I’m a fan of the smooth, golden voiced James Taylor and recently stumbled upon a PBS showing of his concert with Carole King. The show took place at the Troubadour, a legendary West Hollywood spot, back in 2007 to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic musical venue. The Troubadour was a place that many artists like The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, as well as Taylor and King performed early in their career. What was intended to be a one and done show has turned into a world tour and the release of the cd/dvd combo pack of the reunion between King and Taylor.
I caught the tail end of the show and sat captivated listening to the distinguishing tenor of James Taylor and his acoustic guitar while Carol King accompanied him on piano. Last night, I purchased the afore mentioned cd/dvd combo pack and treated the whole familial crew to a little bit of musical greatness.
Even though the concert is co-billed, only “You Got A Friend” is performed as a duet while the other fourteen songs receive backing vocals and musical accompaniment. Speaking of musical accompaniment, the other musical trio in the show included original and longtime band members; Danny Kortchmar was on guitar, Leland Sklar on bass, and Russell Kunkel manned the drums.
Keep in mind that it has been almost forty years since Taylor and King last played together. The years were not at all evident in the show. The intimacy of the show was certainly enhanced by the apparent love and respect that each has for the other.
The fifteen song set list included:
- So Far Away
- Machine Gun Kelly
- Carolina On My Mind
- It’s Too Late
- Smackwater Jack
- Something In the Way She Moves
- Will You Love Me Tomorrow
- Country Road
- Fire and Rain
- Sweet Baby Jane
- I Feel The Earth Move
- You’ve Got A Friend
- Up On The Roof
- You Can Close Your Eyes
While these might seem like some obvious selections, consider the source and realize that anything that made the list would seem obvious given their long, tenured career. These are two musical icons reuniting after forty years of successful songwriting careers and each has given us a litany of classic songs.
There was the occasional banter between the songs with each singer regaling us with snippets of song inspiration, emotional connectivity, etc… None of it felt forced or contrived, just two old friends talking about the good old days.
Great music awaits!