Sunday, March 22, 2009

Singing in the Fire and Rain

This week's objet d'eBay, James Taylor's 1981 vinyl release, "Dad Loves his Work," was a Top Ten album. At the time it was celebrated for the song "Her Town Too" but it is not a particularly strong point of the 61-year-old's musical legacy.

What is most intriguing today about the album might be it's title. Taylor's father was a doctor whose four children all tried their hand at musicianship, which would certainly suggest one dad who did not pass along his love of his work. On the other hand, Taylor's two kids, Ben, 31, and Sally, 34, both strum, strut and croon vaguely in their father (and mother Carly Simon's) style. So, perhaps his love of singing did get passed down, although possibly his mixed thoughts of being a father versus working came through as well — the album was released and he was on the road constantly when both kids were under 10; Sally, gave birth to her first child about a year and a half ago and Ben remains a non-father.

Is there an answer to combining a love of work and fathering? Not in this album and not to be found from Sweeet Baby James's life.

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