Music in the MTL

You have to hand it to Mr. Taylor – at almost 70 years old, he is still touring around North America with that beautiful guitar of his, loved by old timers and new comers alike. That aforementioned tour will be bringing him to The Bell Center on Friday the 13th, in May. This will, without a doubt, be a sold out show. How do I know? Put on Carolina In My Mind. I didn’t even know I had heartstrings until James Taylor started yanking on them.

If you’re my age and you know James Taylor, it’s probably because you had a parent who played his records when you were growing up. I was one of those fortunate kids. I’ve known Sweet Baby James all my life.

To say that James Taylor has a “signature” sound wouldn’t give him enough credit; the man is incendiary. I think that in order to be angelic, one must go through levels of human hell, and James Taylor has certainly done that: he spent years as a junkie; only to undergo a heroic recovery. He’s witnessed both the death of his brother and two close friends in substance-related deaths. He underwent throat surgery, and endured two failed marriages. Taylor emerged from the rubble of real life with six Grammy awards, entrance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and induction to the Songwriters Hall of Fame that same year, as well an honorary musical doctorate from Berklee College of Music. Oh, and he’s had a bridge in Chapel Hill named after him.

That he is still putting out new albums (2015’s Before The World) is proof not only of his endurance but also his relevance. In fact, James Taylor has put out sixteen studio albums in all, collaborating with heavy hitters Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Alison Krauss, among others.

The 2016 spring/summer tour will be taking him all over Canada and the United States, and though he may tour again (no doubt the man is a long way from retiring), seeing James Taylor live is one of those concerts akin to a shooting star, in that it will be both miraculous and unforgettable.

For tickets and information: 514-790-2525 or 1-877-668-8269

Ceilidh Michelle is a musician and author based in Montreal. She is a columnist for Bandmark, and has contributed to CULT Montreal, Vancouver Weekly, Montreal Rampage, Quip, CKUT, and more. She studies Creative Writing at Concordia University.

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