This educational, charming piece on an American folk-rock visionary is fittingly presented by an up-and-coming sensation of the same genre, Dan Clews. James Taylor’s life is outlined by a book-on-tape-esque recorded voice over which soothingly coincides with a slideshow. Clews plays guitar throughout almost the entire show, providing a soft strumming and plucking background music during the voiceover. The multi-media storytelling experience is broken up by live performances of James Taylor’s songs by Clews, who sounds satisfyingly like the real thing.
Will leave any folk-rock or James Taylor fans wholly satisfied with the experience.
The slideshow sometimes seems cheesy and dated, but is mostly relevant and gives an interesting window into James Taylor’s life. There are a few recordings of James Taylor and other important characters in his life taken from old interviews, which adds an interesting element to the voiceover. The performance is especially unique in that it offers Clews’ live renderings of rarely-heard original versions of James Taylor favorites such as Gone To Carolina.
At one or two points, the formatting is switched up yet again as Clews talks briefly to the audience through the mic, but never long enough to steal the show from James Taylor or irritate the audience. He is charming and engaging when he speaks and even cracks a few jokes, which the audience readily laughs at. The set closes with a heartwarming cover that welcomes audience involvement, after which Clews steals the show from James Taylor a little bit by promoting his own album, but it seems justified and leaves the audience pleased. Overall, this piece is interesting in its presentation style and educational in its content, and will leave any folk-rock or James Taylor fans wholly satisfied with the experience.