LIVE: James Taylor @ SPAC, 7/19/14

James Taylor's All Stars

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

Since the Berkshires’ own James Taylor sells out a handful of dates at Tanglewood every July, Local 518 fans tend to take him for granted. It’s hard to believe that his previous tour stop at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center was more than a decade ago.

But Taylor is remarkably reliable in concert. And on Saturday night (July 19) he brought along his nine-piece All-Star Band, featuring Blues Brothers’ saxman Lou Marini, drum master Steve Gadd and noted session guitarist Michael Landau, among others.

Relaxed and comfortable in the spotlight, Taylor told stories about the Beatles (his debut album was released on their Apple Records) and crooned his way through two hour-plus sets of singer-songwriter classics from the ’70s, and a few new selections, too.

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SECOND OPINIONS:
Michael Lisi’s review at The Times Union
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “Taylor’s voice was as wonderful as ever. Even at age 20 he sounded like an adult singing for adults. It seems his age has caught up to his music. His voice, and his music, has aged like wine. There were no amazing moments, no jaw-dropping solos, the songs didn’t arc to a crescendo and then fall — instead it was all about pleasant, serene songs, delivered patiently and with clarity. He sang his cover of Carole King’s ‘You’ve Got a Friend,’ Buddy Holly’s ‘Everyday’ and ‘Handy Man.’ He talked about a common thread in his music: ‘spirituality and nature … hippie creed.’ He called ‘Copperline’ a ‘landscape, if it was a painting.’ Backed by nine people on stage — four of them singers — the 66-year-old stayed out in front most of the show with his singing and stories, the band serving only as support.”

JAMES TAYLOR SET LIST
Something in the Way She Moves
Today, Today, Today
Lo and Behold
Copperline
Everyday (Buddy Holly)
Country Road
Millworker
Carolina in My Mind
One More Go Round
Sweet Baby James
You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King)
INTERMISSION
Stretch of the Highway
You and I
Handy Man (Sparks of Rhythm)
Hour That the Morning Comes
Steamroller Blues
Only One
Fire and Rain
Up on the Roof (The Drifters)
Mexico
Your Smiling Face
ENCORES
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (Marvin Gaye)
Shower the People

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James Taylor's All Stars

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