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My James Taylor review posts to Elmore magazine

29 Jun

Elmore Magazine | James TaylorFive-time Grammy award-winner James Taylor showered the people of Austin with his music and lyrics for nearly three hours and two encores inside the Frank Erwin Center June 22. At 69 years old, Taylor entertained a full house with his ageless voice and unique phrasing by singing songs from his hit song catalog that stretches back more than half a century. Favorites included: “Fire and Rain,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” “Carolina in My Mind,” “How Sweet It Is,” “Your Smiling Face” and “Shower the People,” which he performed with his 15-year-old teenage son, Henry Taylor. His dad also sang the title track, “Sweet Baby James,” off his 1970 breakthrough album, complete with a moving artistic visual slideshow. For 20 minutes between his two sets, the singer and songwriting star signed all kinds of fan memorabilia, one of which was an authentic 1977 vinyl JT featuring Taylor’s boyish profile photo.

Throughout his set, he performed solo on his acoustic guitar and on an electric along with his All Star Band. The band included drummer Steve Gadd, bass player Jimmy Johnson, keyboardist Larry Goldings, saxophone player Lou Marini, percussionist Luis Conte, electric guitarist Michael Landau, fiddle player and vocalist Andrea Zonn and multi-instrumentalist Walt Fowler. Arnold McCuller, and Kate Markowitz provided background vocals.

Taylor closed the evening with a romantic tribute to his third wife Kim Smedvig, performing “You and I Again,” a song from his 17th full-length studio release titled Before This World, his first No. 1 album on Billboard’s 200 Chart. The die-hard Red Sox fan with a life-long love for Boston will end his 2016 tour at Fenway Park on August 3rd.

Please also see the review and my photos on Elmore’s website by following this link:

http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2016/06/reviews/shows/james-taylor-3

Elmore posts my story about the Feb. 4 private Willie Nelson concert

12 Feb

Elmore Magazine | Willie Nelson and Asleep At The WheelAbout 200 very lucky country music fans were treated to a private concert by Willie Nelson, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel February 4th at the famed Broken Spoke; Thursday nights in February will never feel so hot again in Austin, Texas. The founder of Girling Home Health Care Inc. sponsored the city’s biggest private event of the year at its oldest and most beloved honky tonk. Unable to attend her own birthday party due to the onset of sudden illness, Bettie Girling, the widow of the late Robert Girling, watched the party via Skype from her bed at home across town. Nevertheless, Nelson and Benson sang “Happy Birthday” to Bettie together with all of her invited guests who also enjoyed a barbecue feast and spirited drinks. For about an hour and a half and just inches away from his audience, Nelson sang a hit parade of songs that marked more than 50 years of his professional music career, beginning with the 1961 number one hit, “Hello Walls,” followed by “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (1975) and “On The Road Again” (1980).

The 82-year-old Red Headed Stranger closed the night with an intimate crowd sing-along on “The Party’s Over,” a song Nelson wrote and Claude Gray first recorded in 1959. All evening Benson accompanied Willie on guitar and backup vocals together with keyboard player Emily Gimble, the daughter of the late Texas Playboy Johnny Gimble. Other Asleep at the Wheel members included fiddler Katie Shore, steel player Eddie Rivers, mandolin and fiddle player Dennis Ludicker and David Sanger on drums. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, also made a brief appearance together at the celebration, flanked by several Travis County deputies. Dozens of other local celebrities, including writer/actor/filmmaker Turk Pipkin sat on the dance floor to take photos up close and personal. Closing time came early – 10 o’clock– at the red, rustic and barn-like Broken Spoke, a 51-year-old icon that has withstood the test of time and new development along a one-mile stretch of South Lamar. Its 76-years young founders, James and Annetta White, both waved goodbye from the porch as dust settled in the Broken Spoke’s dirt parking lot and Nelson’s tour bus left for a Feb. 9 appearance in Charlotte, N.C. a.

Please also see my article as it appears on Elmore magazine’s website by following this link:

http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2016/02/reviews/shows/willie-nelson-and-asleep-at-the-wheel

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