In the classic, great style their reputation is built on, Augusta Amusements is bringing two legendary favorites to the Augusta area. Jazz, folk, rock and soft rock singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29. And Vaudevillian, ragtime, jazz and blues great Leon Redbone will perform at 7:30 p.m.., Sunday, Oct. 2. Both concerts will be at The Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.
“Of course, Leon has a huge following and we sold out last year,” said Michael Deas of Augusta Amusements. “And Livingston is the brother of James Taylor and he’s on faculty at Berklee College of Music. We targeted those two for our first events, and if all goes well, we will have more.”
Taylor’s other musical siblings include Alex, Kate and Hugh. His first LP, by Atlantic Records, was released when he was just 19. It was a great success, and was followed by many other self-written great recordings, including top 40 hits such as I Will be in Love with You, I’ll Come Running, I Can Dream of You, Boatman, and I’ve Got My Pajamas On.
Livingston continues to record – in 2010, he relased Last Alaska Moon – and maintains a busy concert schedule performing an average of 80 shows a year.
“His utterly relaxed on-stage presence tends to disguise the remarkable depth and range of his musical knowledge. His modest self-characterization – “I’m just a pop singer who tours solo, playing his guitar and piano”– doesn’t begin to capture the warmth and charm of a Livingston Taylor performance,” said an e-mail from Augusta Amusements.
Guests to the concert are encouraged to wear a bow tie in honor of the star performer’s signature style and the red carpet will be rolled out for guests.
Those attending the Leon Redbone concert, also, are encouraged to dress in the performer’s style. Redbone is known for wearing a Panama hat and dark glasses in a style reminiscent of the vaudeville era. So, guests are encouraged to dress in clothes of the 20s and 30s.
“We tried it for his concert last year,” Deas said. “I was worried people would think it was corny. But, I was surprised how many showed up in period costume. It made it kind of fun.”
Redbone said it’s more than fun – it helps his performance.
“The audience, without speaking, transmits some kind of enthusiasm,” Redbone said. “It provides inspiration. I don’t try and present a strict regiment of performance. I rely more on the moment. I remember Augusta quite well. I enjoyed it.”
The “rely on the moment” strategy has served Redbone well. He has specialized in interpretations of late 19th and early 20th century music for decades, performing as a regular on Saturday Night Live in the ’70s and ’80s, and on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the ’80s and ’90s. His low-key delivery of jazz and blues standards and Tin Pan Alley classics obviously met well with audiences, no matter the time frame. In fact, Redbone said he doesn’t understand how music is classified by decades.
“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “It’s not ‘our music’ or ‘their music.’ It’s either good or it isn’t.”
A limited number of reserved seats are available. Tickets are $27.50 and $32.50 and can be purchased online at www.augustaamusements.tix.com.