You don’t need to bother reading my review, just click on the link and buy this CD/DVD combo. I don’t impress easily, but my goodness I am impressed with this.

Not only do we have Carole King & James Taylor reunited, they are joined by their original backing band… and the venue is the veritable Troubadour in Los Angeles, the very place that these two music power houses first played together.

Often reunions are a little bit of a disappointment, voices and playing ability tend to change over the years, actually in the case of Carole King and James Taylor it is not years, but decades since they have played together.

My wife Jan made a very interesting observation. These are two musicians that have kept their voices. You can close your eyes and fly back 4 decades. Sure James Taylor is a little ‘follicle challenged’ today, but my goodness he knows how to put on a show.

Throw out the Cassettes and 8 tracks, this is the best quality product you will ever find.As a reviewer some think I am supposed to find fault in everything. Not so, my job is to enjoy life, and Live At The Troubadour certainly allows me to do that. It is rare that a CD or DVD gets a second play in my world. It is watched, reviewed and put in the ‘done pile’ (actually a growing and ever more dangerous mountain that is likely to swallow up the entire house if it gets disturbed). I have a much smaller and controllable collection of ‘have to have’ items, Carole King & James Taylor – Live At The Troubadour joins the vaunted position of being a ‘must have’. Reunions are ten a penny, but this one was a little different. It is rare that you can assemble the original band 40 years later, but they did. Guitarist Danny Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Russell Kunkel all came back for this event. There was another element that caught my eye with this reunion, you could sense the chemistry between the players. It is hard to believe that 4 decades have passed. These folks are as fresh today as they were in 1971. In reading the sleeve notes I made a startling discovery James Taylor is 62 and Carole King is 67. Neither of them look close to their ages, in Carole King’s case you could knock two decades off, based on her looks.

The concert itself is a wonderful balance showcasing these two great artists. All of the songs you would expect from these two performers are present, Carolina On My Mind, It’s Too Late, Fire And Rain, etc. And of course the iconic You’ve Got A Friend has to have star billing. It turns out that there is quite the story behind this song, and James Taylor spills the beans in this concert. You’ve Got A Friend was written by Carole King at the time she was working on Tapestry. In an act of friendship she gave James Taylor the first opportunity to record it. That is true proof that You’ve Got A Friend!

They are currently doing a US tour in support of the DVD/CD release, and the tour dates are here. I checked and double checked but it appears that they will not be appearing in the small Mississippi town that I live in, which I think is a great shame. Maybe they will add us to their next tour. James, call me and I’ll give you the info! Both Carole King and James Taylor have had huge successes in their careers, estimates say that James has sold 40 million albums, and Carole King scored 10 million with Tapestry alone. The pair stand to make no money on their ambitious tour, they have already announced that the proceeds will be donated to charity.

This 2007 reunion concert at the Troubadour is an absolute must have, it celebrates 50 years of the venerable venues existence and almost 40 years that these two performers first collaborated:

In the album’s liner notes, Taylor states: “The Troubadour in 1971 wasn’t the beginning, but it was a big step into the light for both of us. When we reunited for the Troubadour’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2007, it felt like yesterday. It was, and still is, all about the music and the celebration of performing together.”  King adds, “What’s even more remarkable is that James’s and my musical connection and friendship continue to transcend time and place. Whenever we’re together, there we are. I feel a tremendous gratitude to be able to share this experience with James, with this fine band, and most of all, with the fans.”

Simon Barrett

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