Photography by-Colleen Cahill Studios

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

James Taylor + Oregon=FABULOUS!!!

My best friend Kathy Shepherd and I, along with our husbands, are huge James Taylor fans.  So when she called to tell me she had purchased James Taylor concert tickets for my wedding anniversary, I was speechless.

Kathy and I’ve had a long running repartee about James Taylor.  She’s convinced my husband Campbell is James’ twin brother and nicknamed Cam “JT” from the moment she met him (more on that later).  When she told me the date of James Taylor’s Oregon concert and that she had four tickets in row two, I knew she meant business.

The evening began with dinner at the historic Jacksonville Inn, just across the street from the site of our nuptials.  Both events converged into the perfect evening as Kathy, her husband Joel, Cam and I enjoyed a fantastic concert in a celebration that was positively, without exception, FABULOUS!

Proving he is still at the very top of his game, James Taylor wasn’t preceded by a warm-up act to get the crowd ready, he knew it was him we were there to see.   And, oh my, did he deliver! (NOTE: Like a good girl, I did NOT take pictures at the concert least I have my camera confiscated!)

Taylor’s mellifluous voice was as crisp and clear as the late summer evening itself.  For over two and a half hours James performed song after song, with no intermissions.  He gave us a peek into his life and sense of humor between songs as he mesmerized the crowd with stories and his impish references to the ribald.

He also paid tribute to a lost friend and musician, John Hicks, who haled from Talent, Oregon, just up the Interstate from the concert venue.  Taylor softly spoke of his missing friend, whose sister and mother were seated in the audience.  Then he gave a very eloquent rendition of Fire and Rain.

Toward the end of the concert Taylor invited the audience to get on their feet and join him.  Well you didn’t have to ask Kathy or me twice! 

We both bolted as our husbands looked on in amazement.  Within seconds we were front and center at the foot of the stage, just feet away from him as Taylor brought the concert to a close.

The robust crowd was not quite ready for the evening to end.  As the noisy throng cheered on and on, Taylor and his band returned to the stage for a three-song encore.  There Kathy and I stood, six feet away from Taylor as he continued for an enthralled crowd. 

The encore left everyone smiling and cheering as the act concluded for the night.  The evening was nothing short of spectacular!

Taylor ended the concert reminding those who had been drinking (and there were plenty) to find a ride home, and "don't drink and drive."  The alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery professional in me wanted to jump up and thank him, yet again!

As for Kathy, she is now more than ever, convinced Cam is related to James Taylor.  To her credit both men have the same incredible blue eyes, dashing dimples, and impish sense of humor.  Taylor is Scottish. Cam is a first generation American whose father, and all those that proceeded him, are from Scotland. (I must admit, at times the similarity is a bit uncanny...)

For now, Kathy will just have to live vicariously as Cam does his best JT impersonations and dances like only a true Scotsman can. As for the plate specially selected by the Jacksonville Inn (pictured above), I think it best sums up the evening, fabulously special!