Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Massachusetts has been home to some very important movers and shakers in the music industry. Some of them have long since vanished from the public eye, while others have taken on a different way to continue to see musical passion thrive in the state they call home. Livingston Taylor was born in Massachusetts, and has amassed a body of work and reputation that expands over forty years. Through those years, Liv has been touring and releasing albums, but he doesn’t let one outweigh the other. “The idea of supporting a record died a long time ago with the labels” he said. “I’ve been touring almost non-stop for years, and I’ve happened to release some albums from time to time.” His most recent album, “Blue Sky,” is his fifteenth release since his first self-titled album came out in 1970, and serves just as another chapter in the long songbook Liv has written all these years.
Despite the long touring schedules, Livingston Taylor serves as a member of the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music, and has utilized his experience playing live for many years to serve as the basis for his lessons. “All in all, what we do is for the audience, so if I have any advice for musicians starting out, ‘It's not enough to just create and throw it out there. You have to watch it land. ” He said. “If the audience loves it, keep doing it. If they don’t, do something else. It’s safe to assume that the audience doesn’t need you, and will reject what you’re offering. You just need to watch as what you makes lands.”
Over time, Livingston Taylor has played a wide range of venues that range from small and intimate coffee houses to the Boston Garden. Each venue has their own perks, but Liv certainly does enjoy playing the small venue. “When you’re playing a big venue like the Garden, the crowd is a bit more predictable” he said. “The crowd flows in a different way, and you can gauge it in a different way.” Intimate shows are a lot different, though, as Liv points out. “The crowd at a smaller venue has more expectations, and you can really get a sense of how you’re impacting them. It’s not as robust as a larger venue, but the musical pay-off is great.”
This weekend, Taylor is going to be bringing his music and stories to the historic Cabot in Beverly, and is no stranger to the North Shore. Liv explained how he had personal ties to the North Shore and what it meant to him in a quite simple manner. “My mother was born in Newburyport, so I am very familiar with the North Shore. Whenever I come here, I get a sense of comfort, and I feel at home.” The prospect of playing at a place like The Cabot is something that Liv is not only prepared for, but also excited about. “I am excited to experience the residual magic at the theater, and to feel the energy of the thousands of performances that happened here before me.” A venue like The Cabot has many stories surrounding it, and it’s sudden departure left many thinking that it was truly the end. It only seems fitting that Livingston Taylor’s timeless presence is one of the first ones to add a new chapter to The Cabot’s history.