Maybe it is just the boomer in me, but I have always admired James Taylor. He is an excellent guitarist and his songs are some of the best from the seventies. Carole King, from that same era, also was a composer to be greatly admired with many classic hits to her name.
So, these two boomer icons hit the road this summer and, despite the slow economy, packed them in. With a combined age of 130 years(!) Taylor and King outperformed — at least in business terms — many of the more youthful groups.
Both artists have had a long-established creative relationship dating back to their shows at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles forty some years ago. So, given that they are first-rate artists, I don’t think that that alone explains their continued popularity.
Is it nostalgia? Sam Feldman, Taylor’s co-manager, puts it this way:
“Carole and James personify a time in music that had a massive emotional impact on the biggest segment of the population…”
Los Angeles Times pop critic Ann Powers adds:
“It’s more than nostalgia for a particular act, or an album or two… It’s nostalgia for a moment, when people felt hopeful and there was a lot of possibility. And it’s not like going to a Rolling Stones concert, where you feel, ‘Wow, in my youth I was so wild, and look at me now, I need a hip replacement.’ It’s a gentle trip back. It’s a hug, not a strut.”
So, whether it was the musicianship or the the nostalgia that brought out the crowds for this tour, its good to know that people’s emotional connection with this music is as strong as ever. I know that mine is.
For more on the Taylor-King Troubadour Tour see: Taylor-King tour hits right note for fans and business – Yahoo! News.