Sunday, August 30, 2009

James Taylor - Covering All His Basics

by Brent Warnken

He has been a long time supporter and performer of classic covers, and now he is banking on that love as James Taylor released Covers, a album his website notes his fans 'have been anticipating for years.'

As his infamous voice croons over licks made famous by artists like Buddy Holly, The Dixie Chicks, The Temptations and more, his concert of covers will be even more unforgettable as James Taylor tickets become available online. The Down Home Tour will see Taylor and his friends Keith Carlock, Larry Goldings, Jimmy Johnson, Bob Mann, David Lasley, Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller and Andrea Zonn all supporting the "Fire and Rain" singer in his September listings for around the country.

Originally kicking off the excursion on June 27th for a European leg, he will hop back into the States for shows in September that grace San Antonio's Majestic Theatre, El Paso's Plaza Theatre, Albuquerque's Sandra Casino, Tucson's Music Hall, Valley Center's Valley View Casino, Saratoga's The Mountain Winery, Central Point's Lithia Motors Amphitheater, Puyallup's Western Washington Fair Grandstand and Livermore's The Concerts at Wente Vineyards.

The set first saw support in April following the September 2008 release and has since added a few more supporting dates since the release, which has seen an extension not only through tour support but also studio support as Other Covers appeared in April, a seven song companion set that includes hits like Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour" and Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood." When it first appeared, Covers debuted on The Billboard 200 at four and sold 94,000 units its first week.

Working hard on his music as well as other avenues of interest, Taylor and his wife recently announced that his $500,000 earnings from the five day music festival at Tanglewood would be donated to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Telling the Boston Globe that he and Mrs. Taylor had been concerned about the genre's diminishing support, the couple found it appropriate to give their earnings to a cause of their liking. Kim Taylor, a former public relations director and current trustee for the Orchestra, has noted that the couple has previously donated about $700,000 to the Orchestra in recent years.

"We have real concerns for what the future is for it. We also know it takes a huge structure to maintain a symphony and a lot of money," he says to the Boston Globe. Tanglewood residents, Kim pleaded with her husband of eight years to perform a festival that would center on his tunes. "It was like pulling teeth," she said, as he was hesitant to confirm annual dates that could possibly conflict with his future touring schedule. "Seven years ago, I didn't think I'd be playing Tanglewood every year," he continues. "And it turns out we do. And the other thing is I think the symphony, over time, feels more comfortable trusting me and my audience.

There used to be this sort of distrust or apprehension that a pop act was a necessary evil, so you minimized it, kept your distance from it. I think over time people have gotten used to me and they've seen my audience won't tear the place up too bad." They have gotten used to him, as well as his covers, well into the future of music. So enjoy!

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