Monday, June 22, 2015

James Taylor, for the long run

This past week James Taylor released, Before This World, his 17th studio album of new material and first since October Road, in 2002. James says in this recent article about his life and crafting songs, James Taylor: 'A big part of my story is recovery from addiction'"It used to be that these songs got squeezed out of every pore, and you just couldn’t stop ’em. Then it slowly turned to where you had to kind of coax them out. Now you have to pull them out with a winch."

I often go back to the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare, as a life's lesson in defining achievement. My take has a slight twist on the classic line, 'slow and steady wins the race'. I would prefer to say, "slow and steady for the long run." As an inspiration to us all, James has done just that. After a whirlwind start, James was fast out of the gate, first young artist to sign with the Beatles on Apple Records, drug addiction, hit songs and famous women, and a life of activism. Except for the drug part, James was the man, or at least the walking man in the 70's to aspire to. But as addiction and fame take so many, James learned to slow down and set a new, slower pace for himself. I'm personally inspired by James to enjoy the fruits of life but also stay steady on our run here on earth and to always keep creating.

So last Tuesday, I bought Before This World and highly recommend you purchase it too. Now as I get older, I find myself getting extremely emotional when watching a great movie, drama or news show, and of course, great music. On Saturday, Mary Kit and I saw, Everybody's Talkin': The Music of Harry Nilsson, at the Lyceum Theater in San Diego. Well, if you read my previous blog, As time goes by Harry Nilsson, you hold up, you know I'm a big Harry Nilsson fan. Nilsson's music is so emotionally deep and was sung so well by the cast, that I teared up quite a bit during the whole play. Same thing this past week with listening to Before This World, tearing up because the songs are so deeply crafted and with James, it just hits home. The song, You and I Again is one of James Taylor's best songs ever, and I'm guessing you will agree as well.  I'll lead with it on my Before This World YouTube playlist. Enjoy and just keep creating and loving for the long run my friends.

Update - Before This World has debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in it's first week! Though James has had eleven albums reach "Top Ten" in his career, this is his first #1 album.