Went to the Ben Taylor record release party for his new album Listening at Dreamland on Martha’s Vineyard last night. The concert was a benefit for the Rockhouse Foundation. Carly Simon sat quietly front and center, but didn’t perform. Ben sang a bunch of his new stuff and some old popular songs, like “You Must Have Fallen”, told stories about his family, some jokes, and ended with an awe-inspiring rhythmic poem.
I’ve been a big fan of Ben’s music, with his soulful voice and blues-tinged guitar, since his 2003 album Famous Among the Barns, and he’s still got me. Listening is a cool blend of folk, reggae and rock and simply-put, really pleasant to listen to. He sounds uncannily like his father, but with his own edge.
Ben Taylor with David Saw – “Listening”
Ben Taylor – “Oh Brother”, written for his younger brothers Rufus and Henry. In a recent Rolling Stone interview Ben said, “I wrote this song to let them know that being cool was an accident… The key was just to be themselves.” The song also includes an ode to his father with “and you can always call out my name”.
Speaking of the Taylors, check out this video of a young James Taylor singing the Blues. The guitar style evokes Eric Clapton Unplugged. Also displays his sense of humor. Ironically, the song is a parody, but happens to be one of my personal favorites.
James Taylor – “Steamroller”