Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

June 23, 2008

Livingston Taylor & Kate Taylor

Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
June 23, 2008
By Eric Sutter

Two members of the illustrious singing Taylor clan appeared at the Colonial Theatre to start the summer season. Livingston Taylor and back-up singers kicked it off singing CSN's "Find the Cost of Freedom" a capella. Kate Taylor took the stage in cowgirl hippie attire with a crack band and rocked Carlene Carter's "I Fell In Love." She sang, in her reedy alto voice, the spiritually minded "Beautiful Road" written by Northampton's Erica Wheeler. Kate then covered the Carole King song made famous by the Everly Brothers with "Crying in the Rain" and later demonstrated an intriguing performing style with wide-ranging musical tastes running the gamut from country, R&B to soul rock. Kate ended her concert segment with the traditional Irish ballad "Water is Wide" which warmed the audience.

Livingston Taylor is a keen and literate observer of life which came through as his music unfolded with humor in his songs and speech. His folksy style and softer gentle love ballads in "I Must Be Doing Something Right" and "There I'll Be" reflected this sensitivity. He performed a 2006 song from his mid-50's stage of life called "Never Lose Hope" with the line "even Boston lost its curse." His fingerstyle guitar playing was impeccable.

Livingston shifted to piano playing and sang "Kitty Hawk, 1903" about the Wright Brothers, in addition to the love ballad "There You Are Again." Kate joined him for "Moon River," while he played piano. The lovely duet of sister-brother vocal harmony in "Best of Friends" especially touched the audience. Livingston's comical versatility was exposed in the subtle"Wish I Were a Cowboy" and whimsical "Railroad Bill." His gentle folk-soul voice and guitar style shined on the optimistic "Life is Good." He encored with "My Romance," which morphed into his rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Using voice only, Livingston Taylor treated the audience to Bill Wither's soul shakin' "Grandma's Hands."