In December, I had the great pleasure of opening a show for you at TCAN in Natick. The show was sold out, and I was excited to open for Livingston Taylor in that wonderful room and to enjoy your songs and voice. But little did I know, I was about to experience something even more valuable to me as a performer and artist.
To quote the great Tina Turner – As a headliner, Livingston, you were “simply the best”.
Gracious, kind, welcoming – the adjectives keep coming to mind when I think about you at this show.
I was expecting to just get on stage and do my set, but you told me you wanted to introduce me. And here’s where the magic began:
First, you took the stage and welcomed your audience. You spoke to them, not at them. And immediately, you created this warm and intimate performance environment – like we were all suddenly invited into your living room (which just happened to have enough seats for 250.)
Then you introduced me and said just the nicest things about me; my songwriting, my voice…You made your audience want to hear my songs. (Heck, you made me want to hear my songs!) And that made me a better performer that night. The crowd welcomed me, because you created that little world and invited me to be a part of it. Thank you for that.
I was your student when I was at Berklee. When I became a touring musician, so many lessons I learned back then resonated with me and still resonate with me now. Wise words about stage fright…How it is our job as performers to appreciate and never take an audience for granted…
At this show, I watched as you’d play a song and teach the audience about what was going on in the melody. I witnessed you make the stage your classroom. In the same way, you made the classroom at Berklee your stage.
So, I was not in the least surprised to read that tomorrow, January 18th, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will officially declare it “Livingston Taylor Day”.
You deserve a day. (I think you deserve a whole week!) Thank you for the kindness that you showed me. It will not be forgotten. I will use the lessons you taught me about grace, professionalism and generosity. And I will pay it forward to the artists who open for me in the future.
All the best and congratulations on your well-deserved honor,
Livingston will be at The Sinclair this Friday, January 20th for a special hometown CD release show for his newest album, “Safe Home”. My former student and fabulous artist herself, Chelsea Berry sang on his album and will be joining him on some harmony vocals!