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Friday, April 8, 2011

the original JT

academy of country music awards ended their annual bash on sunday night with two all time faves of mine.  zac brown band and james taylor.  they sang zbb's song colder weather WHICH I LOVE and wrapped it up in a beautiful bow of deep greens and blues - sweet baby james.  it was such a moving performance on so many levels.

passion absolutely explodes from ZB when he performs.  you can really see this guy's soul when he sings.  but what inspired me to tears was JT's contribution...  and his legacy.

i grew up with james taylor.  the original JT.  i remember riding in the back seat of my parents' aqua blue VW bus every summer, sitting on the hot, sticky vinyl seats with my sisters, playing games during long road trips and listening to his tapes.  (carolina in my mind, shower the people, fire and rain...  such great stories.)  along with my entire extended family, we'd arrive at our vacation destination, always a woodsy new england campsite, set up shop and talk, play, laugh and swim all day.  when the moon came out, pop and my uncles cracked miller lites and picked up their 6 strings; we'd sing those familiar JT tunes, nestled around a campfire on cool summer nights on saco river.  magic.

JT's songs were the soundtrack to my childhood... and my life.  i've passed his music along to my kids.  hardly a night goes by that i do not sing "sweet baby james" to my own sweet babies.

watching JT on stage performing with zbb, i could see the years on his face, his struggle to read lyrics from the prompter, the faintness with which he strummed his guitar.  and i grieved him a little b/c in his performance i could see the end of his career, the end of a beautiful era.   

i'm so happy that i've been able to see him live in concert.  mom and auntie c brought me to his show, my first concert, at great woods when i was 11.  it's a vivid memory for me and i'm so grateful to have it and grateful to james taylor for a lifetime's worth of sweet songs.

i've said it before, i'll say it again (this time with a tear in my eye ;-).  change is inevitable.  embrace it.  we are so blessed to enjoy this ride, even though the scenery is always changing.



  1. I saw JT live for the first time in 94 or 95 - at Great Woods - and after he sang Sweet Baby James I knew if I died that day, it would be happy. :) I always play it when I get on the Turnpike from Stockbrigde to Boston coming home, too.

  2. Thanks for sharing your memories, Vanessa.