”Live at the Troubadour” is a live album by Carole King and James Taylor released in 2010. The album was recorded at The Troubadour in West Hollywood in November 2007 to celebrate the venue's 50th anniversary. It was also the first venue that King and Taylor played together in November 1970. The album debuted at #4 in the United States with first-week sales of 78,000. This gives James Taylor a top 10 album in every decade since the 1970s and Carole King her first top 10 album since 1976.
On his last couple of Warner Brothers albums, Gorilla and In the Pocket, James Taylor seemed to be converting himself from the shrinking violet, too-sensitive-to-live "rainy day man" of his early records into a mainstream, easy-listening crooner with a sunny outlook. JT, his debut album for Columbia Records, was something of a defense of this conversion. Returning to the autobiographical, Taylor declared his love for Carly Simon ("There We Are"), but expressed some surprise at his domestic bliss… "Isn't it amazing a man like me can feel this way?" he sang in the opening song, "Your Smiling Face" (a Top 40 hit). At the same time, domesticity could have its temporary depressions ("Another Grey Morning"). The key track was "Secret O' Life," which Taylor revealed as "enjoying the passage of time"…
Sweet Baby James (1970). James Taylor's second album, Sweet Baby James, released in early 1970, is the album that secured his spot among the most important songwriters of the 70s. The sweet, bluesy acoustic guitar and vocals on this album are authentic and interesting - this is a record that has everything from a blues inspired jam, packed with a big band horn section ("Steamroller Blues"); to a gospel revival-like track ("Lo And Behold"); to a traditional nursery rhyme made into a folk ballad ("Oh, Susannah"). And, of course, the album featured "Fire and Rain," which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Country Road" was another Top 40 hit that struck a chord with music fans, especially because of its attractive mixture of folk, country, gospel, and blues elements, all of them carefully understated and distanced…
…Stockfish continues to shine with its groundbreaking SACD technology. The precision and clarity of the stringed instrumentation is flawless, augmenting the acoustics without compromising the intended starkness. (…) Songs For The Road is an engaging album.
Allan Taylor is one of England's most-respected singer/songwriters. His songs have been covered by artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including Don Williams, Frankie Miller, Fairport Convention, Dick Gaughan, the McCalmans, the Fureys, the Clancy Brothers, and De Dannan. Folk Roots praised him for his "ability to crystallize a mood and evoke an era with the ease of a computer memory access, crafting perfect songs with dramatic changes in the spirit of Brecht, Bikel, and Brel." The Oxford Book of Traditional Verse felt as strongly, writing that Taylor was "one of the most literate and sensitive of contemporary songwriters in terms of words and music and one who is capable of exploring more complex subjects than most of his contemporaries."
For something less traditional but no less killing, try Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band’s Bang That Bell. A post-Hendrix exercise in funky-blue wah-wah wailing, this one has more allusions to Prince and the Isley Brothers than Muddy and the Wolf. In the course of a single tune (“Another Bad Day”) he can blend jazzy, Wes Montgomery-styled octaves with over-the-top wah-wah work and metalesque speed picking. But in spite of all the virtuosic six-string technique, Taylor can also get up into some nasty real-deal shuffles and earthy funk, as he proves so convincingly on “It’s Later than You Think,” which features some brilliant harmonica playing by Sugar Blue, and on a super-funky updating of the Earl King classic “Trick Bag.” And he digs into a slow blues, “A Quitter Never Wins,” with fangs bared. The closer, “Even Trolls Love Rock & Roll,” is a wild fretboard scorcher featuring guest guitar slinger Eric Gales. A tremendous guitarist and soulful singer, Taylor is a major versatile talent on the crossover blues-rock circuit that includes the likes of Robert Cray, Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
…"Colour to the Moon" represents the work of an artist at the height of his powers, looking back as well as forward, few people can convey with such eloquence their life experiences.