“Fire and Rain” is James Taylor’s most popular song by far. Like the singer himself, it’s like a comfortable sock that you know you’ll never throw away, even when it has a few holes in it. When Taylor sings, “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought I’d see you again,” it gets you right in the feelers every time, and you can’t help but think of that one friend you miss more than all the others.
But Taylor, who has been a fixture in the soft-rock scene for 50 years, is more than just an inviting place to put your little piggies. The man has shown very little sign of slowing down over the years, even releasing a popup book in March called Sweet Baby James.
There is no arguing that Taylor is the master of the slinky, smooth and in-the-groove sound that drove many young music fans to punk and metal in the 1970s, but one has to believe that Taylor is blissfully unaware of how influential his work has been on multiple levels. Lucky for all of us, Taylor is still banging away at his craft both in the studio and on the road.
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James Taylor and his All Star Band perform on Tuesday, May 29, at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Tickets are $70 and up at ticketmaster.com.