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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Amazing Night
I was very fortunate to have been a volunteer at the Musicares Person of the Year Tribute to James Taylor on February 6, 2006. It was a spectacular evening filled with great music and a wonderful feeling. I haven't seen the DVD yet, but I am very much looking forward to it. If you're a fan, this is a must have. Stars performed James' music and talked about what his music...
Published on August 8, 2006 by Rachel

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only For The Super JT Fan
This concert started out on a strong positive note with The Dixie Chicks doing a great version of "Shower the People You Love With Love," although I could do without the final 45 seconds of Natalie Manes screeching an over-impassioned refrain over and over. Bonnie Raitt hits all the right notes with a cover of "Rainy Day Man," if you don't mind the somewhat-awkward...
Published on January 9, 2007 by R. Meldrum


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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Amazing Night, August 8, 2006
By 
Rachel (Santa Monica, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
I was very fortunate to have been a volunteer at the Musicares Person of the Year Tribute to James Taylor on February 6, 2006. It was a spectacular evening filled with great music and a wonderful feeling. I haven't seen the DVD yet, but I am very much looking forward to it. If you're a fan, this is a must have. Stars performed James' music and talked about what his music and life's work has meant to each of them. I loved Sting's sweet and funny story about evaluating his own musical career prospects after seeing James play for the first time.

Performers and set list included:

Sweet Baby James - Paul Simon
Shower the People - Dixie Chicks
Secret of Life - India.Arie
You Can Close Your Eyes - Sting
Everybody Gets the Blues - Taj Mahal and Dr. John
Country Road - Keith Urban
Millworker - Bruce Springsteen
You've got a Friend - Carole King (and James)
Copperline, Shed a Little Light, Fire and Rain - James

Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt also performed, but I can't quite recall what.

I'm sure you'll also get to see James interacting with his wife Caroline and two small sons who were there. They seem like a nice family. I had the chance to talk to them briefly and James is as kind and caring as you would imagine him to be.

I loved this special evening and am grateful to have played a small part in it.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, October 10, 2006
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
This DVD is worth it just to watch what goes on in James Taylor face and his eyebrows in an old clip of him singing Steamroller. Whew. Alot going on there.

I was delighted to see this tribute to a man whose work ethic continues to make him a delight to experience and hear onstage. I too, was mesmerized with the Dixie Chixs opener, Shower the People. It was smart to have James regular band accompany the artists who contributed to this lovefest, which James, shyly acknowledged. The integrity of his music was upheld by doing so. I was wondering why Ben and Sally Taylor were absent. It would have been great to have them sing a song for their Pop. Obviously the young Taylor twins have Dads's beat and will, hopefully, continue the family tradition as time goes. I had tears in my eyes throughout the concert, but it was Jame's surprise visit to Carole King's, You've Got A Friend, that made my face wet.I am grateful James Taylor is still touring and happy to see such a beautiful tribute paid to a man who more than deserves it.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for James Taylor fans, October 4, 2006
By 
David H. Smith (Santa Clarita, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
What can you say but that it's great we get to share in a treasure. It begins with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks pounding out "Shower the People," which only gets better when Arnold joins in. Big, big song and you can tell already its going to be a big show. Some songs are close to what we usually hear from James, in others you can see that the artist is making the song their own, but that it is still distinctly a James Taylor song.

If for no other reason you need to get this for Bruce Springsteen's version of "Millworker." Dr. John and Taj Mahal's version of "Everybody Has the Blues" is fantastic, and perhaps the unexpected gem of this DVD. There is little that disappoints in this disc. Even those who are not huge James Taylor fans will find the interpretations that the different artists bring to James' music interesting. But if you are a James Taylor fan you owe it to yourself to buy this disc.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth as Silk, November 17, 2006
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
WHAT GREAT FUN to watch some of our best contemporary entertainers pay tribute to a great talent and a class act - and all for a good cause.

While everyone may not enjoy all the performances equally, each singer reminds us that JT's talent "translates well" across musical genres. Especially enjoyable is Jimmy Buffet's "video salute" to his friend, and perhaps the most touching homages come from Sheryl Crow and (later) Sting, both of whom talk about their experiences at Taylor concerts in "the early days".

Taylor and his sons, Rufus and Henry, (and brother Livingston) manage to get together on-stage before it's all over. So, buy it for the music . . . buy it for the history . . . buy it for the charity . . . buy it for the FUN! You'll discover (or be reminded of) what many of us have known for a long time - it doesn't get any better than James Taylor.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!, November 12, 2006
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
As a James Taylor fan, this DVD is a real treat to watch. The performances of the songs were fabulous ( personal favorites were the Dixie Chicks, India Arie, and Keith Urban's version of Country Road). It's great fun to watch James and his wife and twin sons amid this star studded and glamorous audience - watching the DVD you really feel a part of this wonderful event. I recommend this for the true longtime fan, and even for one who just enjoys his music from time to time. The final encore of James singing Fire and Rain was a poignant ending to a wonderful evening of music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some outstanding performances, an apt tribute to a great man!, September 18, 2007
By 
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
Tribute concerts and tribute albums are not just celebrations of a particular artist's music, but also a chance to witness how other artists approach the challenge of honoring someone else: Some churn out run-of the-mill covers that shed little new light on the original artist or track. Others grab the bull by both horns, get under the skin of the song, re-shape it and re-interpret it in their own image and sound, producing something exciting and entirely new. This, of course, is the true 'tribute'.

This Musicares James Taylor concert DVD contains equal examples of both; Luckily, the more original and creative performances more than make up for the lackluster ones. Towering above all others and almost justifying the price of this DVD on its own, is Bruce Springsteen's rendition of Taylor's early-80s "Millworker". The Boss nonchalantly takes the stage, mumbles a few unremarkable words about Taylor's background and about how their paths have crossed a few times, then, in the dim light, begins strumming his guitar. What follows is not just one of the most evocative, powerful and original re-interpretations of a song that I have ever witnessed, but an example of how deeply a true artist can reach into another's song in the process of making it their own. Here, "Millworker" becomes so signature Springsteen and so achingly raw that viewers could be forgiven for thinking it was never a JT song in the first place. Springsteen appears nearly hypnotized by the lyrics and overwhelmed by feeling; he adds layer after layer to this piece, from the clean and crisp acoustic guitar strumming to his unrelenting trademark harmonica notes that seem to haunt more with every angry blow. It is perhaps the one moment in the entire evening where the usually-giant JT suddenly seems like a humbled lightweight.

While nobody else at this concert competes with that Springsteen moment, a number of artists deliver some wonderful performances too. Bonnie Rait confidently weaves "Rainy Day Man" into her own sound, with her usual gorgeous vocals and a subtle, entirely appropriate country tinge. India.Arie delivers a hauntingly beautiful rendition of one of JT's most beautiful songs ever, "Secret O' Life"; and Dr John and Taj Mahal delight with a contagious, uplifting "Everybody Has The Blues". Another strong performance is Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas's "Carolina in My Mind" (though one could argue that Krauss's honey-tinged voice alone would be enough to melt an audience on just about any song).

Other songs are less remarkable. The Dixie Chicks open the show with a competent cover of "Shower the People", though they've been doing this in concert for a number of years now and other than some sweet, soothing harmonies really don't add much to the JT original. Luckily, JT's long-time backing vocalist Arnold McCuller adds a rich, badly-needed layer when he finishes it off with his trademark deep gospel wails. Sting takes the stage in what looks set to be a raw, powerful interpretation of the lullaby-like "Close Your Eyes", but oddly never really connects: The track doesn't quite suite Sting's unique vocal character, nor does the singer give the impression that he's internalized the song at all.

Carole King's performance of "You've Got a Friend" sounds like, well, Carole King performing "You've Got a Friend" just as she did over three decades ago - safe, friendly and sweet. The song takes a powerful emotional turn, however, when JT joins her at the piano and the two musicians (who together made this song into one of the most recognizable and enduring of the 20th century) remind us how fruitful and strong their nearly 40-year friendhsip has been, despite turbulent times for both.

All in all, this is a great concert evening, and a must-have addition to any JT fan's collection. Meanwhile, I'm going to get busy re-visiting a whole lot of great Springsteen material that I must have missed over the years. The man simply stole this show.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always been a JT fan, November 30, 2006
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
I happened to catch this on PBS last night & was so glad I did. I'm also a fan of pretty much all the other artists paying tribute to James & his music: Bonnie Raitt doing Rainy Day Man, Sheryl Crow, J. Browne & D. Crosby doing Mexico, Bruce doing Millworker. Nice balance between what was happening onstage and James's reaction to it from the audience. One of the better concert DVD's I've seen in a while.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tribute that captures the spirit of a generation, December 9, 2006
By 
L. Cleary (Springfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
This is a great concert that takes me back to the summers as a teenager when I would go to Tanglewood in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts and mellow out with 10,000 other folks who loved James Taylor. It is great to see the timeless quality of his songs come through as younger musicians interpret them. The passion that each artist puts into their performance really conveys the deep respect they have for James and his music. The production of the video is done well- you will feel like you are there in person. I loved Alison Krauss's performance as well. I have to agree with another reviewer. . . Carol King's passionate performance of 'You've Got a Friend' was phenomenal and poignant. I wish Arlo Guthrie had been included. Finally, listening to James acknowledge his brother Livingston's work and express his thanks to all the behind-the-scenes folks who have been legends in their own right . . . Russ Kunkel and others whose names I remember seeing on the credits of many albums over the years . . . made me feel I was really watching a tribute to an era as well as a man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a night!!, June 2, 2007
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
All my life I have been a huge JT fan, and he is certainly deserving of this tribute. And what a tribute it was!! The Dixie Chicks were great, Carole King was amazing as always, but my personal favorite performance was India.Arie "Secret O Life"....i was astounded by her interpretation. I would love it if she would release it as a single herself. Great DVD.. Buy it for yourself, and buy an extra copy for someone you love...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every song is enjoyable., March 13, 2007
By 
C. Gouker (Tacoma, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Honoring James Taylor (DVD)
As a major JT fan, I absolutely loved this concert. Yet I believe any minor JT fans will also enjoy the musicians who participated. Highlights are the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen and Alison Krauss. However, the absolute shining star moment for me was Bonnie Raitt singing "Rainy Day Man". Don't miss that, I'm telling you!
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