Folk rock legend James Taylor is playing cities all over North America in his Summer Tour 2012, and after over four decades in the business, his appeal seems to be as strong as ever.
Taylor recently played two nights at the famed Montreal Jazz Festival, and this week he heads home to the Berkshires in Massachusetts to play a three night stand at Tanglewood. And he’s not afraid to add a modern spark to his lineup, with Taylor Swift joining him onstage for his first concert in the series July 2. His final Tanglewood performance on July 4 comes complete with fireworks.
According to the Berkshire Eagle, which broke the story of Swift joining the July 2 set, the two met five years ago when each performed at a benefit in New York City. Last year, Swift invited Taylor to guest at the final date on her “Speak Out” tour in order to help mark the end of a successful tour. At the November 22 concert, the duo sang Taylor’s hit “Fire and Rain”, and he accompanied her on her hit song, “Fifteen”.
During last night’s performance the two sang once Taylor’s hit “Fire and Rain” once again as well as Swift’s “Ours” and “Love Story” for a sold-out crowd of 18,000, according to the Berkshire Eagle.
The 64 year old Taylor last toured with legendary singer/songwriter Carole King in their very successful Troubadour Reunion Tour in 2010. The international sold-out tour marked the fortieth anniversary of the duo’s original appearance at West Hollywood’s Troubadour nightclub in 1970. According to Pittsburgh, PA’s Post-Gazette, that tour finished in the top ten grossing tours for that year, with sales topping 700,000 and revenue of $59 million.
This summer’s tour is a much simpler one, with Taylor backed by 11 musicians, often in amphitheatre settings, to perform some classics, some covers, and some material from more recent years.
So far, receipts have been solid for this summer’s outing. Mike Janes, general manager of Event Ticketing for ticket search engine Fansnap.com, notes that the “average market price [has been] pretty stable for last month, at about $185-$195.”
StubHub.com has no tickets left for Taylor’s three day Tanglewood stand, but the site list others going for as much as $457 at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO and $489 at the Mud Island Amphitheatre in Memphis, TN. Razorgator.com has a limited number of tickets left for Tanglewood, with a handful of ninth row tickets to his show at the Borgata Hotel and Casino Events Center in Atlantic City, NJ listed for $598 each.
As Janes concluded, “James Taylor continues to be a popular performer year after year.”
James self-titled debut album, featuring guest artists Paul McCartney and George Harrison, was released in 1968, but his sophomore effort, “Sweet Baby James”, was the work that blew the roof off his career and ensured his lasting legacy as a songwriter and a performer. He is a multiple Grammy winner, and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000.
And more music is yet to come. The Montreal Gazette reports that Taylor plans to set aside 2013 to write his first album of original songs since 2002’s “October Road.” In an interview for the article, Taylor mused about how prolific he can expect to be in future years: “I don’t know how many more albums of original material are in me, to tell you the truth,” Taylor told The Gazette. “It’s quite possible that this will be my last album of original songs. So there’s no reason not to give it the time it deserves, to get it done right.”