So this must be what it's like to live in Ohio most election years. With North Carolina up for grabs as a battleground state in 2008, we're seeing a steady stream of famous folks coming through to represent for their favored candidate. Tuesday afternoon was Raleigh's turn, as Obama supporter James Taylor played a mid-day get-out-the-vote show downtown in Moore Square.
Since it was as much a political rally as a concert, there was lots of speechifying for the Democratic ticket. But it never amped up from sun-drenched mellow to overheated. How could it, with Mr. Mellow himself at the controls?
The years have been kind to Taylor's honeyed croon, which he wore as casually as his onstage fedora. Except for a few selections from his new covers album and a "Go Obama Go" sing-along (plus an introductory "America the Beautiful" to begin the proceedings on a patriotic note), Taylor stuck with the old favorites -- "Sweet Baby James," "You Got a Friend," "Fire and Rain," "Mexico" and, of course, "Carolina in My Mind," with Taylor's wife on harmony vocals.
It was as bucolic an experience you can imagine, although any Republicans in the vicinity might have felt differently. A sign in front of the nearby Pour House nightclub said it all: "Democrats welcome! (thirsty Republicans can negotiate inside)."
ADDENDUM: Review of JT's Chapel Hill show.