It must be daunting to be an up-and-coming singer/songwriter creating thoughtful melodic pop when your parents are two of the most celebrated, successful singer/songwriters of their generation. Ben Taylor knows a bit about that. Son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, Taylor spent his early years traveling and even considering a career in gardening and agriculture before eventually giving in to his musical calling with extraordinarily engaging results.
Raised in Manhattan but educated at various private schools in New England, Taylor took up the guitar at age 12. Before he had reached age 20, his cover of the Beatles’ “I Will” had found its way onto the soundtrack of the 1995 Paul Reiser film, Bye Bye, Love. Though he spent some time questioning whether music was the path for him, he formed The Ben Taylor Band in 2001 and began recording his first album, Green Dragon, Name a Fox. Famous Among the Barns followed in 2003 with strong buzz and reviews, and a tour with folk songstress Dar Williams. Actor and musician Kevin Bacon produced and performed on Taylor’s next record Another Run Around the Sun. In 2008, Taylor’s cover of Macy Gray’s “I Try” was used in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial.
Joined on the Infinity Hall stage by fellow guitarist David Saw, percussionist Benjamin Thomas and vocalist Beth Mendes, Taylor presents an irresistible acoustic set full of intimate melodies and soaring harmonies. Between anecdotes of his life on the road, relationships and his famous family, the 36-year-old singer offers an alluring mix of songs (and even a poem!) from his six albums and EPs. Taylor opens with the poignant title track off his most recent album, Listening, released in 2012. “You Must’ve Fallen” is a love song with an appealing reggae groove that seems to lull the audience into a tropical trance. And as a tribute to his famous mother, or “Mama C” as he calls her, he performs “Nothing I Can Do,” a ballad full of enchanting hooks and chords.
- “I See You, You See Me”
- “You Must’ve Fallen”
- “Not Alone”
- “Worlds are Made of Paper”
- “Wicked Way”
- “What Would You Make of the Stars” (poem)
- “Do You Think of Me” (Beth Mendes lead vocals)
- “It Really Doesn’t Matter to You”
- “Nothing I Can Do”
- “I’ll Be Gone”