James Taylor and Jackson Browne, on joint tour, embraced by Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and new generation

James Taylor (left), Jackson Browne and drummer Mauricio "Fritz" Lewak

Their joint 2020 tour, which was pushed back twice because of COVID-19, stops in San Diego on Nov. 1

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Whether walking down a country road or running on empty, few people in the 1970s would have bet that two of the era’s most popular and revered singer-songwriters would still be touring and recording, five decades later, in their 70s.

But James Taylor and Jackson Browne have defied the odds. Their joint 2021 concert tour — postponed from last year because of COVID-19, which Browne contracted and has recovered from — includes a Nov. 1 performance at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

Taylor’s and Browne’s best songs have become part of the fabric of American life for millions, shared with children by parents and grandparents. Transcending nostalgia, their music’s cross-generational appeal is a matter of record.

Witness Browne’s guest vocal spot early this year on Phoebe Bridgers ’ song, “Kyoto.” (Bridgers, 27, returned the favor by appearing in the video for Browne’s recent video for his song, “My Cleveland Heart”).

And witness Taylor’s duets with his partial namesake, Taylor Swift , at her 2011 Madison Square Garden show. More recently, the elder Taylor’s 2020 appearance as a Mega Mentor on the music TV series “The Voice” saw two contestants young enough to be his grandkids react with “pinch me!” giddiness when they met him.

Undeniably, the majority of Taylor’s and Browne’s concert audiences still skew primarily toward the baby-boomers who grew up with them. Their status as two of the quintessential singer-songwriters of their generation remains largely undiminished, half a century later.

Taylor’s and Browne’s continuing careers make them notable exceptions to the rule when it comes to the array of solo artists who rose to prominence in the 1960s and early ‘70s.

Some of those artists have retired ( Joan Baez , Paul Simon, Bob Seger), while some are no longer able to perform because of health reasons ( Joni Mitchell , Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt).

Some have persevered as cult artists (Garland Jeffreys, Eliza Gilkyson, Loudon Wainwright III). Others have died ( John Prine , Bill Withers, former San Diegan Jim Croce and far too many more).

‘Fire and Rain,’ ‘Lives in the Balance’

Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne

That Taylor and Browne, both 73, have endured is a testament to their perseverance, good fortune and the continuing allure of such classic songs as Taylor’s “Fire and Rain,” “Sweet Baby James” and “Millworker,” and Browne’s “The Pretender,” “These Days” and “Lives in the Balance.”

To put their longevity in perspective, The Beatles were still going strong when Taylor’s first solo album was released in Europe in December 1968. It came out, incidentally, on The Beatles-owned Apple Records label and Paul McCartney and George Harrison both performed on the album. Taylor was 20 at the time.

Browne made his recording debut in October 1967 as an accompanist on the first solo album by former Velvet Underground singer Nico. The album featured three of Browne’s songs, “These Days,” “Somewhere There’s a Feather” and “The Fairest of the Seasons.” Browne was in his late teens at the time.

It was just a few years later that Taylor and Browne struck gold — and then platinum — with a succession of hit singles and albums. Taylor’s global album sales now top 100 million, while Browne’s tally is closer to 20 million. Together, they helped fuel the “sensitive singer-songwriter” boom of the early 1970s with which both their names have been inextricably linked ever since.

Both of these now-graying troubadours struck a resounding chord, whether contemplating intimate matters of the heart, life at large, or the beleaguered state of the world around them.

Both Taylor and Browne have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — Taylor in 2000 by Paul McCartney, Browne in 2004 by Bruce Springsteen — and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Both have regularly donated their time to causes near to their heart, both before and after performing at 1982’s The Concert for Nuclear Disarmament in New York.

Browne’s 1986 album, “Lives in the Balance,” was his pointed musical response to the Reagan presidency — and his first to sell under a million copies. His next, 1989’s “World in Motion,” intensified his political focus. It was his first album to sell under 500,000 copies.

“I’ve spent my life being in touch with human rights and environmental issues, and now they are the same issues,” Browne told the Union-Tribune in 2018. “We all have a right to live in a healthy and safe environment.”

Not resting on their laurels

 James Taylor performing at JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration in 2018

For listeners who grew up hearing them, Taylor’s and Browne’s most beloved songs offer welcome return trips down memory lane. But neither is resting on their laurels and both have continued making new albums. Since 2002, Browne has released seven albums and Taylor eight, most recently Browne’s “Downhill from Everywhere” (which came out in July) and Taylor’s “American Standard” (which came out last year).

Granted, the days when Taylor and Browne regularly scored Top 40 hits and sold millions of records are now decades past. But both have sustained loyal audiences for their respective concert tours, albeit smaller venues in general for Browne. Taylor, conversely, can still fill large amphitheaters and even stadiums.

Of the two, Taylor has the warmer and more reedy voice, Browne the more plaintive.

Taylor’s supple singing can sound contented or restless, hopeful or regretful, providing a welcome aural balm of comfort and reassurance in even the most turbulent times. Browne tends to be more somber, as befits an artist of conscience whose newest songs find him addressing his mortality as well as the plight of migrants and the ever fragile state of the environment.

Of course, only time can tell how much longer the road will go on for Taylor and Browne, whose joint tour concludes Dec. 13 in Buffalo, N.Y.

But the opportunity to hear them perform full sets with their respective bands on their first-ever national concert trek together is a welcome one. So is the opportunity to hear them sing together in harmony on such favorites as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “The Pretender” and “Take It Easy” (which Browne co-wrote for the Eagles).

Taylor recently acknowledged he had been contemplating retirement shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began. He has since changed his mind and has decided to continue performing as long as he is able.

Taylor’s rationale is perhaps best explained by the chorus on the lilting title track of his 1985 album, “That’s Why I’m Here,” specifically: Sing it tonight, tomorrow and everyday / That’s why I’m standing (that’s why I’m here) / Oh, that’s why I’m here.

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne on music as activism

What distinguishes music from social and political activism for Jackson Browne? Nothing, as Browne told the Union-Tribune in a 2018 interview.

Jackson Browne elated to perform benefit concerts for Quiltman, his Native American musician friend

Jackson Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 and returned in 2017 to induct one of his early heroes and creative inspirations, Joan Baez.

Feb. 21, 2018

“First of all, rock ‘n’ roll is about freedom,” Browne said at the time. “Whether you’re a teenager who wants to be free, or a person who loves the blues and is beginning to sing, you come to understand what these (rock and blues) songs are about. They’re born of a kind of suffering and the oppression of an entire race over a long period.

“What happened for me is that the first time I heard R&B, it was being played in a room by a bunch of people who were laughing and dancing. I also heard it on the radio in my own White community and loved it. But the first time I heard it was at a party after a Congress of Racial Equality meeting. It was full of Black people, all older than me. I was 14 or 15...

“But there was not just (a devotion to) Civil Rights in our house. We listened to almost nothing but Jimmy Smith (jazz) organ records and (gospel music by) the Staple Singers. So music was very connected with political change in my house. As a kid, growing up, many of our musical heroes were Black — with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald foremost among them— and Django Reinhardt, too, who was a gypsy.

“So, there was a commitment to racial justice in the house I grew up in. If you want to say where it began for me, it began with my father saying how much better the world was because of these great artists and activists.”

James Taylor and Joni Mitchell

James Taylor on bucking the odds

James Taylor overcame his addiction to heroin four decades ago. Clean and sober ever since, he is keenly aware how fortunate he is to be alive, let alone thriving, as Taylor emphasized in a 2001 Union-Tribune interview.

“I know very well that I’m lucky to be alive,” he said. “Of course, everyone can say that, unless you’re dead. But I mean, specifically, there are half a dozen sort of episodes I shouldn’t have stood up and walked away from ...

“Was it meant to be, or fated? I certainly feel everything happened the way it was supposed to. I regret having wasted as much time in my addiction as I did. But in one way it probably saved my life — a very risky way. It was sort of a way of self-medicating and allowed me to live in my own skin.

“I didn’t mean this to be an interview about substance abuse. But people who have a real run-in with these things, and have it turn into a problem, they are not doing it consciously. They are doing it because there is some desperation involved...

“My job is being an entertainer. But the thing that I do, and then bring to my job, is a kind of self-expression, a kind of self-navigation ... “I heard someone say the other day, at a (12-step) meeting: ‘That’s when I received the gift of desperation.’ And that was an interesting thing; a blessed burden, or the gift of desperation, that allowed them to finally get out of their rut.

“To me, I was given the gift of desperation. It resulted in my coming up with a way of expressing things for myself that I found very helpful, and it turned out other people could use it, too. And then I developed a craft that allowed me to do other things than just healing work (with music). I was able to do celebratory, or humorous, or angry, or other songs that turned out to be good, too.

“So as a result, I just got sort of led into this thing. The point is, it came from satisfying a very personal need, through me. And through a very difficult, and at times hazardous process, I found a way to put it in front of the public, in a limited way...

“A lot of the material I write tends to be about solace, and tends to have an element that’s in some cases soothing and in other cases about dealing with difficulty and accepting it, somehow. You could say there’s a specific sentiment to what I write — sort of hymns for agnostics — in a very non-specific way. And it’s worked well.”

Did you know?

James Taylor and Jackson Browne were both romantically involved with Joni Mitchell at separate times in the 1970s. Taylor came out unscathed, at least physically speaking. Not so Browne, who — in a 2005 interview with the Dallas Morning News — charged that Mitchell had twice physically attacked him. Either way, he is the unmistakable target of Mitchell’s scathing 1994 song, “Not to Blame”

James Taylor All-Star band members

Jimmy Johnson, musical director and bass guitar

Michael Landau, lead guitar

Larry Goldings, piano and electric keyboards

Steve Gadd, drums

Michito Sanchez, percussion

Walt Fowler, horns and keyboard

Lou Marini, horns

Andrea Zonn, vocals and fiddle

Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller, Henry Taylor and Dorian Holley, vocals (Henry, 20, is James Taylor’s son)

Jackson Browne band members

Greg Leisz, lap-pedal steel guitar

Val McCallum, guitar

Jeff Young, keyboards

Bob Glaub, bass

Mauricio “Fritz” Lewak, drums

Alethea Mills and Chavonne Stewart, vocals

James Taylor, with very special guest Jackson Browne

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1

Where: Pechanga Arena San Diego, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District

Tickets: $64.50-$130, plus service fees

Online: axs.com

Health guidelines: All ticketed attendees must have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the concert or have a negative result from a COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) conducted no more than 72 hours prior to the concert.

Get U-T Arts & Culture on Thursdays

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james taylor son on tour

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James Taylor Performs “You Can Close Your Eyes” With Family On ‘Fallon’ [Watch]

James Taylor Fallon, James taylor you can close your eyes, james taylor family, james taylor, catherine kim smedvig, henry taylor

James Taylor  appeared on  The Tonight Show: At Home Edition  starring  Jimmy Fallon last week, where the singer-songwriter performed “You Can Close Your Eyes”, from his 1971 album,  Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon .

Related: James Taylor Donates $1 Million To Massachusetts General Hospital To Aid Health Crisis Efforts

While Taylor is hardly the first musical guest to remotely record a song for  The Tonight Show: At Home Edition , his performance was a bit different as his wife  Caroline “ Kim” Smedvig and son  Henry Taylor joined him on the song. James opened by plucking the chords before all three harmonized on the lyrics, “Well the sun is surely sinking down/But the moon is slowly rising/And this old world must still be spinning ’round/And I still love you,” making it a fitting choice, given the current COVID-19 situation.

The musical roots run deep in the Taylor family. In addition to Kim’s work with the  Boston Symphony Orchestra , Henry received the Viv Murray Caputo Music Prize in Instrumental and Vocal from  Berkshire Day School  back in 2016. Below, watch James Taylor, his wife Kim, and his son Henry perform “You Can Close Your Eyes” on Fallon .

James Taylor & Family – “You Can Close Your Eyes”

[Video: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon ]

James Taylor recently postponed his summer tour with  Jackson Browne  due to the current global health crisis. He has yet to announce rescheduled dates. Head to his official website for the latest information and check out  Live For Live Music ‘s concert cancellation tracker for daily updates on shows around the world.

james taylor son on tour

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The clip was filmed at their family home in Montana.

Published on

James Taylor publicity Norman Seeff

James Taylor has shared an at-home performance of the standard ‘Moon River,’ featuring his son Henry. It was filmed at their family home in Montana and shown on Monday night’s (11) edition of The Voice . The classic singer-songwriter is serving as a Mega Mentor on the 18th season of the talent series.

Moon River, from American Standard - James Taylor on The Voice

Taylor Sr. plays his trademark, distinctive acoustic guitar on the version of the Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer composition, while Henry supports him on the electric. The clip follows another recent at-home appearance by James and Henry, when they performed ‘You Can Close Your Eyes,’ from Taylor’s classic 1971 album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon . Also accompanied by James’ wife Kim, the track was featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon .

Taylor covers ‘Moon River’ on his recently-released American Standard album, his 20th studio set, which entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4. It also debuted on the UK chart at No. 11 and made a No. 2 entry in Scotland.

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American Standard: Moon River | James Taylor

The song was first recorded by Audrey Hepburn in the vintage 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany’s . It quickly attracted covers by a number of artists that year including soul man Jerry Butler, and went on to be recorded many hundreds of times. Andy Williams’ rendition of ‘Moon River’ is perhaps the best known, but among the other artists to tackle it have been Jim Reeves, Frank Sinatra, Eartha Kitt, Willie Nelson, R.E.M. and Morrissey.

Taylor is also one of the celebrity guests on the sixth annual Red Nose Day Special, to be broadcast by NBC on 21 May. The telethon will, like its British equivalent, raise money and awareness for children in need. It’s also due to feature appearances from Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor and many others. Taylor’s US tour with Jackson Browne, which was due to begin this month, has been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

James Taylor’s American Standard can be bought here .

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James Taylor's 4 Children: Everything to Know

Get to know James Taylor’s four kids: Sally, Ben, Henry and Rufus

Emily Shiffer is a contributing writer at PEOPLE. She has been working at PEOPLE since 2022. Her work has been featured in Women's Health, Runner's World, Bicycling and more.

james taylor son on tour

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

James Taylor is a dad to four talented children. The “Fire and Rain” singer has two children, Sarah Maria "Sally" Taylor and Benjamin Simon "Ben" Taylor, with ex-wife Carly Simon , to whom he was married from 1972 to 1983.

James also has two children, twin sons Henry and Rufus, with his wife, Caroline “Kim” Smedvig-Taylor , a musician and former director of marketing for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The couple married in February 2001 and welcomed their sons via surrogate in April of that year .

James told Parade in 2022 that he appreciated being an older parent to his twin sons, who were born when he was 53. “There’s a point where you’re ready,” he said. “You’re settled down enough; you’re not constantly trying to find your place.”

Here’s everything to know about James Taylor’s four children: Sally, Ben, Henry and Rufus.

Sarah Maria "Sally" Taylor, 49

Theo Wargo/WireImage

James and Simon’s first child, Sarah Maria "Sally" Taylor , was born on Jan. 7, 1974. She is married to Dean Bragonier, with whom she has one son, Bodhi Taylor Bragonier, born in October 2007.

Sally is an artist, a teacher and, like her famous parents, a musician. She founded Consenses , an arts education organization. She often spends time with her mom and has shared photos with her on Instagram . Simon has also shared throwback photos of the two.

Sally and her brother Ben have also performed with their mom. In 2007, Simon told PEOPLE that performing together was one of her favorite family activities. “ We’re good at taking each other’s suggestions and criticisms,” she said. “Well, the criticisms are a bit more challenging, but we get through it!”

Sally has also performed with her dad. In 2018, the two sang together at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art — where Sally’s exhibition, “Come to Your Senses: Art to See, Smell, Hear, Taste and Touch,” was on display — to raise money for arts education. Sally and James spoke to the Berkshire Eagle before their father-daughter performance. “It's been a while since Sally and I shared the stage and made music together. It is something I've always loved," James said in a statement.

Sally Taylor Instagram

"When it came to learning how to play guitar, neither of my parents taught me how to do it, and I think that was probably intentional because I do believe songwriting has to come,” Sally said of their music. “If you’re meant to write music, you have to find out your own process."

In May 2020, Sally celebrated Mother’s Day and posted a photo with her brother Ben and their mom. “Happy Mothers Day mama. You make my heart sing. Thank you for being there always for me and Benjer,” she wrote in the caption.

Sally also enjoys knitting , taking walks and painting .

Benjamin Simon "Ben" Taylor, 46

Benjamin Taylor Instagram

The second of James and Simon’s kids, Benjamin Simon "Ben" Taylor , was born on Jan. 22, 1977. Like his parents, Ben is a musician — he plays guitar and sings. He writes songs and shares videos about music theory and music production. He has also recorded songs with his mom .

On his website , Ben shared that he “didn’t start singing until his early 20s," and told Parade in 2011 that his father wanted him to be clear-eyed about the profession: "My dad let me know that it's a blue-collar job, that the glamour of it is largely created by the media. So I knew what I was getting into.”

In 2007, Simon told PEOPLE about Ben’s relationship with his sister Sally. “[They] fought terribly. Since Sally is three years older than Ben, she always bossed him around — until one day he fought back,” she said. “He actually slapped her on the back, and they both ended up crying. For the first time he felt empathy for her, and she realized they were equals. They’ve been close ever since.”

Clive Brunskill/Getty

Simon also shared that Ben and Sally inspired her music — specifically the song “Love of My Life.” “I wrote [it] in 1992 but also included on my new album,” she said. “The lyrics are: ‘I love lilacs and avocados / Ukuleles and fireworks / And Mia Farrow and walking in the snow / But you’ve got to know that / You’re the love of my life / From the moment I first saw you / The second that you were born / I know that you were the love of my life.’ ”

Ben also gave his dad a shout-out on Instagram in March 2020 with a video of himself chopping wood. “We used to spend weekends with my father in Connecticut. As we had no television, my father showed me how to while the hours away in this manner… I guess I simply never lost the habit,” he captioned the video.

In January 2020, Ben shared a throwback photo of himself and his dad from his childhood. In the photo, both father and son are dressed in suit jackets. “The good old days,” he captioned the photo.

Henry Taylor, 22

James Taylor Instagram

James and Kim’s son Henry Taylor was born on April 5, 2001. Like his dad, Henry is a singer and musician and he frequently performs with his dad. In early 2023, James announced that Henry would join him on tour as a supporting vocalist, after doing the same the year before.

In May 2020, the two sang “ Moon River ” on NBC’s The Voice . The pair also sang and played guitar to James’ song “ You Can Close Your Eyes ” in concert in October 2021.

In March 2023, James shared a photograph with his wife, Henry and Rufus celebrating his 75th birthday.

In June 2022, James shared a photo with Henry from his tour bus and a photo of the two posing with Kim. “And bus life begins....see you tomorrow Columbia, SC!” James captioned his post.

Rufus Taylor, 22

James and Kim’s son Rufus Taylor was born on April 5, 2001. According to his Instagram bio , Rufus will graduate from Amherst College in 2024.

Rufus likes to travel and has shared photographs from Montana , France and South Africa . He also likes to bake and has shared photos of his Key lime pie and homemade focaccia .

In November 2022, his father shared a throwback photo of Rufus and Henry with Paul McCartney . “A #tbt for the ages 💥❤️,” James captioned the post.

Rufus and Henry are very close. In April 2019, Rufus shared a birthday post dedicated to his twin on Instagram. “Happy birthday to my oldest friend. Henry I love you so much,” Rufus wrote. “Whenever we get together, you always make me double over laughing. You are brilliant, sensitive, charismatic, and absolutely worthless at reading out loud. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you as my brother.”

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James Taylor, Son Henry Perform American Classic ‘Moon River’ on ‘The Voice’

By Jon Blistein

Jon Blistein

James Taylor and his son Henry performed a sweet and simple rendition of the American standard, “Moon River,” on a recent episode of The Voice .

The singing competition has continued with its 18th season even as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the judges and contestants to work remotely. So Taylor — who’s serving as a “Mega Mentor” this season — shared his performance from home, setting up with an acoustic guitar and singing “Moon River,” while Henry provided a tasteful bit of backing accompaniment and texture on the electric guitar.

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“Moon River” was written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer and first sung by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s , although it’s perhaps best known as the signature song of crooner Andy Williams. Taylor recorded his version for his latest album, American Standard , which arrived in February and featured other selections from the Great American Songbook.

Taylor’s performance of “Moon River” arrives on the heels of a Tonight Show appearance where he played “You Can Close Your Eyes” with Henry and his wife Kim.

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James Taylor Confirms Tour Dates With Son

James Taylor has announced a string of winter tour dates with support from his son, singer/songwriter Ben Taylor . Ben, James' son with Carly Simon , will join his dad on tour for the first time on February 26 at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The father/son dates come amidst a U.S. tour for James, who will hit the road on December 12 at Symphony Hall in Boston. Ben will join the run in Tulsa and stay on through March 12, when the Taylors will make a stop at Procter & Gamble Hall in Cincinnati.

The tour is in support of the elder Taylor's 2008 release Covers , as well as a live collaborative album he recently released with Carole King . Ben Taylor's new album, Listening , is set for release next year.

James Taylor's tour dates are listed below.

December 2010

13 - Boston, MA - Symphony Hall (James Taylor only)

February 2011

26 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theatre (w/ Ben Taylor)

27 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre (w/ Ben Taylor)

1 - Omaha, NE - Orpheum Theatre (w/ Ben Taylor)

2 - Des Moines, IA - Civic Center (w/ Ben Taylor)

4 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre (w/ Ben Taylor)

5 - South Bend, IN - Morris Performing Arts Center (w/ Ben Taylor)

11 - Davenport, IA - Adler Theatre (w/ Ben Taylor)

12 - Cincinnati, OH - Procter & Gamble Hall (w/ Ben Taylor)

12 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall (James Taylor only)

20 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall (James Taylor only)

6 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall (James Taylor only)

9 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall (James Taylor only)

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

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James Taylor talks koalas, the 'gravitational attraction' of touring and Taylor Swift

james taylor son on tour

It’s nearly midnight in Australia when James Taylor pops onto the screen , casual in a T-shirt and omnipresent baseball cap.

He’s in the midst of a tour of the country – which he’s visiting for the first time in seven years – and indulges immediate questions not about his legendary career, mellifluous songs, or his upcoming U.S. tour. It's about koalas.

A photo on his Instagram page showcased the soft-spoken Taylor cuddling a native marsupial and he was, indeed, smitten.

“They give off a very calm vibe,” Taylor says. “They’re lovely little critters, and they eat one food. One plant. That’s it. It’s very dialed down.”

Given the soothing tone of so many of Taylor’s staples – “Fire and Rain,” “Your Smiling Face,” “How Sweet It Is” and his signature rendition of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” – it’s not surprising he found a kindred spirit in a placid (this one, domesticated) koala.

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Taylor and his All-Star Band will leave Oz for a summer run in America, starting May 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and traveling through cities including Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Denver and Lenox, Massachusetts, for 50 th anniversary performances July 3-4 at Tanglewood.

The gregarious Taylor , 76, happily eschewed sleep to talk about the “gravitational attraction” of touring, what music he turns to for comfort and the “little scraps of music” that will likely morph into songs for his next album.

Question: When “American Standard” came out in 2020, you became the first act to have a Top 10 album in each of the last six decades and it won your sixth Grammy. Does it stun you when things like that happen at this stage of your career? Answer : Yeah, to me it feels like just continuing and carrying on. I feel as if I’m always in the process of learning how to do this, how to make records, how to tour and how to best do this kind of work and live this kind of life. The unusual thing is it’s been so consistent. Partially when something works, you don’t tend to change it. My evolution has been slow and steady.

On that album, you tackled songs from the American standards canon. Is there another period of music that you would like to do? I keep recorded notes, little scraps of music and ideas and when I get into a pre-writing phase, I’ll start pushing those around. And I’m due for one of those sessions. I’d like to think there is another batch of songs in there. And of course, it used to be that musicians like me, composers like me, would write in batches of 10 or 12 songs and that would make up an album. But now it’s altogether possible to work up five or six songs and let that be it. It’s funny – it used to be that a record deal was necessary to have a career and you used to do all you could to get in the door. Now it’s easy to get in the door, but once you walk through, there are a million people in the room.

More: Sheryl Crow reveals her tour must-haves and essential albums, including this 'game changer'

I think most people would say they find comfort in your music. What or who do you listen to for comfort? My comfort music is still Brazilian music. I love choral music and since I met (wife) Kim, I’ve had a renewed exposure to classical music and that was an eye-opener for me too. I still have my old favorites that I still love to pieces, Ray Charles is still my favorite, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin , Ry Cooder and Bonnie Raitt. I love salsa and Eddie Palmieri and the Cuban musician Arsenio Rodríguez. I’m still very connected with the musicians who influence me. I happened across a great record the other day by The Coasters – “Shopping for Clothes.” It’s fantastic.

With this tour coming up, do you have to psych yourself up to go on the road or is it just part of your DNA? I think both. It’s familiar. I feel the gravitational attraction of a tour and feel it grab hold. As I approach it, there is some anxiety and you need to prepare yourself physically and emotionally for it. I work on my voice for about a month ahead of time. I’ll pick up my guitar and start playing every day and try to get my chops and technique back and then we start looking at the set and how we might want to change it from the last time we played that city.

Have you ever had a conversation with Taylor Swift about her being named after you?

Yeah, I met her perhaps it was 15-16 years ago. We did a benefit for (the Candie’s Foundation), an organization that tries to help with teenage pregnancy, and it was interesting. We were both just there with guitars and played a couple of songs. I was performing with my wife and may have had a friend of ours playing cello and Taylor was there just playing by herself. She was just a teen. She told me she had listened to my music a lot and that her folks had named her with me in mind.

More: Taylor Swift's 'Tortured Poets' is hauntingly brilliant, even the 15 surprise songs

I know you had a documentary with Carole King a couple of years ago (“Just Call Out My Name”). But will we ever see a definitive James Taylor documentary? I did an autobiographical piece for Audible (“Break Shot: My First 21 Years”) a few years ago and it covers my experience up until getting signed with Apple and then moving on to Warner Bros. It’s just an audiobook, really. I sort of feel as if everything after that has been so public that there is nothing left to share.

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Review | James Taylor at the Santa Barbara Bowl, May 31, 2023

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james taylor son on tour

Watching a James Taylor concert at the Bowl is a lot like having dinner with an old friend when you haven’t seen each other in a while. The first few moments of playing catch-up are a bit awkward: neither of you is as young as you used to be, and it can be jarring to see when those changes hit you all at once, rather than gradually as they do with the people you see all the time. But within a few minutes you’re back to laughing and smiling the way you used to, and it doesn’t take long to remember why you loved this person so much. 

Songs like his opener, “Something in the Way She Moves,” from his 1968 debut album James Taylor for Apple Records, about which he said was “the earliest song I’m willing to play in public,” are great reminders of the enduring charms of Taylor’s earnest melodies. “This was my audition piece for Apple Records. George Harrison and Paul McCartney signed me after I played it,” said Taylor. He noted rather cheekily that they liked it so much that, “afterward George went home and wrote it himself,” a reference to Harrison liking the song so much that he began with the words “Something in the way she moves” as the first line of his 1969 song “Something” from the Beatles album Abbey Road .

Up next was another old ditty, “Rainy Day Man,” followed by “Copperline,” which Taylor lyrically described as “a musical landscape painting about where I grew up in North Carolina.” The beautiful “Mona” (which previously unbeknownst to me is “about a pig and cold-hearted, cold-blooded, premeditated murder”) and a cover of the Chicks’ “Some Days You’ve Gotta Dance,” were early highlights of the show, as was the lullaby “Sweet Baby James,” an ode to Taylor’s then newborn nephew and namesake. “Shower the People,” Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” and “Fire and Rain” were among the other highlights of a lovely, heartfelt show.

The voice quality of a 75-year-old man, however spry he may be, is different than that of the 22-year-old he was when he wrote “Sweet Baby James” and many of his other hits — but what Taylor lacks in vocal range he more than makes up for in wit, charm, perspective, and the ability to put together a hell of a great band to work with. They all were exceptional, particularly Lou Marini (Blood Sweat & Tears, the original Saturday Night Live band) on sax, Andrea Zonn on vocals and fiddle, Larry Goldings on piano, and Michael Landau on guitar. And the sound mix was also notably terrific (something I usually only notice when it doesn’t work).

My only complaint about the whole lovely evening is that the band was so good, and Taylor was so charming, I wish they had trusted the music a bit more — show us more close-ups of these amazing musicians — and leaned a little less on the cheesy and unnecessarily distracting background videos. But that’s a minor matter in a show that was so memorable. It even had the perfect last two songs for the encore: the aptly reflective “Secret ‘o Life,” (“the secret of life is enjoying the things you have …”) followed by a beautiful duet of “Close Your Eyes” with Taylor’s 22-year-old son Henry Taylor, who sang back-up vocals for most of the night, but joined his father on guitar for that one. 

james taylor son on tour

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NBC Connecticut

Q&A: James Taylor on his 2024 U.S. tour, the possibility of new music and his legacy

Not long after his 76th birthday, james taylor & his all-star band will hit the road for a u.s. tour, by maria sherman | associated press • published march 27, 2024 • updated on march 27, 2024 at 4:12 pm.

He's gone to Carolina in his mind and on tour for much of 2024 .

Not long after his 76th birthday,  James Taylor & His All-Star Band will take their show on the road in the United States, hitting 24 cities for 31 shows in five months.

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Over Zoom from his studio in western Massachusetts, Taylor tells The Associated Press “It's been September since the last time I've been out." That, he says, is “a long time for me.”

The tour kicks off in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl on May 29 and ends at Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia, on Sept. 15.

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The tour hits Salt Lake City; Morrison, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis; Highland Park, Illinois; Noblesville, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Thackerville, Oklahoma; Clarkston, Michigan; Darien Center, New York; Syracuse, New York; Bethel Woods, New York; Bangor, Maine; Gilford, New Hampshire; Lenox, Massachusetts; Philadelphia; Wantagh, New York; Saratoga Springs, New York; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, and Boston.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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AP: Before the continental U.S. tour, you're headed to Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. What keeps it interesting?

TAYLOR: The audience, always. The event itself has never failed to supply the motivation and the energy that is required. You know, it’s very compelling to go a great distance and to find a crowd of people that have bought tickets to come see me and the band play again.

Over time, it’s something you learn to do, to keep your strength up, keep your health... also, I don’t do more than a couple of shows in a row without a day off. I’ll do more than that if I’m in one town, but generally speaking, we pace ourselves now.

AP : That's good advice.

TAYLOR : I definitely burned myself out a few times.

AP: You're performing at Tanglewood, in your home state of Massachusetts, 50 years since you first performed there. What significance does it hold?

TAYLOR: I was trying to figure out whether or not it was 50 years or 50 shows that I’ve been playing at Tanglewood, and it turns out it’s both. 1974 was the first time I played there. It averages out to one a year, although at one point we skipped a whole decade.

We had an episode where one of my crew members, in a fit of pique, drove a truck across the Tanglewood lawn and made a mess of it. He was told he had to get the truck off the lawn because it had been raining and it was making an imprint on it. As we were breaking down after the show, he was driving out there to unload the mixing board and stuff. But he put it in reverse, stomped the accelerator and tore a great trough, a great furrow in the Tanglewood lawn. And they never asked me back. It was only when (my wife) Kim came along and resurrected my reputation that I was allowed to come back.

It’s been a great privilege... It's turned out to be a great thing for me, to play Tanglewood every year.

AP: Does an anniversary like that — 50 years — allow you to reflect on your career?

TAYLOR: This is  the time of life  when you feel like you ought to get in touch with a lawyer and make a will. You see, the older generation, the people that were your friends and mentors, sort of  checking out one by one . It is a time when you feel as though things are being summed up a little bit and you start thinking about, the whole thing as a totality. You know, a line from one of my songs, “Copperline,” is “I'm only living 'til the end of the week,” and I think that really does describe me.

But, you know, it is a period of time when you look back and see the whole thing, it's important not to internalize that idea of being a big deal. It's important to focus on what it is that you do — and that thing as a craft that allows you to have your place in the world.

AP: What has that allowed you to learn?

TAYLOR: As time goes by, I think it’s wrong for people to judge other people and even to evaluate them, and yet it’s something we constantly do, and we can’t avoid it. But we should mitigate it by knowing that when we judge someone, we’ve got it wrong. They know who they are, and not we. But, of course, in a million ways, all day long, we evaluate ourselves and other people and it’s complicated. It's not up to me determine what my ultimate position in popular culture turns out to be 50 years from now.

AP: That's a value judgment, too.

TAYLOR : I see people selling the rights to their catalogs. That baby boom generation musical expression, which happened between '62 and 1980, that sort of 20 years of amazing activity that happened, I was in the center of it and actually got my start in London  with the Beatles . So, I had a real sense of this generational phenomenon that the music that I was part of, was a big feature in the landscape and we were communicating to each other. We invented a kind of music there. It was predicted by rhythm and blues and folk music. And those two resurgences sort of fueled it and supplied it. It was big.

You see those people now, being in my sort of age group generally, selling the rights to their catalogs and sort of evaluating what their life’s output was worth. You know,  David Bowie  ’s went for like 250 million. I think  (Bob) Dylan ... got like 300 million...  (Bruce) Springsteen  is said to have gotten more than that, like half a billion or something. It’s sort of like monopoly money.

AP: What do you hope people take away from your live show, and are you working on a new album?

TAYLOR: I feel like I’ve got another one in me — sounds like an egg — but I'm writing a little bit.

And as to what I hope people take away from live performances, I hope they take away a sense of connection. You know, live music — the thing that I’m so attached to about it, why I can’t let it go — is that there’s something (that) happens when people come together for a couple of hours for two or three hours and have a sort of collective experience.

It's indescribable. You prepare for it, but when it happens, it’s spontaneous and, in a way, unique. I love it when that happens, and it does most nights.

AP : Give us a call if you consider selling your catalog.

TAYLOR: If someone comes sniffing around, I'll get in touch.

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IMAGES

  1. Watch James Taylor And Son Henry Play ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ On Recent Tour

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  2. James Taylor and his son Henry Taylor “You Can Close Your Eyes” Live at Bethel Woods, NY 8/21/21

    james taylor son on tour

  3. James Taylor and his son, Ben Taylor to tour together

    james taylor son on tour

  4. ♡♥James Taylor sings in a concert with his son Ben

    james taylor son on tour

  5. James Taylor Performs ‘Moon River’ With Son on ‘The Voice’

    james taylor son on tour

  6. James Taylor singing with his son! Phoenix 2022!

    james taylor son on tour

VIDEO

  1. James Taylor + son: "You Can Close Your Eyes" (5/30/2023; Frost Amphitheater @ Stanford University)

  2. 【Made in London】EP15 James Taylor&Son

  3. Orthopaedic Footwear Co. Ltd.: James Taylor & Son

  4. James Taylor

  5. James, Starleana & Xavier Taylor

  6. James Taylor: My Travelling Star

COMMENTS

  1. Henry Taylor & James Taylor

    James Taylor performing his 1971 classic, "You Can Close Your Eyes" with his 20 year old son, Henry, on tour at the Honda Center, Anaheim, in October 2021. T...

  2. Watch James Taylor And Son Henry Play 'You Can Close Your Eyes'

    The collaboration came at the end of the October 30 show on Taylor's extensive North American tour with Jackson Browne. James Taylor has shared a new video clip of himself and his son Henry ...

  3. James Taylor and his son Henry Taylor "You Can Close Your ...

    James Taylor is accompanied by his son Henry Taylor for "You Can Close Your Eyes", from James' 1971 album "Mudslide Slim and the Blue Horizon". Live at Bethe...

  4. Listen to how beautiful James introduced his son Henry at ...

    Listen to how beautiful James introduced his son Henry at the very first concert of the tour in Chicago. (Scroll to .55 second of the video and you will...

  5. UDISCOVERMUSIC.COM

    James Taylor has shared a new video clip of himself and his son Henry performing "You Can Close Your Eyes" live at the Honda Center in Anaheim on October 30. The collaboration came at the end of that night's show on Taylor's extensive North American tour with Jackson Browne.

  6. 2021 : JamesTaylor.com

    A holiday treat from James to you — click now to see James and son Henry perform "You Can Close Your Eyes" live at the Honda Center in Anaheim on October 30, 2021. This duet was a concert highlight from James's 2021 US tour with Jackson Browne. Happy holidays!

  7. James Taylor and Jackson Browne, on joint tour, embraced by Taylor

    Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller, Henry Taylor and Dorian Holley, vocals (Henry, 20, is James Taylor's son) Jackson Browne band members Greg Leisz, lap-pedal steel guitar

  8. James Taylor Performs "You Can Close Your Eyes" With Family On 'Fallon

    Below, watch James Taylor, his wife Kim, and his son Henry perform "You Can Close Your Eyes" on Fallon. James Taylor & Family - "You Can Close Your Eyes". [Video: The Tonight Show ...

  9. James Taylor And Son Henry Perform 'Moon River' For 'The Voice'

    James Taylor has shared an at-home performance of the standard 'Moon River,' featuring his son Henry. It was filmed at their family home in Montana and shown on Monday night's (11) edition ...

  10. James Taylor & Family Perform 'You Can Close Your Eyes ...

    James Taylor was accompanied by his wife, Kim and his son, Henry for an appearance on Thursday's The Tonight Show: At Home Edition. The Taylors performed "You Can Close Your Eyes," a song ...

  11. James Taylor Sings 'You Can Close Your Eyes' With His Family at Home

    James Taylor gave a very sweet performance on The Tonight Show Thursday night, singing "You Can Close Your Eyes" with his wife Kim and his son Henry from their home in Montana. Taylor played ...

  12. James Taylor's 4 Children: Everything to Know

    James and Kim's son Rufus Taylor was born on April 5, 2001. According to his Instagram bio , Rufus will graduate from Amherst College in 2024. Rufus likes to travel and has shared photographs ...

  13. James Taylor Performs 'Moon River' With Son on 'The Voice'

    James Taylor and his son Henry performed a sweet and simple rendition of the American standard, "Moon River," on a recent episode of The Voice. The singing competition has continued with its ...

  14. James Taylor Confirms Tour Dates With Son

    James Taylor has announced a string of winter tour dates with support from his son, singer/songwriter Ben Taylor.Ben, James' son with Carly Simon, will join his dad on tour for the first time on February 26 at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma.. The father/son dates come amidst a U.S. tour for James, who will hit the road on December 12 at Symphony Hall in Boston.

  15. James Taylor talks tour, favorite musicians and namesake Taylor Swift

    James Taylor talks koalas, the 'gravitational attraction' of touring and Taylor Swift. Melissa Ruggieri. USA TODAY. 0:00. 0:42. It's nearly midnight in Australia when James Taylor pops onto the ...

  16. Tanglewood 2023! : JamesTaylor.com

    Stay tuned for more Summer 2023 touring news, coming soon! Photo: Jamie Soja. top. Just announced: James and his All-Star Band will return to Tanglewood for their annual summer concerts on July 3 and 4! The JamesTaylor.com presale for both shows starts next Monday, January 23, at 10 am ET. Reset your password!

  17. Review

    The voice quality of a 75-year-old man, however spry he may be, is different than that of the 22-year-old he was when he wrote "Sweet Baby James" and many of his other hits — but what Taylor lacks in vocal range he more than makes up for in wit, charm, perspective, and the ability to put together a hell of a great band to work with.

  18. Tour Dates

    2024 James Taylor Tour Dates. Touring Band: Kate Markowitz - Vocals, Dorian Holley - Vocals, Andrea Zonn - Vocals/Fiddle, Jimmy Johnson - Bass, Steve Gadd - Drums, Dean Parks - Guitar, Kevin Hays - Keyboards. April 6. Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo Garden Theater.

  19. Q&A: James Taylor on his 2024 U.S. tour, the possibility of ...

    FILE - James Taylor performs at the 7th annual Love Rocks NYC concert in New York on March 9, 2023. Taylor kicks off his North American tour on May 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

  20. Q&A: James Taylor on his 2024 U.S. tour, the possibility of new music

    He's gone to Carolina in his mind and on tour for much of 2024. Not long after his 76th birthday, James Taylor & His All-Star Band will take their show on the road in the United States, hitting 24 ...

  21. James Taylor Tickets, 2024 Concert Tour Dates

    James Taylor 2021 Tour Dates. May 14, 2021 - Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA. May 17, 2021 - Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX. May 21, 2021 - ExtraMile Arena in Boise, ID. May 23, 2021 - Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA. May 24, 2021 - Moda Center in Portland, OR. May 26, 2021 - Chase Center in San Francisco, CA.

  22. James Taylor Concert & Tour History (Updated for 2024)

    James Taylor Concert History. James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

  23. James Taylor

    I'm back on my wheels again…. May 10, 2024. First appearing as part of the Tony-nominated musical, Working (along with "Millworker"), James recorded "Brother Trucker" for his 1979 album, Flag. This performance is from a 1987 episode of Ohne Filter, recorded the year before at SWF-Studio in Baden-Baden, Germany. Click now to watch on ...