James Taylor

On Sunday night, 13th July, we returned to the Pengrowth Saddledome once more. On the final night of the 2008 Calgary Stampede, we went along to see one of Eamonn’s favourite singer/songwriters, James Taylor.

Instead of taking the train into Calgary, this time we decided to drive to the Stampede grounds where the Saddledome is situated. Here’s a shot of the route in as you get pretty close to the park…

We parked up in the back streets away from the grounds and walked up and over the hill towards them. At the brow of the hill, we got a great view of the Saddledome with downtown Calgary behind it…The crowds were gathering in the Rodeo and Chuckwagon stadium for the final night of competition…Now 60 years old, Taylor remains an extremely talented performer but what struck us was his easy-going charm as he participated in banter with the crowd and as he told stories about some of the songs he was singing.Here’s a couple of decent web links for information about James Taylor…
http://www.jamestaylor.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Taylor
He plays with some well renowed musicians. On this particular evening, he had Steve Gadd on drums, a name Eamonn immediately recognised given his past work with Steely Dan (one of Eamonn’s all time favourite bands)…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Gadd
and Michael Landau on guitar…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Landau

…and the rest of the band and vocalists weren’t too shabby either!

His rendition of Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” was excellent (click on the play symbol in the picture below)…He didn’t let the crowd down when they would shout out asking for other classics like “Fire and Rain”, “Carolina in my Mind”, “Country Road” and here, “Sweet Baby James”…He split the concert into two sets, the first of an hour and the second being about an hour and a quarter. Among the songs featured in the second set were “Shower The People”…

…and “Your Smiling Face”.The concert rounded off with a superb rendition of “How Sweet It Is”, which, unfortunately, we don’t have any coverage of. In short, it was a couple of hours (and some) of musical perfection that will live in the memory for years to come. As we strolled back to the car, we stopped and took one final shot of the Saddledome…

J&E

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