His voice is like milk and honey and his guitar skills are like none other. As well, he writes and produces all the music that he releases.
When you listen to JT don't you just feel like he is walking around inside of your head, stealing all the random words, stringing them together, writing exactly what you feel?!!
I know that last sentence was a mouthful, but he is just INCREDIBLE! It is amazing, not to mention ironic, how he can harmonize cool detachment with the stark depth of vulnerability.
Think of 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight', 'Country Road', 'Walking Man', 'Steamrolller', 'Our Town', 'It Used To Be Her Town', 'Shower The People', 'How Sweet It Is', 'Carolina In My Mind', or the you-cannot-play-it-too-much 'Fire And Rain'! Oh, and what about the timeless 'Sweet Baby James'…….there are just too many to list!
These are all hits, among others, that I grew up listening to, as my parents listened to and adored JT!
For me, it was not until years ago when I entered law school and was forced to spend a lot of time, in isolation, studying, that I began to appreciate the music of JT, particularly on the cold winter winter evenings in Northwest Indiana.
Hearing that milky voice evokes so many happy memories of childhood for me.
Speaking of memories, JT did not have a very easy childhood, nor adolescence as his father struggled with alcoholism, and his brother died of alcoholism. To say the least, JT grew up to struggle with alcoholism, addiction and even mental illness, a stalled career, fear of growing up, not to mention premature deaths of loved ones, divorce and unsuccessful attempts at suicide.
Yes, the Walking Man, "stumbled around drunk on the farm" and was addicted to heroin, which he attributed to growing pains. In fact, the equally fantastic singer and songwriter Carly Simon divorced him due to his heavy heroin use.
According to public statements by "Steamroller" Taylor, himself, Fire and Rain, a folk song written, performed and released by JT off of his Sweet Baby James album that rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts, was much about his battle with mental illness, Bipolar. In fact, JT is well-known for his stay in the famous McLean Hospital for alcoholism and mental illness.
Well, although you probably know this, James Taylor is clean and sober and has been for the last 29 years. As a matter of fact, it was after he got sober that his career took off, and the rest really is history! All that time was not wasted either, as he wrote about it and turned it into hit music.
For all you newly sober alcoholics and addicts, it is ok to be sensitive, embrace it, and consider the words of JT, "I'm an entertainer, so I'm very sensitive to what other people's judgment of me is……..When I engage someone else, I care very much what their opinion of me is, perhaps more than I might at this age," and yet, he has learned how to remain clean and sober. You know what that means, you can too!!
"The secret to life is the joy of passing time……..any fool can do it!" James Taylor
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Photo Courtesy: wikipedia
Original Article URL: jamestaylorweb.com