The James Taylor Story is one of a series of shows at the Fringe under the Night Owl Shows, the company created by Dan Clews. The format follows the chronological career of the artist along with video and stills relating to the story both during and preceding the songs.

From his opening Sweet Baby James, both guitar and voice took these fans back to the Troubadour in old LA.

The ambient setting in the Symposium Hall at Space is perfect for this. No restricted views, comfy leather seats and a stage adorned with LED candles, a battered suitcase and a fig tree. This was a nostalgia trip for the baby boomer generation raised on the early 1970’s songwriters like James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and more. As Dan came on stage barefoot he did not take long to convince a critical audience of his talent. His finger picking Gibson acoustic guitar was masterly and his vocals were a complete replica of the man we came to see. From his opening Sweet Baby James, both guitar and voice took these fans back to the Troubadour in old LA.

Clews documented the story through photos, maps, audio and photos projected above him and traced Taylor’s school days, his travels and his battle with hard drugs. Early songs like Coppertone, Roll River Roll and Knocking Around The Zoo were maybe too early for the diehard fans and even the first single for his band Flying Machine, Night Owl, may have surprised many – but at least we now know where the production company was inspired from. The breakthrough years was the fully effective part of the show with Carolina In My Mind, Something In The Way She Moves, Fire And Rain and You’ve Got A Friend shown great appreciation and all authentic to the originals. A closing You Can Close Your Eyes and a sing along Shower The People gained warm applause and a feeling that the audience will return year after year as fans of this show.

Reviews by John Murray

Assembly Checkpoint

Arlene! The Glitz. The Glamour. The Gossip.

★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

The Joni Mitchell Story

★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

The James Taylor Story

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden: Just the Two at Six

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Frigid: A Musical Worth Melting For

★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Best of the West End

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The James Taylor Story returns to the Fringe to take you on a journey through the career of the five-time Grammy winner and American folk legend. This groundbreaking show-umentary format gives a fascinating insight into the man and the music. Presented by critically acclaimed artist Dan Clews who delivers hauntingly accurate performances of Fire and Rain, Sweet Baby James, the legendary You’ve Got A Friend and more. ‘Will leave any folk-rock fans wholly satisfied’ **** (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘Beautiful player’ (Tim Minchin). ‘Sounds like an early James Taylor’ (Uncut). ‘Too great a talent to ignore’ (Sir George Martin).