These are troubled times, and anything that soothes the soul has to be recommended. So a James Taylor concert on a sultry July evening fitted the bill quite nicely.
Taylor is one of soft rock’s most distinctive singer-songwriters. It is difficult to claim that age has mellowed the American veteran performer since he was always one of life’s most mellow performers.
All the old standards – Carolina, Mexico, Sweet Baby James, You’ve Got a Friend – were given the usual Taylor treatment, his voice as rich and warm as ever.
Less predictable was the choice of Taylor’s cover versions from his new album. Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman was suitably haunting and Junior Walker’s Road Runner a stripped-down stab at a soul classic.
It’s a shame that Taylor doesn’t cut loose a little more often.
However, his audience don’t really come to see that. They like him just as he is, and the formula works pretty well.