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A Chat With Livingston Taylor: Having No Regrets, Fame & His Brother James

A Chat With Livingston Taylor Having No Regrets, Fame  His Brother James

BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - James Taylor is wrapping up a two night run at MGM Boston, meantime his younger brother, Livingston Taylor is in Japan preparing for a big show when he returned to Portsmouth, New Hampshire next week.

James may be a house-hold name, but Livingston has had his own impressive career spanning more than five decades, writing music alongside his brother. Back in 2017, Massachusetts officials including then-Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and then-Governor Charlie Baker, declared January 18th "Livingston Taylor Day" in celebration of his 50-years in music.

WBZ's Drew Moholland sat down with Livingston ahead of a special concert on September 9th, honoring another pair of musical siblings, The Shaw Brothers. The concert is part of the 400th Anniversary Celebration of the City of Portsmouth, at the Prescott Parks Arts Festival.

If Portsmouth is out of the question, fans will be able to see Livingston in Rhode Island later in September.

He's had quite the summer. In June Livingston headed to London, after hiring the BBC's Concert Orchestra with his long-time arranger and conductor, Bill Elliot.

"Nice adventure in June. I took leave of my senses and I hired the BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporations' Concert Orchestra. I went over there and there were 58 players..." Livingston said. "I went over there with my arranger and conductor Bill Elliot, and the two of us who have been doing symphony arrangements for decades, ensembled all of them, wrote a couple of new ones, went to London and recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra... Big broad symphony recordings and it was a lot of fun."

Livingston who is 72 years young, said the idea to go across the pond came as he reflected on his career and life.

"When you reach a certain age and you realize that ultimately that what you regret are not what you did, but the things you could have done." Livingston said. "What matters is this moment right now and looking to where you're going. Where you've been is of really minor consequence. Trust me, your peers, your friends, and your family and they're looking at you and the question on their minds is where are you going now."

When he's not on the road or delighting audiences on the stage, Livingston is a teacher at the Frost School at the University of Miami. Before that he taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston for many years: Among his students John Mayer, Gavin McGraw, Betty Who and Charlie Puth.

"Charlie was a student of mine for a couple of classes and I also did some co-writing with him and he co-produced an album of mine. It was wonderful working with him and he's a talented fellow." Livingston said. However, the "uber-famous" students aren't his favorite, instead he says his favorite student are the ones that "learn not to shine themselves but to make others shine." Livingston added his opinion of a great career, is those who stay out of the direct spotlight, as it can lead to exhaustion and loneliness, something he says he's seen with his brothers career.

When it comes to his brother James, Livingston says he's a great musician and an even better brother.

For now, he's looking forward to next week's show in New Hampshire.