Article by Dave Read
As if the ghost of Paul Revere had gotten loose, with a mind to make mischief in the Berkshires, in the days and hours leading up to James Taylor’s 4th of July concert at Tanglewood, a quiet rumor rose to a dull roar that a British(er) were coming – to wit, Sir Paul McCartney would make a special guest appearance.
That would be a reunion of the former Beatle and the first artist signed to the beatles’ Apple records. The anicipation built and built during the concert, as Taylor made 3 or 4 references to his lucky days in London, where he auditioned for McCartney and George Harrison while the Beatles were at work on the White Album. In fact, he began the show with the very audition song Something in the Way She Moves! But it never happened, and I don’t think anybody was disappointed. (McCartney did made an appearance, via video, at Taylor’s 60th birthday celebration here six years ago.)
It was another sold-out Tanglewood gig for Taylor, who appeared fit as a fiddle after taking last year off from touring to concentrate on the latter part of the singer-songwriter job description. He performed one new song tonight that’ll appear on an album eventually – Today, Today, Today. The balance of his typically generous setlist was familiar, including: Handy Man, Fire and Rain, Up on the Roof, Sweet Baby James, You’ve Got a Friend, Buddy Holly’s Everyday. Over the course of the nearly three hour show (including encores), everybody in the band and vocal quartet got the spotlight. Michael Landau, Luis Conte, Walt Fowler, Andrea Zonn, Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller, David Lasley, Larry Goldings, Steve Gadd, Lou Marini, Jimmy Johnson. His wife Kim and son Henry joined the vocalists for a couple numbers, too.