Friday, September 16, 2011

Finding James Taylor

For those of us that have aged gracefully over the year, music has been a part of each decade.  From our youth to our middle age, the sounds of guitars and drums and pianos have played a part in the recollection process.  We hear a song and we remember where we were when we were listening to it on the radio. It takes us back to a time and a place.  We can see in our mind's eye details not readily recalled without the musical prompt. 

It seems the older we get the more we come to appreciate what has been around us all the time.  Perhaps we tend to look at things differently and sometimes we look at things, really look at things, as if for the first time.  This week, I have found a new appreciation for James Taylor.

A week after the fire, as the nation paused to remember and reflect on September 11th and all it meant on that day, James Taylor was playing his guitar and singing for the people gathered at Ground Zero.  There was something very comforting about the sound of his voice.  The simplistic working of his guitar and the haunting lyrics of his song gave us all a measure of peace.  It was as if the song had been written for this one day.

I can remember hearing James Taylor's songs on the radio and while sweet to hear, they failed to create a need for repeated play.  As I recall, I would think "that's a nice song" and dismiss it as such.  That all changed this week.  No matter the time in my life, when his song came on, I immediately recognized his voice.  Its as unique as this words.

For some unknown reason, the sound of James Taylor's voice and the words to his songs have stirred a hunger and sincere appreciation for his musical talent within me.  There is nothing flashy about him or his songs but there is magic in his voice.  Simple and unassuming, he sings his songs with ease and allows the music and words to envelop the listener.  Perhaps I've finally reached the place in my life where James Taylor speaks to me and my heart.  Perhaps I'm finally hearing what he has to say.  It took decades for me to understand the place from which he writes.

Regardless the reason, I'm enjoying this gem of a musician that has been around for most of my adult life, hiding right there in plain sight.  I won't spend time worrying as to why he has eluded me all these years.  Instead I shall relish in the talent that is James Taylor.

Finding James Taylor was absolutely the best thing that happened to me all week.  I love it when new discoveries are ones that can endure for all the years to come.  That indeed is the measure of a treasure.
If you haven't heard him lately, find some JT music and have a listen, perhaps he is sounding exceptionally sweet to you too.

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