So, if you have ever read any of my music blogs then you will know a few things about me. You know how much I love music, all music of all genres. After all, why else would I have a music blog? You also know that the way I am hard wired has a lot to do with music. My memories are all wrapped up in music, categorized neatly, well actually sometimes chaotically. Most of the songs or bands I rave about have strong memories attached to them; heartbreak, sadness, joy, moments in time all recalled by a song or an album. I know more than a few of you feel the same.
There are few artists I love that don’t have some great memory attached to them, or a memory of a girl or something. It would also be a little disingenuous to say that an artist I love doesn’t have any memory attached to the music. So, I won’t do that to you. There is at least one artist who I love though that the memories associated with the artist are completely neutral. There is no heartbreak, no grief, no sadness, no moment of fun with friends, nothing scary or tragic. Every memory completely neutral and maybe that males a little sense considering the artist.
I remember hearing the song Sweet Baby James on the radio. I was young, nine or ten years old. It was so easy to sing, rock a bye sweet baby James. It was just a great song, and still is. I remember talking about James Taylor and Carly Simon and thinking with my young brain that the two of them being married made sense. They should have been married. As far as memories go that’s about it.
When my parents went shopping and offered to buy me an album, meaning one album, there were usually 10-20 albums I could think of before any James Taylor. Later, after I was working and making my own money and deciding how to spend, James Taylor also wasn’t high on my list. Yet , he always had songs on the radio, great songs that you could not help but sing along to; songs like Fire and Rain, How Sweet It Is, Shower the People, and Handy Man to name just a small few. James Taylor always seemed to have a song on the radio and no matter what was going on in the world or in your life you could stop and sing along, or drive and sing along. For just those brief few minutes you could leave the world behind. The music of James Taylor is like comfort food.
In 1991 James Taylor released the album New Moon Shine. Right about now you are saying so what? I said that like in 1969 we landed on the moon. It is significant though because for the first time I walked into a music store and bought it. Me buying an album not surprising right? This time though I walked into that store with the purpose and intention to buy that album. I had fallen in love with the song Copperline; in fact it’s still my favorite James Taylor song. Buying that album made me wonder why I hadn’t bought a record of his before. From that point on I did start to slowly build up my collection of his works.
James Taylor isn’t flashy, he never has been. The nice thing for me is that the music doesn’t make me remember things that happened long ago. I can just listen to his music sing along and fill myself with harmony, a lot like comfort food.
Are you ready?
Think about your favorite comfort food, chicken and dumplings, soup on a cold day, your mother’s meatloaf maybe even some amazing chicken fried steak.
Here we go, the albums of James Taylor.