Written by Michael Pittman
Apr 22, 2011 at 08:00 PM
The Walkin Man totally electrified The Woodlands Pavilion Thursday night as he kicked off the major leg of his 2011 spring tour in front of a packed house. Whether you sat in the lawn or in the seats, it was time to bring in the summer…and this show was phenomenal!


We can’t call him Sir, but in early March this year JT received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama which puts him just about as close as you can get to it on this side of the pond. Congratulations on the well-deserved award and by the sound of things we got plenty more JT to look forward to.


Tonight JT was feeling good. He was as humble and honest as you’ve come to expect, but somehow with a whole new energy and life. There weren’t new songs since there hasn’t been a new record since last year’s live record with Carole King, but there were new arrangements and a sprinkling of new personnel in the 11 piece band. There was Lou Marini on sax, you remember him from Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live (and a thousand other sessions and shows), who punched things up almost just by being there. On backup vocals were Andrea Zonn and Arnold McMuller, who you know from Lyle Lovett’s Large Band, added a lotta love and soul to the already stellar backup singers. His whole band was stunning from start to finish and cooked all night long.


The show itself was the best of the best in 2 sets with each set lasting about an hour with about a 30 minute break in between. The first set started out mellow, as you would have expected, with Something in the Way She Moves among the first 3 songs but the show built on hit after hit with an energy that carried across the break. The long-sleeve button down he wore in the first set gave way to a short sleeves and a cap in the second, which I’m sure he was totally happy about since the Houston night was a little on the muggy side.


The energy kept building and as I watched the crowd became a little louder and a little rowdier with each song. Yes…I said rowdy! Well, ok..loud and ummm…enthusiastic? You were dancing in the aisles and singing along too…admit it, you’ll feel better. About midway through the 2nd set Taylor paused the show to sign a few tshirts and pose for a few phone pictures while the crowd watched and laughed along. Afterwards, things loosened up and the band broke ‘formation’ to come to the edge of the stage and party right along with us.


So this was exactly what I expected from JT and more. The rumor circulated that his son Ben Taylor might be there, but the fact that it didn’t happen didn’t keep any of us from enjoying THIS show. People LOVE song lists so here’s a partial song list. Sign up and add to the list cuz this is all I can remember!

Something in the Way She Moves Carolina In My Mind Close Your Eyes I was A Fool to Care Every Day Blossom Walking Man Your Smiling Face Shed a Little Light Copperline Fire and Rain SBJ Up on a Roof Mexico Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Country Road Traveling Star Jump Up Behind Me Angry Blues Steamroller Blues