Artist Spotlight: Livingston Taylor

The Brothers Taylor

I’m a huge fan of James Taylor. In fact, he was one of the main singer-songwriters of the early 1970’s who greatly inspired me. Back in the early years of my guitar playing, I spent time learning Taylor’s hit tunes of the day like Fire and Rain. I even learned a cool version of The Blues is Just a Bad Dream by using a TAB chart.

O.K., now, wait a second! This artist spotlight is all about Livingston Taylor, one of James’ younger brothers. Livingston is one of five siblings in the Taylor family; along with Alex, James, Kate, and Hugh. Livingston and James both write songs, play guitar, and sound and look similar to each other. However, they are definitely two different individuals. I remember hearing Livingston’s first album back in the 70’s and appreciating it. Still, I have to admit that I was strongly attracted to James’ musical offerings. Therefore, I never really gave Livingston a fair shake back then.

In the Shadow of James

Last year, during one of my frequent YouTube musical exploration sessions, I came across this interview that Livingston did with Living Legends Music. I was very impressed with the honesty and humility he carries around living in the shadow of his legendary brother. Most of all, I appreciated his statement that, “Nothing is better for you than the success of people you know and love, even when their success is painful for you…”

Livingston Taylor’s Passion

Finally, I’ve come to learn that Livingston has had an enjoyable and fulfilling musical career of his own. His discography begins with the simply titled debut album, Livingston Taylor, and extends to his upcoming 2017 release, Safe Home. Furthermore, Livingston is a full professor at Berklee College of Music and has taught a Stage Performance course there since 1989. And, he’s even written a book, Stage Performance, based on his years of teaching experience. The book offers singers and musicians support in delivering a rewarding performance for both the performer and the audience. Hence, I found Livingston’s passion for delivering the message to others via music to be brightly apparent in this video taken from his classroom sessions.

Guitar Playing as an Olympic Event

I love this spoken word song. In it, Livingston displays his sparkling wit and agile guitar playing. “He stuck it!” Thank you, Livingston, for hanging in there all these years and sharing your music and your soul with us. Life, indeed, is good!

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