Tuesday, June 07, 2005

How Sweet It Is

I’ve had the guilty pleasure lately of listening to James Taylor. Guilty pleasures are those you might be ashamed to admit, like that piece of cake you ate this afternoon.

I hadn't listened to James Taylor in quite a long time. I can't even categorize what I've been listening to, and I think that's a good thing. I can say that a lot of it has twang in varying degrees. Twang doesn't mean country... or maybe it does if, by "country", you mean "America" (including South America and the Atlantic and Pacific Islands) or even another country or culture... Irish (Celtic), Greek, Romany, Mexican, French, Italian... pedal steel, mandolin, fiddle, accordion, flamenco guitars, pure percussion, bouzouki, sax, trumpet, harp (well, that's not the usual definition of "country" and it's not mine either, but that's another topic). But I've had a thang for the twang. It's an in-your-face sound... pure celebration of ancient and modern rhythms and tones.

James Taylor is not twangy, he is very, very smooth, but smooth and delicious like a chocolate sundae. His lyrics might be the nuts on top, they are really not very smooth and are always thought-provoking, something with crunch. He seems to be near perfect, never off-key, always incredibly melodic and beautiful. His voice is a bath in butter. He could sing the phone book, even without that lovely Martin. Our Mothers were both fond of JT and both called him by some cutesy version of his name, mine called him "Sweet Baby James Taylor". My Mother liked lots of current rock and pop stars in the 60s and 70s, and wasn't bothered by his long hair (oh where did it go?) and drug addiction. We both went to see him in the early 70s when he was touring with Carole King and Fire and Rain was a recent release, we traveled 100 miles for the show. Boy, that's embarrassing dating myself like that! Now I need another sweet fix.


Jeen Lilly said...

hmmmm. semantics, I think. One person's guilty pleasure is another's quintessential faith?...
I feel like that about Paul Simon.
well -- I have funny sort of self conscious qualmy quick to rationalize reflex action about Paul Simon.
There are days when my hipness feels more than a little arthritic. Still.
Much as I do love you-know-who there are days when I crawl into PS to remind myself of my EastCoast roots.
'specially when I'm feeling good and sorry for myself about missing Blues On the Green today...

ahem. You do know it's today, dontcha..?

Blueberry said...

The heat index will put us at 100 degrees by rush hour and still high nineties by showtime... must be today! Well that's typical for Blues on the Green, either blistering hot or raining cats and dogs... (same all summer, all 6 months of it), but he always looks cool no matter what. Hope to get some pictures since the hot sun will replace the need for flash. Stay tuned.