James Taylor Farewells Australia With Final Tour (Melbourne Review) - Noise11.com
James Taylor at MCA Melbourne 16 April 2024 photo by Winston Robinson

James Taylor at MCA Melbourne 16 April 2024 photo by Winston Robinson

James Taylor Farewells Australia With Final Tour (Melbourne Review)

by Paul Cashmere on April 17, 2024

in News

I could go to a James Taylor show just for the stories. The man is a part of music history and is still around to tell the tales of how it all began. Like, for instance, being the first artist signed to Apple Records. James “auditioned” for Apple with his song ‘Something In The Way She Moves’. “Paul went away and started the label and George went away and wrote the song”, he said.

James performed with a band of musician’s musicans including Steve Gadd on drums (Steely Dan ‘Aja’ and Paul Simon ’50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’) and Dean Parks (Steely Dan, Michael Jackson). A James Taylor band has always been the best of the best. Te band also included Kevin Hays on keys, bass by Jimmy Johnson, backing singers Dorian Holley and Kate Markowitz, and vocalist/fiddle player Andrea Zonn.

Back to those stories. I had no idea ‘Handy Man’ was about a male prostitute but when you actually listen to the words, now it all makes sense.

Hey girls, gather round
Listen to what I’m puttin’ down
Hey, baby, I’m your handy man
I’m not the kind that uses pencil or rule
I’m handy with the love and I’m no fool
I fix broken hearts, I know I truly can

‘Yellow and Rose’ is James’ only song about Australia. He said it was based on a Robert Hughes novel and is about someone being sent somewhere as a punishment and finding out its paradise.

‘That’s Why I’m Here’ is about the passing of James’ friend John Belushi.

John’s gone found dead
He dies high he’s brown bread
Later said to have drowned in his bed
After the laughter
The wave of the dread
It hits us like a ton of lead

James is pretty, pretty good as a comedian as well, grabbing the electric guitar for ‘Steamroller Blues’ and saying how it was “an improvement on the Gas and Steam guitar” as well as “I was in Pennsylvania and they still use the horse drawn guitar”. Dad joke, I know, but ‘Dad Loves His Work’.

Considering the high percentage of covers James has made his own, “How Sweet It Is’ (Marvin Gaye), Handy Man’ (Otis Blackwell) and ‘Up On The Roof’ (Carole King) and “that other Carole King song” (as he called it) ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ he has had his fair share of others doing his songs including Elvis Presley who made ‘Streamroller Blues’ a regular part of his setlist.

James is 76 years old now. The voice is starting to sound ‘oak barrel aged’ but this songs are the classics of our time. This is the final ever Australian tour for James Taylor. If you have never seen him, do, and if you have seen him before, this is your last chance to see him one more time.


James Taylor band at MCA Melbourne 16 April 24                                 

James Taylor Melbourne 16 April 2024

James Taylor setlist, 16 April 2024, MCA Melbourne

Set 1
Something in the Way She Moves (from James Taylor, 1968)
Rainy Day Man (from Flag, 1979)
That’s Why I’m Here (from That’s Why I’m Here, 1985)
Yellow and Rose (from Hourglass, 1997)
Anywhere Like Heaven (from Sweet Baby James, 1970)
Never Die Young (from Never Die Young, 1988)
Country Road (from Sweet Baby James, 1970)
Sweet Baby James (from Sweet Baby James, 1970)
Handy Man (from JT, 1977)
Sun On The Moon (from Never Die Young, 1988)

Set 2
Carolina in My Mind (from James Taylor, 1968)
Mexico (from Gorilla, 1975)
Steamroller (from Sweet Baby James, 1970)
Fire and Rain (from Sweet Baby James, 1970)
Up on the Roof (from Flag, 1979)
Shower the People (from In the Pocket, 1976)
You’ve Got a Friend (from Mud Slide Slim & The Blue Horizon, 1971)
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (from Gorilla, 1975)

Shed a Little Light (from New Moon Shine, 1991)
Your Smiling Face (from JT, 1977)
You Can Close Your Eyes (from Mud Slide Slim & The Blue Horizon, 1971)

James Taylor Melbourne 16 April 2024

James Taylor Melbourne 16 April 2024

James Taylor remaining Australian dates are:

Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne Wednesday, April 17 – New Show*
Entertainment Centre, Adelaide Riday, April 19
ICC Sydney Theatre Tuesday, April 23 – Sold Out
ICCSydney Theatre Wednesday, April 24 – New Show*

Also appearing at A DAY ON THE GREEN
Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton Sunday, April 21
Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley Saturday, April 27
Centennial Vineyards, Bowral Sunday, April 28

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