October Road

October Road

by James TaylorJames Taylor


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James Taylor's 15th studio album of his first new recordings in 32 years is, if possible, even more familiar and self-referential than ever. By now, it is an article of faith that you could take practically any track from any Taylor album and put it on another one without disturbing the mood, and that is as true of the songs here as it is of those on the other 14. That warm (if slightly deepened) tenor, singing in its odd accent which combines New England and the North Carolina Piedmont, and that acoustic guitar, with its sparkling, unhurried fingerpicking, remain the most prominent elements in the sound. But even more, October Road finds Taylor seemingly intent on evoking his own past. The title track, of course, recalls his song "Country Road," and "Caroline I See You," (even if it refers specifically to his wife), inescapably echoes "Carolina in My Mind." Also, Taylor deliberately recycles themes from his earlier work. "October Road" begins, "Well I'm going back down maybe one more time," while "My Traveling Star" ends, "And shame on me for sure/For one more highway song." Throughout, on what seem like the most personal songs he has written in decades, Taylor appears to be commenting on a second chance he feels he has received, and though he couches the negative aspects in humor ("Mean Old Man," whose subject is the singer, ends with a dog joke, and "Raised Up Family," which contains recriminations, tosses in a musical reference to Gilligan's Island), there are strong hints of a man who feels he's been rescued. As such, it is perhaps fitting (if seasonally curious for an album released in the summer) to conclude with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a holiday song from wartime that reaffirms the importance of family in a world gone awry.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/15/2010
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0886976881122
catalogNumber: 768811
Rank: 22881

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Taylor   Primary Artist,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Vocal Harmony
Ry Cooder   Guitar
Michael Brecker   Saxophone
Larry Goldings   Piano
David Lasley   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Vocal Harmony
Rob Mounsey   Synthesizer,Percussion,Keyboards,Penny Whistle,String Pads
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Harry Allen   Tenor Saxophone
Luis Conte   Percussion
Dave Grusin   Conductor
Brian Dembow   Viola
Stuart Duncan   Violin
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Walt Fowler   Horn
Steve Gadd   Drums
Julie Gigante   Violin
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Paula Hochhalter   Cello
Carrie Holzman-Little   Viola
Robbie Kilgore   Piano
Michael Landau   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Gut String Guitar,Soloist
Lou Marini   Horn
Kate Markowitz   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Tommy Morgan   Harmonica
Robin Olson   Violin
Greg Phillinganes   Keyboards
John Pizzarelli   Guitar
Richard Sortomme   Violin
Sally Taylor   Background Vocals
Donna Tecco   Violin
Margaret Wooten   Violin
Cenovia Cummins   Violin
Michael Eisenstein   Choir, Chorus
Arnold McCuller   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Karen Elaine Bakunin   Viola
Kay Hanley   Choir, Chorus
Nina Gordon   Choir, Chorus
Clifford Carter   Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Synthesizer Organ,Synthesizer Pads
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Belinda Whitney   Violin
Josh Lattanzi   Choir, Chorus
Steve Scully   Choir, Chorus
Liane Mautner   Violin
Chiara Civello   Background Vocals
M. Hans Liebert   Piano,Synthesizer Percussion
Caroline Taylor   Background Vocals
Kenneth Yerke   Violin
Karen Jones   Violin
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Ralph Morrison   Concert Master
Richard Sebring   French Horn
Jimmy Johnson   Bass

Technical Credits

James Taylor   Composer
Rob Mounsey   String Arrangements
Mark Howard   Engineer
Dave Grusin   String Arrangements
Hugh Martin   Composer
John Sheldon   Composer
Russ Titelman   Producer
Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Ralph Blane   Composer
Stephanie Mauer   Cover Consultant
Sante d'Orazio   Cover Photo,Back Cover Photo
Barbara Rose   Management
Gary Borman   Management
M. Hans Liebert   Engineer
David O'Donnell   Engineer

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