James Taylor…How Sweet It Is!

If you know anything about me at all, you know I love music. My husband and I have been attending concerts every year since 1983…sometimes more than one a year. That’s a lot of concerts. With the busyness of our recent move within the past year, we hadn’t had a chance to take in a concert and I was getting a little bummed. I didn’t want to break the tradition, but yet, didn’t want to just attend any concert for the sake of keeping the tradition alive. Then I saw the commercial. JAMES TAYLOR coming to the Richmond Coliseum! Get your tickets now!…and, so we did.

I grew up in the 70’s listening to James Taylor’s music and I can now say, “How sweet it is..” to sing along with thousands of other fans and James Taylor, himself.

Music played over the speakers as the crowd awaited his appearance. Then, off from the side of the stage, close to my section, he walked out. He waved, and gave a bow with his hands folded together, as the crowd stood in applause. Taylor began his show with the song, “Something in the Way She Moves.” He talked about the personal meaning of the song and how he played it for Paul McCartney and George Harrison in 1968, when auditioning for the Beatles’ Apple label. He also told of how he watched the Beatles work on the “White Album” all the while, he was recording his self-titled debut album and was, in his words, “clinically homesick” as he transitioned into the song “Carolina in My Mind.”

James Taylor, along with his All Star Band, played the entire evening with no opening act with almost three hours of music, warmth and humor. Taylor’s All Star Band included drummer, Steve Gadd, who played for artists Paul Simon and Steely Dan, horn player Lou Marini from the original Blues Brothers and guitarist Michael Landau who has played for Michael Jackson and Joni Mitchell.

James Taylor is a people person. He not only sang hit after hit, but the evening was packed full of laughs and humor as he joked with the audience. At one point, his guitar strap unexpectedly caused his shirt collar to stand up on end and he remarked, “Elvis collar. Very auspicious…like a visitation from the King!” He was very open and carefree among his fans. He definitely connected with the crowd. He signed autographs, gave fist bumps and high fives to those lucky enough to get the front row seats. He moved the crowd to bust into their hand clapping, feet tapping moves and impressively quieted the arena with his amazingly fine tuned voice and acoustic guitar.


                                                                                        James Taylor   


                                                                                                            James Taylor   

Taylor has been connecting with fans for more than forty years. His music and songwriting resonates with people. His voice is unchanging in a changing world of generations. JT didn’t miss a beat. His mix of new and old songs pleased the audience with several standing ovations. Some of the songs in his setlist included Everyday, Country Road, Carolina in My Mind, Handy Man, Up On the Roof, Mexico, Wild Mountain Tyme, Steamroller and my personal favorites were…Sweet Baby James, Shower the People, Fire and Rain, Your Smiling Face, How Sweet It Is, and You’ve Got a Friend. Taylor also played three new songs which have not been released yet; a country sound “Today, Today, Today”, a romantic-love tune “You and I Again” and a jazz number “Stretch of the Highway.”

James Taylor and his All-Star Band did not disappoint. The show was amazing and I left with a smile on my face appreciating the man and his music.

Please forgive the poor quality of photos/videos. These were taken on my cell phone which decided display “Storage is Full” each time I tried to snap a shot or record.

Are you a fan of James Taylor? Does music speak to you? Share some of your favorites on this Feel Good Friday!

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©Photos by Laura


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When Cold and Warmth Collide

My breath appears. The air is cold. I continue to walk. Shadows and sun closely follow, as the morning breaks. Glistening grass…a sounding crunch; as my feet swiftly move. My lungs swell as I breathe the cold. I turn the corner. The sun meets my face. Warmth. I stand for a moment in the glare of the sun. Warm and cold collide. I smile. I continue to walk.Birds fly from tree to wire…flocking together. My breath, a vapor, rises and quickly disappears. The air escapes me. I savor the moment. I continue to walk.

Sunshine gleans on the frozen green. I observe. I feel. The moment is all around me. Shadows ahead with my back to the sun…a bitter cold hits my face. I feel the sting upon my cheeks. I continue to walk.

Just as rain, the coldness smells. The aroma is hard to describe. Its icy grip is sharp as a wave of frozen wind passes through. I taste the cold as I wet my lips. I continue to walk.

Sun peaks from the corner ahead. I anticipate its glow. I watch my breath. My thoughts are quiet. I am mindful of my hearts content. I continue to walk.

Barren trees. Empty limbs. Branches lifeless…still. Stagnant colors…frozen expressions. To everything there is a season…a time for every purpose under the sun. I look. I listen. I continue to walk.

One more corner and my walk will end. The corner is just ahead. Crystals melt from the warmth of the sun but my hands and feet are still cold. Cold is such an unfriendly word…unwelcoming, impassive and stiff. Where’s the beauty in something so indifferent?  I reach the corner. My breath rising once again as the coldness displays its image. I look down. I see beauty. Beauty in the indifferent… a welcoming from the unfriendly. I have become a part of the cold. The moment is no longer merely around but, but instead; I have become the moment. The moment when cold and color collide.

The warmth of a fall leaf becomes one with the cold. The moment is no longer all around me but within me. The cold caused the lifeless leaf to fall but together, they created a beautiful existence. I notice. I notice my surrounding. I realize. I realize I am a part of every moment I live…even the cold moments. I appreciate. I appreciate the cold.  I am optimistic. I breathe. I smile. I continue to walk.