Tapestry & Sweet Baby James

The stated mission of Earth Images is to write and share information about photography or nature.  I kind of missed that mark today in favor of sharing my opinions about entertainment.  They are only my opinions.

I had the chance to watch (actually re-watch) on PBS, the joint performance of Carole King and James Taylor at the Troubadour night club in Los Angeles.  King and Taylor performed there together 40 years ago.  My hippie days flashed back to me as I was reunited with my lost youth.

What a pleasure to watch two fine songwriters performing their own material.  The power of the lyric and the melody by thoughtful songwriters is today found mainly with our more obscure performers as the superstars of today continue to produce techno digital “stuff” lacking in heart and soul.  Some exceptions can be found with the likes of Norah Jones etc.

King has put on some weight and Taylor remains bald with no hair transplant or rug, and no purposefully shaved head.  In a world that oozes ego like an infected sore, it is a breath of fresh air to see two successful performers who care more about the music than their own self-indulgent persona.  They write and sing from the heart, and from personal experience, in a way that gives the credit to the experience rather than to themselves.

King’s Tapestry album is one of the best-selling of all time, and Taylor’s Sweet Baby James was a landmark in folk/pop/rock.   Hearing Taylor perform Fire & Rain is as powerful today as it was in the 1970s.  Of course Taylor’s hit song You’ve Got a Friend was actually written by King.  Taylor has given King the credit for writing that song each and every time he has performed over these 40 years.  King gave the song to Taylor, without asking for compensation or credit.  The music was always more important than their own egos.

Thank you Carole King and James Taylor!

Often when I hunger for music with lyrics that say something, I turn to country music.  Yes I know what you’re thinking.  Bunch of country bumpkins with songs about drinking and pick up trucks. Well yes there have always been some corny songs with dumb lyrics in country, but often the exceptions to that include the most thought-provoking words and melodies in music at any given time.  I tuned in to a Tim McGraw special a few weeks ago.  There is more talent in country music today than there ever has been.  That is to say there are more talented singers and musicians than ever before.  Now if they could just find some songwriters. I mean every era of country 50s-90s, produced better writing than this one. Getting back to the McGraw special, Faith Hill’s (generally not my favorite) rendition of Janis Joplin’s A Little Piece of My Heart, and a combined performance by several performers (with John Fogerty) , of Credence Clearwater Revival’s Born on The Bayou were far and away the show stopping songs of the night.  This despite the fact that neither of these songs were country in their origin, and both are very, very old.

It’s amazing how people still respond to great music.

No I am not becoming a TV critic, I promise.  I think I can say with certainty that I will not be seeing any of these acts in person so my thoughts are developed in the only place that I will ever see them.

Thank you

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