Saturday, August 10, 2013

James Taylor Concert

On May 18th The Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic met at the Springs Community, in Longwood for a James Taylor Tribute Concert. The event was catered by Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ. While it was still light, everyone got their fill of BBQ chicken and an open bar. As the sun set we all moved down to seating set up on the edge of the spring looking across from the stage. Others set up blankets on the grass hill that sloped down towards the spring with their own private picnics. The the annual outdoor concert at The Springs featured an amazing tribute to the quintessential American singer, songwriter James Taylor.

Shower The People” was a faithfully rendered presentation of more than two dozen James Taylor classics from his iconic pop masterpiece “Fire And Rain” to the Carole King treasure “You’ve  Got A Friend.” These songs have become entrenched as part of the musical landscape of our lives. The presentation explored a retrospective journey of James Taylor’s music and revealed anecdotal information about the history and creative process behind many of these musical gems. "Fire and Rain" chronicled James' experience in a mental institution the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts as a senior in high school. The fire in the song refers to his shock therapy. Rain is the cold showers that follow shock therapy. "Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you," refers to Suzanne Schnerr, a childhood friend of his who committed suicide while he was away recording his first album.

Shower The People” featured the voice and guitar work of Neil Donell. Respected as Canada’s premier session vocalist and referred to in the media as the “man of a thousand voices,” He was accompanied by a group of the most accomplished musicians and singers in the country, including Kathryn Rose, Leah Salomaa, Paul DeLong, Bob McAlpine, Jay Speziale and Lou Pomanti. The entire Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra offered gentle backup. Heat lightning flashed on the horizon while star light flickered on the water. The concert ended with "How Sweet It Is" and as we walked under the huge Live Oaks up the grass hill back to the car, it began to rain. Some lady pushed and shoved past me, running over my toes with her beer cooler. I pushed and shoved right back. The magic of the music was gone and I fumed in bumper to bumper traffic.

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