November 3, 1999 |
"Two-Lane Blacktop" fans: Start your engines. Monte Hellman's legendary 1971 road movie is available for the first time on videocassette and DVD. It has been a long road for the film that before its release was hailed by Esquire magazine as "movie of the year." A subsequent box office disappointment, "Two-Lane Blacktop" languished in the Universal Studios vaults, its video release stymied in part by entanglements over music rights.
March 22, 1999 |
"This has been the happiest night of my life--so far," Sally Taylor proclaimed from the Troubadour stage Saturday. Not coincidentally, Taylor and her three-piece rock band had just performed "Happy Now," the most melodic folk-pop tune on her self-released debut LP, "Tomboy Bride." Taylor was joined on the number by her brother, Ben, and, in an apparently unexpected move, her mom, Carly Simon, who herself was "discovered" at the same club in the early '70s. "This is so exciting!
August 13, 1998 |
One of James Taylor's greatest assets is that he's well aware of his limitations. As a tunesmith, he's never possessed the literary flair of Joni Mitchell or poetic genius of Bob Dylan, and while Taylor has been criticized in the past for refusing to break free of his genteel troubadour persona, it's simply what he does best.
May 28, 1998 |
A star-studded awards extravaganza and two live concerts highlight what promises to be a very musical weekend on television. Johnny Mathis is the latest singer to grace A&E's "Live by Request," tonight at 6 and 10. The crooner of such classics as "Chances Are" and "Maria" will perform his fans' favorites during the interactive show from New York's Sony Music Studios. Mathis will take requests via the phone and Internet.
June 28, 1997 |
Fans will find the spare sound and laid-back feel of "Hourglass" soothingly familiar, but it's so flavorless it can't even be livened up with dashes of spice from such luminaries as Branford Marsalis, Mark O'Connor and Yo-Yo Ma. In spite of the emotional range of his lyrics, Taylor's Zen tenor never betrays the slightest hint of passion about the subjects. Even the relatively upbeat "Little More Time With You" has all the urgency of a narcolepsy attack.
September 19, 1996 |
Back when he was a staple of Top 40 radio, singer-songwriter James Taylor sometimes veered precariously close to becoming a parody of '70s mellow-folk. But the low-key Taylor has always been a fine craftsman. And these days it's not mellow nostalgia that accounts for Taylor's enduring strength as a concert draw, but his talents as a gifted performer, and an exceptional creator of fine melodies and quiet insights.
November 6, 1995 |
Shedding had become a problem for James Taylor, and, no, we would not stoop so low as to mock a fellow for the state of his hairline. Taylor's problem had to do with the increasingly dull state of his quasi-annual summer strolls through the "sheds"--the circuit of big, lucrative, outdoor amphitheaters he routinely plied with big, slick, polished soft-rock bands that replicated the sound of his albums.
November 6, 1995
A Santa Ana man was critically hurt when he stepped into traffic at a busy local intersection Saturday night and was hit by a car, police said Sunday. Efren Gonzalez, 21, was in very critical condition on life support Sunday at UCI Medical Center in Orange, Sgt. Dick Faust of the Santa Ana Police Department said. Gonzalez was not in a crosswalk at 9 p.m.
June 29, 1995 |
Mellow and mellifluous Ojai folkie Alan Thornhill won the 1995 Telluride Musical Festival Finger Style Guitar Competition earlier this month in Colorado. Taylor was allowed two songs in the finals. One was his own and the other a rendition of "Over The Rainbow." Thornhill won a Taylor Grand Concert Guitar. "I entered the contest after [my wife] encouraged me and especially after I took a look at the prize," Thornhill said.