Celebrating and Honoring a Serious Patriot: James Taylor

This post is part of an archived series of blogs called The LeVine Line, written by former Ambassador Suzan G. LeVine during her time at U.S. Embassy Bern.

8 March 2015

I have always (literally always – as I know that the year I was born was when James Taylor was getting traction) loved James Taylor’s work.  It wasn’t until around 2008, however, that I finally realized how much patriotism is laced throughout almost every lyric.  He is an incredible patriot – caring about equality, the environment, education, and more.  He has dedicated much of his time and his resources to having an impact.

Friday night – we had the opportunity to host him and most of his all-star band for dinner so that we could honor his patriotism with some home hospitality.  And then, last night – there was a moment demonstrating his dedication to the United States when, at his concert, James and his band sang his song “Shed a little light” that is a dedication to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As they began the song…

Let us turn our thoughts today 
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us, 
All men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love, 
Sister and brotherhood, 
That we are bound together….

…the spotlights beamed down in a way to almost turn them into a black & white photo.  It was an incredible homage to the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery that was an effort to push for voting rights.  It truly gave me chills.

Here are some of the pictures from Friday night, the Saturday concert, and then Saturday backstage afterwards.

My profound appreciation to James Taylor and his incredible tour manager, and band!    They were so gracious, warm, smart, and engaged.  Of course, that’s on top of being the most talented group in the business!

If you have a chance to see them on this or future tours, as someone who has seen him in live performance many times since my first JT concert when I was about 16, I can say – get your tickets to go!  He is as good – if not better- as he’s ever been!