James Taylor at Mud Island Amphitheatre 

Abetted by a Rolling Stone subscription during a period of full-on "It was 20 years ago today" boomer nostalgia, I went into an all-consuming classic-rock binge circa junior high, omnivorously tracking down every title the magazine saw fit to canonize. More than 20 years later, many of those finds (Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Who, natch) have settled into the permanent collection, while others (the Doors, Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel) have been filtered out. Folkie titan James Taylor didn't make the cut. But if I never replaced my old Sweet Baby James cassette when I finally divested myself of that dying medium, I was in the minority. The smooth-voiced Taylor may be a boomer icon, but his appeal has transcended his own generation. So if my fondest thoughts of Taylor are beyond his own music — his laconic "Driver" in Monte Hellman's deathless post-hippie road movie Two-Lane Blacktop, playing God in Randy Newman's Faust — most prefer Taylor's dulcet delivery of great Carole King ("You've Got a Friend") and Marvin Gaye ("How Sweet It Is") songs or his own deathless post-hippie testament, "Fire and Rain." James Taylor plays the Mud Island Amphitheatre on Sunday, July 15th. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are from $50 to $75.

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