS EDMONTON AUDIENCE WITH QUIPS, TUNES AT FORT MCMURRAY BENEFIT CONCERT



Ridiculously charming in front of his oscillating 10-piece band, James Taylor mystically turned the NHL rink into an intimate soft-seater, his perfect sound defying the AM radio roots of these songs we all first loved at least a lifetime back.


“I love you, too. Kind of you to say that,” Taylor said with a smile Tuesday night. “A little awkward, I guess.”

The singer’s first act at Rexall Place was to remove his paperboy hat with a warm smile and sit right down with his acoustic and get into 1975’s Wandering and ’77’s Secret O’ Life.

“Thanks for bringing us back to Edmonton,” 68-year-old Taylor purred, noting all profits for this and his Calgary Saddledome show go to the Red Cross for Fort McMurray wildfire relief. “We thank you for that, too.” On a related note, he laughed of the large band, “When they heard they weren’t getting paid tonight they decided to get drunk — a little loose.”

The impressive outfit helped him rework a jazzy version of Buddy Holly’s Everyday. “Chaque jour,” he joked, “a little equal time for French.” Then, back to ’74, Walking Man. A night of classics, three songs in …

The new Today, Today Today — “aujourd’hui” he chuckled thrice — and the vertical plinths flanking the stage lit up into autumn-shaded Cajun skyscrapers.

Energetically punching out 1970’s Walking on a Country Road, Taylor first explained: “It’s basically about nature as church — hippy bulls–t kind of thing.” After, Blues Brothers saxophonist Lou Marini got a lot of yelps from the in-house 6,000.

God Have Mercy on The Frozen Man was a sentimental, fan-fiction shoutout to the Franklin Expedition, doing the North Carolina landscape-painting Copperline, then, before playing the epic Carolina in My Mind, explained how he listlessly hopped over to London in ’68, making a demo, which “got me an audition with Paul McCartney and George Harrison. I was clinically  nervous, like a chihuahua on methamphetamines. They signed me up, so I was discovered by the Beatles.

“Just wish I could remember some of it.”

Besides sounding great, he was so funny. Responding to a yelled request before Carole King’s Up on the Roof, he held up his chalk set list: “I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget. I’ll let you know.”

Responding to someone yelling for King, Taylor said, “I’ll let her know you enquired after her.”

Fire and Rain was yearning, haunted, tearjerking, Steve Gadd’s drumming masterful. Ovation time. Remember when this was pop music, roots or not?

Shed a Little Light took us to the halftime break.

“I don’t know why we do that,” deadpanned Taylor. “I just stand behind the curtain and look at my watch for 20 minutes.”

Talking about the second set, he said, “Mostly it’s just jam-packed with hit after hit,” noting his list was written on “some sort of roofing material. It’s strong yet flexible. Like I like my women!

“The old jokes are best!”

After signing bras and hockey cards from the stage all intermission, Taylor false-started with Snow Time, a meanderer over-set in Toronto (complete with Canadian flag, ugh), but we soon shot straight up with 1971’s stratospheric You’ve Got a Friend. This, he dedicated “to the people trying to go home up at Fort Mac.”

Chuck Berry’s The Promised Land got the full-on blues all greasy and writhing on the kitchen table, studio-Kevin-Bacon Jim Cox rolling it out on the piano. The massive, 40-year-old Shower the People followed, played straight, projected blood cells churning as Arnold McCuller’s killer voice pierced our drums.

The Boston-born singer played Angels of Fenway, about the Red Sox finally winning the World Series after Babe Ruth’s 86-year curse after he was traded to the Yankees. Sweet Baby James calmly echoed all the way from from 1970, the handsome singer raising his eyebrow for the lullabye, then pulled out his Fender, doing bizarre, froggy, speaking-in-tongues blues caricatures for Steamroller, kicking over his stool.

Next, including sombreros, Mexico proved Taylor’s hand in the rise of Jimmy Buffet. A Vegas’ed-up Your Smiling Face followed, spinning us deeper onto the cruise ship, Handycam holiday videos overhead on the big screen.

Encore: a soulful rock and roll museum including Eddie Floyd’s horn-muscled Knock on Wood and, from Marvin Gaye’s orbit, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).

Great show overall with a bit too much processed nacho cheese in the second half, Taylor is nonetheless easily summed up in one word: amazing.

fgriwkowsky@edmontonjournal.com

@fisheyefoto
Review

James Taylor

When: Tuesday night

Where: Rexall Place


*******

James Taylor’s got a friend in Edmonton


If an artist can ruin his music by acting like an ass – we’re looking at you, Kanye – would it follow that good conduct could actually improve an artist’s music?

It’s all very subjective and personal, of course, but it’s worth thinking about. Think about the easy listening legend James Taylor, who donated proceeds of his concerts in Edmonton on Tuesday night (and in Calgary Wednesday), to Fort McMurray fire relief.

Talking about the “all star” band behind him – and it was – he joked about it.

“When they heard they weren’t getting paid tonight they decided to get drunk,” Taylor told the crowd of 8,000 baby boomers at Rexall Place. “They might be a little loose.”

We can assume that Taylor will only be giving up his own cut for the cause. Artists don’t usually talk about this sort of thing, but after all the people who need to be paid (rental fee, musicians, roadies, production, building staff, security, etc.) it could still wind up being a nice six figure sum.

Bonus points: Taylor worked “Fort Mac” into You’ve Got a Friend.

So you could say there was a little extra love in a room already chock full of an entire 1960s worth of peace and love. The crowd may have been even more inclined to love the show – which turned out to be a tuneful, relaxing and mellow yet pungent slice of American (and some Canadian) lore: Baseball, the experience of Latino immigrants in a cold climate, family and friends, nature as religion, country roads in North Carolina, you know, “hippie bullshit.” His words. That got a big laugh.

Taylor was a very funny host, and in fine voice for 68 years old. A few notes fallen off the top and bottom of his range were of no concern. The emotion he brought forth was the important thing. He closes his eyes when he sings. Proof!

With new tunes sprinkled in, the old hits still hold up while being redolent of the time they came from. The honest, personable delivery completed the package. Songs like Carolina on My Mind, Fire and Rain, and Your Smiling Face brought forth spasms of joyous nostalgia from the crowd, or at least it appeared that way. Pretty rowdy audience for soft rock. By the time the encore rolled in with a scorching rendition of Knock on Wood that forgives all the bad bar band versions you may have heard, Taylor had been given dozens of shouts of “I LOVE YOU!” – from both men and women – along with five spontaneous standing ovations. The first was just for showing up. It takes a lot to get baby boomers to stand up.

This really was an all star band. On drums: The great Steve Gadd, whose rhythms are part of the very fabric of American culture on recordings from Paul Simon to Steely Dan. Blowing sax, but mostly flute at this gig, was “Blue Lou” Marini from The Blues Brothers. Percussion was handled by Luis Conte, the Cuban ringer who’s toured the world with a who’s who of superstars who happen to need a great percussionist. And he was. The rest of the group, including back-up singers and a violinist, were equally gifted: Never overplaying, serving the songs first and creating a smooth country-flavoured sound suited perfectly to Taylor’s peaceful easy mojo. It was sparse when required, rocking out in small but meaningful doses. Taylor even did a little Chuck Berry duck walk – during a Chuck Berry tune.

Yes, the band was loose, no drunkenness apparent. Loose and tight at the same time, if such a thing is possible. Great musicians, rehearsed to perfection, real instruments, not a pre-recorded backing track in the lot. Five out of five for that alone.



Dernière édition par Admin le Jeu 09 Juin 2016, 11:52 pm, édité 1 fois


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Jun 08, 2016 - Scotiabank Saddleome - Calgary




Legendary performer James Taylor hit the stage at the Scotiabank Saddledome, and his thousands of adoring fans weren’t disappointed.


There’s an earnestness to much of the singer-songwriter music of the ’70s that colours it still to this day.

It dates it, makes it a sepia-toned snapshot of a time when a serious artist had to be a SERIOUS artist, and AM radio would then make them a serious star — be they Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Carole King and, of course, James Taylor.

Many of the North Carolina balladeer’s songs no doubt make up much of the soundtrack of those strum-‘n’-hum, soft-rockin’ times for those who lived through and most fondly remember them.

They were the majority of the 7,500 or so folks — the post-Woodstock slowdown set — who made their way to the Saddledome on this particular Wednesday night in early June. And what they got was something far more entertaining than one could have expected.

Musically, the 68-year-old Taylor plays a predictably comfy, warm and snoozy pair of sets that rarely gets above a gallop — an early cover of Buddy Holly’s Everyday was less sprightly pop-trot than power walk around the wall — but that was only part of the show.

It’s the man’s honest charm, friendly demeanour, and remarkable likability that made the night something that transcended the material, the memories — be they fond or yellow hued.

Taking the mutely lit, elegantly, not busily adorned stage, Taylor — the original JT — and his spectacular 10-piece band were met with a standing ovation that he genuinely seemed to be taken aback by, appreciated.

They launched into a pair of lovely, back-to-back catalogue classics, Wandering and Secret o’ Life, with his voice as gentle on the eardrums as his heyday, and his band cloaking him as crisply, naturally as an early October snowfall.

(In fact, the sound throughout the night was as soft-seater clear as the show itself. It was perfect. Hard to remember it ever better in the old barn.)

Taylor then spoke for the first time, and the mood became much lighter, much more amiable than the material, the singer offering jokes and jibes every time he opened his mouth, thanking the audience for being here, before quickly quipping: “It’s not the same without you — we tried.”

He even acknowledged the aforementioned perceptions of his song offerings, noting that he would introduce a few members of his band before the “evening grinds forward.”

James Taylor shakes hands with pianist Jim Cox between songs during his concert at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday. Lyle Aspinall Lyle Aspinall / Lyle Aspinall/Postmedia Network

And because of Taylor, the tone he set when he opened his mouth before he went back to singing, it never did grind forward. It flowed beautifully: the music, him lightening the mood, the songs, him making light of himself and everything else while introducing those songs, putting them into context and perspective, all of it worked effortlessly to make new memories.

Again, it cannot be said enough how much those tunes were so superbly performed by his band, including guitarist Steve Landau, bassist Jimmy Johnson, drummer Steve Gadd and percussionist Luis Conte — all of them given their moments to shine throughout the two-hour evening, with no opener.

(By the way: the second set was delayed by five, 10 minutes as Taylor signed autographs and posed for selfies with those up front. So.)

And all of it made you appreciate those songs, the artistry and craft behind them, perhaps even more so, including: new tune Today Today Today — from his latest album, 2015’s Before This World, his first studio recording of original material in 13 years — which he noted, sounds just like the old tunes but said he would get them over with quick, like pulling off a Band-Aid; Walking Man, which he introduced as being about the theme of “nature as a church . . . hippie bulls — t”; The Frozen Man, which is about the ill-fated Franklin Expedition, something he’d read an article about in National Geographic, or, rather saw the pictures, read the captions but “got the gist of”; the Latin-toned newbie Snowtime, which was inspired by seeing a performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival, but changed to Toronto in the song because Montreal didn’t rhyme; and 1971 Carole King cover You’ve Got A Friend, which Taylor dedicated to the “people trying to get home in Fort Mac.”

Oh. Right.

All of the proceeds from Wednesday night’s show — as well as Tuesday’s concert in Edmonton — were being donated to the Red Cross relief efforts to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires.

Because you needed another reason to love the man on this night, during this show, this excellent, excellent show.

An easy listening evening of remarkable musicianship tastefully performed and entertainingly delivered tunes that were far more vibrant and colourful than those yellowed memories, those overly serious times and the singer-songwriter who brought them to life.

Honestly.

Earnestly.

Wonderfully.

mibell@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/mrbell_23














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