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Thursday, April 1
2021

BERKSHIREEAGLE.COM — James Taylor to hit road in July; Tanglewood info on horizon

By Clarence Fanto

Berkshire-based singer-songwriter James Taylor is going out on the road this summer, joining a growing list of rock and pop performers planning rescheduled concerts as many states ease or lift restrictions on large gatherings.

Taylor’s 26-stop tour with vocalist and songwriter Jackson Browne, postponed from last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to begin July 29 in Chicago and extends through Aug. 28 in Holmdel, N.J., a distant suburb of New York City. Taylor’s 12-city Canadian tour with roots and blues singer Bonnie Raitt is set to begin Sept. 12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The U.S. tour with Browne resumes Oct. 16 in New Orleans and concludes Nov. 1 in San Diego.

An announcement is expected soon about Taylor’s Tanglewood concert, which might be rescheduled from the original July 4, 2021, date to late summer.

Tanglewood’s abbreviated six-week festival featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra runs from July 9 to Aug. 16. Program details are expected to be announced next week.

Ticket sales for the Popular Artists series, normally held during the last two weeks of June, have been suspended for the time being. The BSO is trying to reschedule those shows to later in the summer or to the 2022 Tanglewood season, though some might need to be canceled, a recent BSO announcement pointed out.

The BSO stated that it will provide more details when those plans are confirmed and will honor all ticket purchases for events that are not canceled.

“Jackson and I want to thank all those who have graciously held onto their tickets; we appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these unchartered waters,” Taylor stated in a prepared announcement. “We didn’t want to have to cancel this tour that we’ve been waiting so long to perform together, so we’ve been working to get these dates rescheduled to a time period when the U.S. is reopened and safe to gather for a concert.”

Taylor and Browne added that “of course we will be keeping a close eye and abide with all health and safety protocols throughout each venue and state. We can’t wait to get back on stage and see you out there soon.”

The tour announcement from Taylor’s management company points out that previously purchased tickets will be honored for all rescheduled dates, and fans are encouraged to hold on to their tickets.

“Should you be unable to attend the rescheduled date, please reach out to your point of purchase for information on refunds,” the statement added. “The patience of all ticket holders has been appreciated through these uncertain and challenging times.

The first 12 dates for the rescheduled tour are in the Midwest and South, including Pittsburgh, Louisville, Ky., Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta.

A Northeastern leg of the itinerary in late August includes the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the Catskills in New York, along with a date at an outdoor amphitheater at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, N.Y., on Long Island.

The tour is hitting at mixture of outdoor amphitheaters and indoor arenas; there hasn’t been a North America concert in venues of that size since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Rolling Stone reported. As of now, it’s not entirely clear if all announced shows will be permitted in every venue when this tour is supposed to launch in July, the magazine said.

Browne contracted COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic.

“My symptoms are really pretty mild, so I don’t require any kind of medication and certainly not hospitalization or anything like that,” he told Rolling Stone at the time. “It’s important for us all to be pretty forthcoming about what we’re going through. Our experiences will be helpful for others to know.”

source: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/james-taylor-to-hit-road-in-july-tanglewood-info-on-horizon

Thursday, April 1
2021

BILLBOARD.COM — James Taylor & Jackson Browne Tour Is Back On: See Rescheduled Dates

By Taylor Mims

James Taylor & His All-Star Band have revealed new dates for their postponed 2020 tour with Jackson Browne. The new tour dates will kick off July 29 at United Center in Chicago.

“We want to thank all those who have graciously held onto their tickets; we appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these unchartered waters,” Taylor and Browne said in a joint statement. “We didn’t want to have to cancel this tour that we’ve been waiting so long to perform together, so we’ve been working to get these dates rescheduled to a time period when the U.S. is reopened and safe to gather for a concert.”

The two acts were originally scheduled to tour together from May to July 2020, but those shows were postponed due to the pandemic. Taylor and Browne’s run becomes one of the first major arena tours to reschedule following the COVID outbreak.

The duo added, “Of course we will be keeping a close eye and abide with all health and safety protocols throughout each venue and state. We can’t wait to get back on stage and see you out there soon.”

The tour will now close out on the West Coast in Washington and Oregon followed by three dates in California. After his run with Browne, Taylor will hit the road with Bonnie Raitt for a Canadian trek launching Sept. 12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Previously purchased tickets will be honored for all the rescheduled dates and fans are encouraged to hold onto their tickets. For fans who cannot attend the new dates, tour organizers ask that they reach out to point of purchase for information on refunds.

source: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/9549284/james-taylor-jackson-browne-tour-is-back-on-see-rescheduled-dates

Thursday, April 1
2021

ROLLINGSTONE.COM — James Taylor, Jackson Browne Announce Rescheduled Dates for Joint Tour

By Andy Greene

James Taylor and Jackson Browne have announced new dates for the tour they originally planned for the summer of 2020. They are now scheduled to kick things off on July 29th, 2021 at the United Center in Chicago and wrap up November 1st at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego. Tickets for the original shows will be honored at the new dates.

“We want to thank all those who have graciously held onto their tickets; we appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these unchartered waters,” they said in a dual statement. “We didn’t want to have to cancel this tour that we’ve been waiting so long to perform together, so we’ve been working to get these dates rescheduled to a time period when the U.S. is reopened and safe to gather for a concert.”

The tour is hitting at mixture of outdoor amphitheaters and indoor arenas; there hasn’t been North American concert in venues of that size since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. As of now, it’s not entirely clear if said shows will be permitted in every market when this tour is supposed to launch in July. “Of course we will be keeping a close eye and abide with all health and safety protocols throughout each venue and state,” they said in their statement. “We can’t wait to get back on stage and see you out there soon.”

Jackson Browne contracted Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic. “My symptoms are really pretty mild, so I don’t require any kind of medication and certainly not hospitalization or anything like that,” he told Rolling Stone shortly after the news broke. “It’s important for us all to be pretty forthcoming about what we’re going through. Our experiences will be helpful for others to know. I don’t think my case is that important, but it might be helpful to know that some people don’t get this really bad.”

source: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/james-taylor-jackson-browne-announce-rescheduled-dates-tour-1149772/

Thursday, April 1
2021

UDiscoverMusic.com — The 15 Greatest Musical Guest Stars In ‘Simpsons’ History

By Dan Hopper

From when it first aired in 1989, The Simpsons has hosted an absolutely dazzling array of musical guest stars: from classic artists being presented to a new generation of 90s kids, to contemporary “of-the-era” stars crossing over onto the world’s biggest animated show.

Here’s an attempt to wrap our head around this endless list of cameos, ranked merely by how funny and how memorable their appearances were on the show (not as musicians).

15: Red Hot Chili Peppers
In 1993’s “Krusty Gets Kanceled,” Springfield’s premiere clown loses his show, but Bart and Lisa rally Krusty’s gaggle of celebrity friends: Johnny Carson, Hugh Hefner, a fiercely eco-conscious Bette Midler, and Luke Perry for a star-studded comeback special.

Bart and Lisa also snag the Red Hot Chili Peppers by smuggling them out of a poorly-planned gig at Moe’s. Anthony Kiedis tells Moe “you told our agent this place holds 30,000 people,” to which Moe answers, “It does. We had 30,000 here last night. Now play.”

The band performs “Give It Away” on the Krusty special, and when the network has a problem with their lyrics, they’re all too happy to take Krusty’s excellent suggestion:

The band shows up to Moe’s in their underwear for the afterparty, and Flea screams “Hey Moe!,” which wasn’t really in the script, but rather, a snippet of Flea messing around in the voiceover booth that they ended up using.

14: Aerosmith
In the 1991 classic “Flaming Moe’s” episode, Aerosmith made a more conventional-than-usual guest appearance on The Simpsons, highlighted by an unmistakable, frantically-animated Steven Tyler:

When Moe’s bar explodes in popularity thanks to a drink Homer invents, the bar is soon packed with customers – including one actually named “Hugh Jass,” thwarting Bart’s crank-call attempt and Moe lures Aerosmith into an impromptu performance with the promise of free pickled eggs.

The episode aired in 1991 and the band would go on to have their first-ever No.1 album, Get A Grip two years later, confirming that the “Moe Bump” is real.

13: James Taylor
“Wow… former president James Taylor.”

That’s Homer’s reaction when NASA hires the folk icon to play for him and Buzz Aldrin during their ill-fated mission to send a common man to space. But while the ship is in danger, Aldrin tells Taylor “this isn’t the best time for your unique brand of bittersweet folk-rock,” and Taylor isn’t exactly receptive.

He then performs “You’ve Got a Friend” while the astronauts float there helplessly, then does “Fire and Rain,” but changes the lyric “sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground” to “flying safely through the air.” On the DVD commentary, the writers admit their nervousness in pitching this scene to Taylor. The song is, after all, about the suicide of his childhood friend Suzanne Schnerr, but the artist was ultimately cool with it.

12: Barry White
“The minister of love, Larry White” (as Barry White is introduced by Mayor Quimby) shows up as the Grand Marshal of Springfield’s annual “Whacking Day” parade, an event where citizens gather to whack all the snakes in town to death. When White finds out what the festival is about, he’s horrified but agrees to do a favor for Lisa, telling her “Anything…for a lady”, and attracts the snakes into the safety of the Simpson’s home with a bass-heavy performance of “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.”

11: Tom Jones
When Marge gets a job at the power plant, Mr. Burns seeks her advice for how to cheer up his dreary workforce, and she suggests healthier snacks, a Funny Hat day, and “piping in some Tom Jones music.” You then see the same employees still just as depressed but wearing funny hats and “What’s New Pussycat” is blaring. Progress!

The episode takes a dark turn when Mr. Burns tries to seduce Marge by giving her a private Tom Jones concert, which involves Smithers knocking out the Welsh crooner with a suitcase of poison gas, then holding him at gunpoint.

When Homer stands up for Marge’s honor, Mr. Burns is impressed and rewards the couple with a private Tom Jones concert anyway, where he performs “It’s Not Unusual” while chained to the stage. He leans in to kiss Marge on the cheek and tells her “get help, love – call Interpol, get me a hacksaw, anything,” then launches right back into the chorus, ever the true pro.

10: U2
When Homer runs to be Springfield’s sanitation commissioner, he sneaks onstage at a U2 concert by introducing himself to security as the “potato man,” and they immediately let him in.

His message is ill-received though, and he’s pulled off the stage by security, with Bono assuring everyone “don’t worry folks, he’ll get the help he needs.” The band then launches into “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” while Homer gets pummelled by security guards on the giant video backdrop.

The band also re-appears in a truly goofy post-credits sequence where Adam Clayton brags about his spoon collection.

9: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz, and Brian Setzer
The Simpsons pulled in a who’s who of rockers for a Season 14 episode where Homer tries to recapture his squandered youth with a trip to Rock’n’Roll Fantasy Camp. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards give tips on showmanship (and micromanage the camp’s finances), Elvis Costello tries to sell them on playing bass, Lenny Kravitz talks crotch-stuffing, Tom Petty bores everyone with his symposium on “having meaningful lyrics” and Brian Setzer has some wise words about the mighty guitar:

In the Simpsons’ Unauthorized History, Dan Castellaneta talks about how there was a built-in hierarchy among the rockers, with the Rolling Stones showing up 45 minutes late, Elvis Costello 30, Tom Petty, and Lenny Kravitz 25, and Brian Setzer right on time. He joked, “Michael Bolton came early, and he wasn’t even on the show”.

8: Bob Seger
Nothing quite covers up an OSEA citation quite like free Bob Seger tickets. After an incident at the Springfield nuclear power plant, Homer gets front row seats to see the ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ man himself and brings along Chief Wiggum. The two ditch their wives to handle an overnight field trip with the kids and get scolded by Bob in the process: “a wife, like rock and roll, never forgets,” Seger tells them.

Episode 17 of Season 32, titled “Uncut Femmes,” also marks the first appearance of the chief’s wife, Sarah Wiggum (voiced by Megan Mullally) whose criminal past catches up with her and she enlists Marge into an Ocean’s 8-like caper.

7: James Brown
Springfield brings in James Brown to headline their first (and last) Do What You Feel Festival, where he performs “I Got You (I Feel Good)” until a bandstand collapses behind him.

It’s short, and not the funniest cameo in the show’s history, but it’s still just awesome and utterly surreal that James Brown was in The Simpsons at all.

6: David Crosby
David Crosby made two cameos on The Simpsons, once to give the Be Sharps (Homer’s barbershop quartet) their Grammy award:

And another as the AA sponsor to Lionel Hutz, the family attorney, who calls him in the middle of a trial to get talked off an urge for bourbon. Crosby, ever the gentle soul, tells Hutz: “Just take it one day at a time, and know that I love you.”

5: Paul & Linda McCartney
In “Lisa the Vegetarian,” one of the show’s all-time funniest episodes, Lisa finds some allies in her newfound animal activism: Paul and Linda McCartney, who like to hang out in Apu’s garden in the shade.

Paul also asks Lisa if she wants to hear a song, which turns out to be Apu shrieking an ungodly version of “Sgt. Pepper’s” while Lisa slinks away horrified.

4: Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, Peter Frampton
In one of the show’s all-time classic episodes “Homerpalooza,” the middle-aged dad goes through the all-too-relatable dilemma of realizing that he’s become uncool. Or as Grandpa Simpson puts it (in a flashback), “I used to be with it. Then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t it. And what’s it seems weird and scary to me.”

Homer becomes the freak show “cannonball guy” for Hulabalooza, and meets some 90s alt-rock staples from the height of the Lollapalooza era (and Peter Frampton):

When the cannonball act threatens his life, Homer decides remaining alive for his family is all that matters, and gets booed off the stage and the tour, resigned to accept his permanently uncool status.

3: The Ramones
In maybe the single coolest moment in the history of the show, The Ramones regaled Mr. Burns with a terrifying, classically-Ramones-sounding rendition of “Happy Birthday,” ending with “go to hell you old bastard.”

Mr. Burns responds with his iconic line: “Have the Rolling Stones killed.” Before Smithers can correct him, he adds “Do As I Say.” Mr. Burns’ utterly horrified reaction to the performance is also one of the funniest little touches of animation in the show:

For the record, this was a later incarnation of the band. Joey and Johnny Ramone both did voices, but C.J. Ramone and Marky Ramone took the other two spots. Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone, the band’s original bassist and drummer, were gone by then.

2: Spinal Tap
Simpsons Swiss-army-knife Harry Shearer (who voices Burns, Smithers, Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Skinner, Kent Brockman, Rainier Wolfcastle, Otto, Dr Hibbert, and thousands more) reunited with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean to promote Spinal Taps’ 1992 album Break Like The Wind by bringing the Tap to Springfield.

The show abruptly ends when Nigel gets blinded by a laser and the band announces “Goodnight Springton, there will be no encores” and walks off after 20 minutes, prompting a riot. Every scene with the band is almost like bonus footage from the cult-classic documentary, with some truly outstanding banter.

1: George Harrison
George Harrison’s cameo on The Simpsons remains one of the funniest guest-spots of all time. When Homer’s barbershop quartet The Be Sharps skyrockets to fame, he attends a Grammy party, where he experiences the greatest thrill of his life. The show literally brought in a living Beatle just to record this:

He returns for one more line at the end of the episode, driving by to see the Be Sharps performing on a rooftop and simply declaring, “It’s been done” and driving off. Total perfection.

Honorable Mentions: There’s easily another 30 you could throw on this list, but where to even start? The Who, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash (who does the voice of a space coyote, so he’s not technically a musical guest), Sting, Elton John, Britney Spears, REM, Phish, Lady Gaga, Willie Nelson, Metallica, Fall Out Boy, The White Stripes, Ringo Starr. Name any musician, basically.

source: hhttps://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/the-simpsons-musical-guest-stars/

Wednesday, March 17
2021

CULTURESONAR.COM — James Taylor’s “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon”

By Stephanie Hernandez

The beginning of the 1970s marked a zenith of the singer/songwriter era. Moving away from bands and big production, youthful ears craved more authentic sounds. The intricate guitar style and confessional lyrics on Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon – marking its 50th anniversary this month – naturally cast James Taylor in this poetic role.

Taylor was the first artist to release an album under the Beatles’ Apple Records. His self-titled debut album in 1968 was recorded in between the Beatles’ White Album sessions and provided a solid foundation for his career with a creative network of music legends: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Peter Asher.

James’ transition to Warner Bros. Records in 1970, with Sweet Baby James, demonstrated the influence of the Laurel Canyon scene on his work. The album featured the contemplative hit, “Fire and Rain” and the cover image was captured by famed photographer, Henry Diltz.

Propelled by his success, James began work on his third album, ultimately proving that his music was here to stay.

Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon is actually a fictionalized version of James’ band, with the characters: Stoney Lee Blue Borne (Leland Sklar-bass), Oil Slick (Russ Kunkel-percussion), and Kootcheroo (Danny Kortchmar-guitar).

Building on the success of Sweet Baby James, Taylor kept many of the same personnel including Carole King on piano, and Peter Asher as producer. Different branches began to grow from Taylor’s musical roots on Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. The opening track, “Love Has Brought Me Around,” incorporated a jazzy horn section, hinting at what was to come in his career with songs like “Mexico,” or “How Sweet It Is.”

Taking a cue from the Beatles’ “In My Life,” Taylor’s “Places in My Past” demonstrates a similar reflection on the connection between places and people: family, home, and past lovers. Since every good folk album needs a song about trains, “We Are Riding on a Railroad,” provides a requisite tune about the traveling musician, and establishes Taylor’s troubadour image.

The title track, “Mud Slide Slim,” reveals the oeuvre of James Taylor’s songwriting: light-hearted, pastoral, and romantic escapism. Taylor turns into a simulacrum of H.D. Thoreau’s Walden, in the lines: “I’m gonna cash in my hand / and pick up on a piece of land / and build myself a cabin in the woods,” where he’ll remain until “this old world starts to changing for the good.”

The idea of escaping from society into the truth of nature is often explored in music of this period, but Taylor’s candid approach makes it believable. This cabin was actually being built at the time of production, which is why he name-dropped, “Jimmy, Jimmy-John and, Nick and Laurie / The No Jets Construction.” These were the people who helped him build his homestead on Martha’s Vineyard, where he would live with Carly Simon for many years.

Taylor’s guitar style and the calming effect of his voice have melded into truly enchanting lullabies throughout his career. While “Sweet Baby James” was written for his namesake nephew, “You Can Close Your Eyes” serves as a palliative for long-distance lovers. Written for Joni Mitchell, it expresses how music can quell a broken heart and bridge the distance between people: “I don’t know no love songs / And I can’t sing the blues anymore / but I can sing this song / and you can sing this song, when I’m gone.” With its serene imagery and comforting melodic guitar, ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ demonstrates the power of music over the human psyche. More specifically, it represents James Taylor’s ability to soothe the soul with his timeless music.

The big hit from the album was a cover of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” Although the song belongs to King, it’s inextricably linked to Taylor. Carole has told James that the inspiration behind the song were his lyrics from “Fire and Rain”: “I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end / I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.” King’s song sonorously provided the friendship that he was seeking. James Taylor sings so earnestly; it’s almost as if he is your best friend for the duration of the song. While his rendition is similar to the Carole King version, what sets his apart is the sentimental guitar, and the harmonies provided by then-girlfriend, Joni Mitchell.

Each facet of the tune produced the full breadth of seasons mentioned in the chorus: from Joni’s frosted harmonies to James’ warm vocals. King’s Tapestry kept his album from the #1 spot, however, “You’ve Got a Friend,” became Taylor’s only #1 Pop single to date (although he did have various #1 hits on the Adult Contemporary charts).

James Taylor doesn’t just play the guitar; he performs duets with it. His guitar becomes another voice to be in conversation with as he harmonizes with it. The up-tempo love song, the traveling artist, the romantic escapist, the weepy country and western, and the lullaby are all showcased on this album. Being a landmark album in his career, 50 years later, we can celebrate finding each fractal of James Taylor’s songwriting diadem in Mud Slide Slim and The Blue Horizon.

source: https://www.culturesonar.com/james-taylors-mud-slide-slim-and-the-blue-horizon/

Tuesday, March 16
2021

ABCNEWSRADIO.COM — James Taylor among winners, Lionel Richie and Ringo Starr make appearances on 2021 Grammy Awards

By Matt Freidlander

James Taylor was one of the few veteran pop artists to nab a Grammy Award on Sunday. The lauded singer/songwriter won the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album honor for his latest studio effort, 2020’s American Standard. The trophy was presented during the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, which was held during the afternoon prior to the primetime event.

Also during the early ceremony, the documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice won the Grammy for Best Music Film, while Dolly Parton and duet partner Zach Williams were honored with the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song prize for “There Was Jesus.”

As for the main ceremony, Lionel Richie performed during the event’s “in memoriam” segment, paying tribute to the late Kenny Rogers by singing “Lady,” the chart-topping 1980 hit he wrote for Rogers. The segment also featured Bruno Mars paying homage to late rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard, and a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen that featured an archival clip of the rock legend playing a solo as a spotlight shone on his signature “Frankenstrat” guitar, which was displayed on the stage.

At the end of the ceremony, Ringo Starr made a surprise appearance to present the final Grammy, for Record of the Year.

“If you’re making music in our world today, you’ve already won. And I thank you,” the 80-year-old ex-Beatles icon commented before cracking open the envelope and presenting the award to 19-year-old alt-pop sensation Billie Eilish.

Visit Grammy.com to check out the full winners list.

source: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/music-news/2021/3/15/james-taylor-among-winners-lionel-richie-and-ringo-starr-mak.html

Tuesday, March 16
2021

AMERICANSONGWRITER.COM — Grammys 2021: James Taylor Wins Grammy for American Standard

By Paul Zollo

Legendary songwriter, hero and song champion James Taylor won his sixth Grammy award last night, though his first for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for American Standard, a beautifully timeless love-letter to songwriting itself and to all songwriters.

In great JT style, he accepted his award during this first virtual Grammy Awards while in the midst of a family ski trip, as seen in the great acceptance video below, which he posted online . “What an embarrassment of riches,” he says, smiling from the sunny slopes.

JT’s reverence for the traditions of great song craft, grace and magic in the remarkable melodies and lyrics on every page of the Great American Songbook is palpable in every measure of these songs. This album and his genuine love for these timeless treasures goes a long way in reminding the world how much beauty lives forever in these songs. They represent, as Ry Cooder said in these pages, a high point in the artistry of the American song.

And hearing James Taylor, a beloved huckleberry friend in our lives for decades, sing “Moon River” alone is so poignantly right. Of course, his connection to this song isn’t random; it’s a powerful and personal one which informs and inspires his rendition. As he explained last year in our interview about this album, and specifically about “Moon River”:

“It’s a corny old song for sure,” said James, “but there’s no question that it has huge emotional power. It refers to Huck Finn on a raft with the river carrying him into his own life, into his future.

“It’s so much about my own twin boys, who are 18 years old on the cusp of going off to college. When you’re that age… embarking on the adventure of your own lifetime. That song evokes all of that. And there’s a series of chord changes descending from a high diminished. The way he moves those chords against the melody and the way it compliments that brilliant lyric, it’s really sort of like casting your faith to the wind, or casting bread out on the water. Taking the giant leap of faith. That’s what the song is about, but it’s so much more because of the emotion.”

American Standard, his 19th studio album, was released in February 2020 to glowing reviews and major chart entries in the US and overseas. With it, James became the first artist ever with Top 10 albums in each of the last six decades.

On American Standard, he reimagines some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century, infusing new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art. The 14 carefully chosen selections naturally feature his souful singing and incomparable musicianship. Also that of John Pizzarelli, the great guitarist who merged his magic with that of James to create a beautiful, mesmerizing journey through song.

Along the way there’s a swinging take on Donaldson & Whiting’s “My Blue Heaven,” Lerner & Loewe’s enduring “Almost Like Being In Love,” from Brigadoon; Hoagy Carmichael’s enchanting “The Nearness of You,” Frank Loesser’s jaunty “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” from Guys and Dolls; Rodgers & Hammerstein’s volatile social commentary from South Pacific, “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” Billie Holiday’s heartsong, “God Bless The Child,” and the first ever cover of the 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon Katnip Kollege song, “As Easy As Rolling Off A Log.”

source: https://americansongwriter.com/james-taylor-wins-grammy-for-american-standard/

Monday, March 15
2021

BERKSHIREEAGLE.COM — James Taylor wins Grammy — his sixth — for ‘American Standard’

Berkshires-based singer-songwriter James Taylor is the winner of his sixth Grammy Award, for his most recent studio album, “American Standard,” released in February 2020.

The citation for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album was his sixth Grammy win. The Grammys were handed out in a nationally televised ceremony Sunday night.

The rode a ski lift in Montana.

He offered congratulations to the team that worked on the critically lauded album of 14 pop and Broadway classics, including his wife, Kim, the Fantasy Records label, co-producers John Pizzarelli, the noted guitarist, and longtime collaborator Dave O’Donnell, as well as studio manager Ellyn Kusmin.

“I’m tickled pink, and very grateful,” Taylor said.

The category he won included nominees “Blue Umbrella” by Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian, “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter” by Harry Connick Jr., “Unfollow the Rules” by Rufus Wainwright, and ”Judy” by Renée Zellweger.

“American Standard,” his 19th studio release, charted at No. 1 for Billboard’s Top Album Sales, Top Rock and Top Americana/Folk listings, and No. 4 on the Top 200 album chart the week after it was released.

It was his 13th top 10 album overall, making him the first artist ever with top 10 albums in each of the past six decades, according to an announcement from his management team.

The album was intertwined with his audio memoir for Audible.com, “Break Shot,” a deeply introspective take on his childhood and early career.

During a revealing fireside chat with The Eagle at his home studio, Taylor mused about the long and winding trail, including bouts of depression that led him to spend time at the McLean psychiatric hospital outside Boston, and then at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge to kick heroin.

“Austen Riggs is very close to where I live now,” Taylor said. “Life circles around.”

Taylor, a resident of the town of Washington, turned 73 last Friday.

Whether he will perform at Tanglewood on July 4 depends on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s plans for a potential partial reopening of its summer home. An announcement about the season is expected in the coming weeks.

Taylor also has an extensive North American tour with 39 shows rescheduled from last year, beginning May 14 in New Orleans and ending Oct. 2 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The U.S. tour (with the exception of Tanglewood) includes Jackson Browne, while the Canadian performances feature Bonnie Raitt.

Coinciding with the album’s release, Taylor promoted it on “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Good Morning America,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Live with Kelly Ryan.” He also was featured as the “Mega Mentor” on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Album tracks included Walter Donaldson and George A. Whiting’s “My Blue Heaven,” Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner’s “Almost Like Being In Love,” from the Broadway show “Brigadoon,” Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s “The Nearness of You,” Frank Loesser’s “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” from the Broadway show “Guys and Dolls,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” from “South Pacific,” the Billie Holiday-Arthur Herzog Jr. classic “God Bless The Child,” and the first cover of a song originally featured in the 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon Katnip Kollege, “As Easy As Rolling Off A Log.”

source: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/james-taylor-wins-grammy-his-sixth-for-american-standard/article_ecc41dac-8594-11eb-89e5-473bccdb130b.html

Monday, March 15
2021

CALIFORNIAROCKER.COM — James Taylor and veteran songwriters win big at 63rd annual Grammy award

By JOHN DALY

Veteran songwriters took the spotlight at the 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday as James Taylor, Chick Corea and Dolly Parton were among the big winners of the night.

In a virtual year when gatherings have been limited because of the pandemic, award-nominated and winning artists were scattered around the world at awards time. Taylor, who won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for American Standard was on a ski lift and made his acceptance speech on social media from a moving chair.

“Well we just got the news and what an embarrassment of riches to be here in the mountains skiing and just getting the news that we got a GRAMMY for American Standard,” Taylor said. “I’m tickled pink and very grateful.”

American Standard by Taylor won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album edging Blue Umbrella by Burt Bachrach and Daniel Tashian; True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter by Harry Connick, Jr.; Unfollow The Rules by Rufus Wainwright and Judy by Renee Zellweger.

source: https://californiarocker.com/2021/03/15/james-taylor-and-veteran-songwriters-win-big-at-63rd-annual-grammy-awards/

Monday, March 15
2021

WRAL.COM — People gather beneath James Taylor Bridge in Chapel Hill to sing songs, celebrate his birthday

By Heather Leah

A Chapel Hill woman honored James Taylor’s birthday on Friday afternoon with a crowd of people joining together to sing his songs beneath the James Taylor bridge.

James Taylor’s childhood home sits in Chapel Hill – as well as a bridge named in his honor.

Bobbi Wilkins has prepared for the birthday celebration by hanging a banner on the bridge’s sign. At 3 p.m. on Friday, a small group gathered to sing songs in his honor.

“The City of Chapel Hill liked my idea to honor James on his Birthday and today a representative from Chapel Hill Tourism and her neighbor helped me hang these signs,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins, who grew up about a mile from the house James Taylor grew up in, has been using his music as part of healing from an unexpected injury. Every Saturday for the past year, she said she’s visited his bridge and cleaned up litter.

Wilkins was a PA at Duke when a back injury and brain injury changed her life.

LOCAL NEWS
People gather beneath James Taylor Bridge in Chapel Hill to sing songs, celebrate his birthday
Tags: good news
Posted March 12, 2021 1:01 p.m. EST
Updated March 12, 2021 6:25 p.m. EST

By Heather Leah, WRAL multiplatform producer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A Chapel Hill woman honored James Taylor’s birthday on Friday afternoon with a crowd of people joining together to sing his songs beneath the James Taylor bridge.

Bobbi Wilkins has prepared for the birthday celebration by hanging a banner on the bridge’s sign. At 3 p.m. on Friday, a small group gathered to sing songs in his honor.

“The City of Chapel Hill liked my idea to honor James on his Birthday and today a representative from Chapel Hill Tourism and her neighbor helped me hang these signs,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins, who grew up about a mile from the house James Taylor grew up in, has been using his music as part of healing from an unexpected injury. Every Saturday for the past year, she said she’s visited his bridge and cleaned up litter.

Wilkins was a PA at Duke when a back injury and brain injury changed her life.

“I will heal completely from both injuries, but brain injuries take a lot of time to heal. So, I had a lot of time on my hands and I needed to stay busy,” she said.

For the past eight years she’s listened to Taylor’ songs, read his story and walked the path to where he grew up.

Wilkins has seen fire, and she’s seen rain. She was inspired by the story of Taylor’s recovery from addiction.

“I didn’t have a heroin addiction, but I had a brain injury caused by a drug. The two are different, but surprisingly similar,” she said. “You have to heal from both injuries, and the healing process is the same — or, it has been for me.”

With all of this extra time and a lot of healing to do, she decided to make a positive impact.

On Saturday, she will have completed a full year of cleaning the area around the James Taylor Bridge – another yet of healing.

“I have spent a lot of time alone, out walking, healing my brain,” she said.

“James, I always believed you. I always felt like I had a friend walking with me. Thanks for walking with me all these years. I am almost there,” she said.

Happy Birthday James.