In November of 1970 James Taylor and Carole King first performed together at the Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. Taylor had just released his debut album for the Beatles’ newly formed Apple Records and King was finding her way as a first time solo performer even though by then she was a famous songwriter with a string of hits for other artists. When they returned to the club for a two-week co-headlining run in 1971 their lives were somewhat different. That summer Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” was topping the charts and King’s landmark Tapestry was on its way to making her a music superstar. Thirty-six years later, in November 2007, James Taylor, Carole King and members of their renowned original band “The Section” (featuring guitarist Danny Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Russell Kunkel) returned to the Troubadour for a three-night, six-show run to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary. Those historic shows are documented in Live at the Troubadour, a special 2-disc CD/DVD available May 4th from Hear Music/Concord Music Group. This remarkable recording, culled from these unforgettable shows, features 15 songs and 75 minutes of pristine video and audio including stunning performances of the pair’s most beloved hits such as Carole King’s “So Far Away,” “It’s Too Late,” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” as well as James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind,” “Sweet Baby James,” and “Fire and Rain,” to name just a few.
The return to the intimate Troubadour–the fertile ground that served as the unofficial home to a some of the era’s defining musicians such as the Eagles, Elton John, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell–rekindled King’s and Taylor’s love for making music together. Variety enthused at the time, “Taylor and King reminded us about the intensity of the song, that the artistically-rich and commercially-viable are not mutually exclusive and how one tiny club continues to be a birthing room for some of this city’s most memorable music.” The experience was deeply felt by everyone, the musicians on stage, and the fans in attendance as well as the project’s technical crew: audio producer Peter Asher (an instrumental figure throughout Taylor’s career) and Emmy-winning video director, Martyn Atkins. Live at the Troubadour is captured in sterling 5.1 stereo and state-of-the-art high definition video.
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.”
This memorable event was also the inspiration for the recently announced 60-concert “Troubadour Reunion” world tour that will kick off in Melbourne, Australia on March 26th and will travel to New Zealand and Japan before coming to North America starting in May. For the Troubadour Reunion tour, King and Taylor will once again be joined on stage by Kortchmar, Sklar and Kunkel. The tour has so far generated an overwhelming response exemplified by numerous sold-out shows including multiple nights at The Hollywood Bowl May 13th, 14th and 15th, New York’s Madison Square Garden June 15th, 16th and 30th, and Tanglewood July 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Additionally, for all arena shows within the U.S., the unique stage design of the Troubadour Reunion tour will incorporate one-of-a-kind Stage Seats whose sale will benefit local and national charities throughout the U.S tour including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. These charities have been chosen specifically by Carole King and James Taylor and are available at www.ticketsforcharity.com. These unique Stage Seats, arranged in tables of two surrounding the stage, create an extraordinary “venue within a venue,” an intimate, club-like setting replicating the intimacy of the duo’s legendary night at the Troubadour four decades ago, amidst the excitement of an arena performance.
andPOP is giving away a copy of the DVD. To enter, fill out the form below by June 6, 2010.