Today's birthday of note is that of the pride of Massachusetts, singer slash songwriter James Taylor. Never really listened to his music growing up, although it was all over the radio...you know, Fire and Rain, You've Got A Friend, Handy Man, Shower The People, etcetera, etcetera. It wasn't until 1979 when, at the prompting of none other than Bill Lloyd, I checked out his then current Flag album, and it blew me away. It's much better than AMG would have you think. As is my wont, I then proceeded to fill in the gaps in my collection acquiring such excellent records as Gorilla, In The Pocket, JT, and of course Sweet Baby James, all in that fine (to me) early to mid 70s L.A. singer-songwriter style. I even scored a copy of his hard-to-find first album on Apple (Apple record collector me), and found myself a fan ever after. One teensy problem– after that, Taylor lost the plot and didn't make another record half as interesting as Flag and its predecessors... and while there was an occasional nice tune (Copperline) by the 90s I had pretty much lost interest in the creative endeavors of Mr. Taylor. Too many slickly produced and bland albums. That happens to me a lot, it seems...I finally discover an artist based on his or her current release, then nothing he or she does thereafter that comes close to being as good in my mind. Sigh.
Anywho, happy BSBD to ya, James.
Oh- I was very impressed and enjoyed very much a recent special on CMT, of all places, in which Taylor performed live with the Dixie Chicks. They did a version of "Wide Open Spaces", with Taylor singing lead, that was outstanding and quite moving. Again, the older I get, the more of an old softie I become I guess.