Livingston Taylor returning to Bath arts center

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BATH — Forty-five years after releasing his first album, Livingston Taylor is still going strong, and planning to bring his creative energy to the Chocolate Church Arts Center on Saturday.

The May 2 show at 804 Washington St., which starts at 7:30 p.m., promises a variety of colors along Taylor’s musical spectrum, including Broadway, blues, bluegrass and country.

Born in Boston, Taylor maintains a strong connection to New England. Along with the records he’s released, including the Top 40 hits “I Will Be in Love with You” and “I’ll Come Running,” he also teaches the craft of stage performance as a professor at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

Saturday’s show will mark the latest in a series at the Chocolate Church for Taylor, in a state where he said he has happily spent a lot of time, including summer camping near Bar Harbor.

“I love Maine … Maine rules,” he said in an April 23 phone interview, noting that he has “been to the Chocolate Church more times than a sinner.”

The 64-year-old has released three albums in the past decade, most recently 2014’s “Blue Sky.”

“What keeps the creative fire going … at its core, it is an understanding that without creative production, you can’t continue life as one of the gods on Mt. Olympus,” Taylor said. “… The price of admission, the price of being treated well by society, is that you continue to be creative and innovative.”

He added that “creators are treated better than anybody else, and that’s apparent to anybody who is looking as an 8-year-old, and starting to decide what they’re going to be in their lives.”

Taylor hails from a musical family, which includes his older brother, James Taylor. But it was their eldest brother, Alex, who paved the way, Taylor said.

“(He) was wild about music, wild about rock and roll … fought with my parents about having a band, and long hair,” Taylor said. “Alex truly broke trail for us. But James came second, and James played the guitar, and he taught me how to play the guitar. He was my original guitar teacher when he was 15, and I was … 12 and a half.”

He said he is “delighted to be compared to James Taylor, because James Taylor is a truly wonderful artist. So that’s terrific.”

Taylor noted that he does find it “mildly irritating” when people expect him to know what his brother is up to at any given time. Or if they go on about how great James is, “at which point I remind them that I drank the Kool-Aid 64 years ago; I’ve got it.”

As he gets older, losing “looks, strength and endurance,” Taylor said, he substitutes discipline and precision.

“And I find that what I play now is much more precise and concise,” he said. “… The flowery words that you used to use (in songwriting), you just don’t. You can be secure that the content was enough, that the superlatives that you used to use are unnecessary. It’s a very lovely feeling.”

Tickets for Taylor’s show are $30 in advance and $32 at the door, and can be purchased at or by phoning the box office at 442-8455.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor performs Saturday, May 2, at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.