It’s been a long time comin’!

‘Sweet Baby James’ hits the ‘Austin City Limits’ stage

Story courtesy of Austin City Limits

It’s been a long time coming. James Taylor has been near the top of our wishlist for years. Now the stars have aligned, and we were thrilled to at last welcome the legendary singer/songwriter to the Austin City Limits stage for a special show full of songs from his new LP Before This World, his first collection of original music in 13 years, and deep cuts from across his long career. The program will air on KET Nov. 14.

 

Taylor and his band (featuring original Saturday Night Live band member Lou Marini and legendary drummer Steve Gadd) opened with “Wandering,” a gentle, reflective song from his 1975 LP Gorilla. He followed with the funky “Me and My Guitar,” another gem from the early ’70s, and “Copperline,” a nostalgic folk-popper from New Moon Shine, his first LP of the ’90s.

Taylor stayed with more recent material for the next pair of cuts, including the new album’s positivity anthem “Today Today Today” and the ’90s-era ballad “Line ’em Up.” Taylor then jumped back to 1970 for his self-described “tree-huggers’ anthem,” “Country Road,” a crowd favorite from his breakthrough Sweet Baby James. Then it was back to the present for another pair from New Moon Shine and Before This World; the rousing, gospel-inflected “Shed a Little Light;” and the Boston Red Sox mash note “Angels of Fenway.”

Austin City Limits: James Taylor
KET Saturday, Nov. 14 • 11/10 pm

Paying tribute to the state in which he was performing, the perpetually smiling Taylor essayed his ’80s-vintage cover of Texas rock pioneer Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.” Then he took a giant leap back in time to 1968, lifting his lilting hit “Carolina in My Mind” from his self-titled debut, originally released on the Beatles’ Apple label.

Donning an electric guitar, Taylor shifted gears with 1970’s bluesy, rumbling “Steamroller,” which served to showcase the talents of his band. His iconic take on his friend Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” unsurprisingly earned him a standing ovation, while “Sweet Baby James,” his variation on cowboy ballads, cooled the crowd back down like a misty rain on the dusty trail. Taylor then invited the adoring audience to join him on a raucous run through his hit cover of Marvin Gaye’s joyful “How Sweet It Is.”

The main set ended as gently as it began with the clarinet/flugelhorn/violin-enhanced Before This World ballad “You and I Again.”

But of course it wasn’t over. Taylor reappeared and brought out a surprise guest: Austinite Shawn Colvin, who joined him for a lovely take on his 1971 song “You Can Close Your Eyes.” But it still wasn’t over, as Taylor and his band came back for an unplanned second encore, starting with the frisky “Mexico” and ending with the grooving “Your Smiling Face,” which drove the audience wild.

It was a spectacular way to close out a landmark ACL taping, and we can’t wait for you to see the show when it airs November 14!

Until then, watch Taylor talk about his passion for music on PBS NewsHour.


Go big blue!

Big Blue Live dives into life in Monterey Bay

It’s one great big reality show, the nature version, when scientists, filmmakers and photographers, animal behaviorists and other experts come together for amazing live television.

Their goal is to document the extraordinary rejuvenation of the once endangered and now thriving ecosystem of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California. Big Blue Live begins Monday, Aug. 31 at 8/7 pm on KET and continues Tuesday and Wednesday nights, also at 8/7 pm.

Expect to see some of the world’s most charismatic marine creatures — humpback whales, blue whales, sea lions, dolphins, elephant seals, sea otters, great white sharks, shearwaters, and brown pelicans — convene in this once-a-year event.

The multi-platform event will be anchored by four on-air correspondents from a reporting hub at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and from aboard NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ research vessels. Leading scientists and other experts will provide additional insights.

Monterey Bay’s unique underwater geography, with a deep ocean canyon close to shore, brings species by the thousands into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

At this time of the year, krill and other small marine creatures attract sardines and anchovies to the bay, which, in turn, attracts other links in the marine life food chain.

The on-air correspondents include Dr. M Sanjayan, the host of EARTH A New Wild, and the senior scientist at Conservation International and Dr. Joy Reidenberg, the host of Sex in the Wild, a comparative anatomist with expertise in marine mammals. She will be on location as a primary science contributor, providing insight into the anatomy of the wide range of marine life in Monterey Bay.

It’s live — and online!

The multi-platform, digital experience for Big Blue Live will be at PBS.org/BigBlueLive, where users can watch the live streaming simulcast of each episode. You can also watch the broadcast and interact with a series of live marine wildlife cameras throughout Monterey Bay.

The site will also be a social hub, where you can discover, explore and join the national conversation about the series.

To participate in the conversation, and for a chance to have your post featured on the website’s social mosaic, use hashtag #BigBlueLive across social media.

KET recruits an all-star!

Welcome to Doug Flynn, new host of Kentucky Life

Doug Flynn, a former Major League Baseball player and Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, is the new host of our popular series Kentucky Life. He steps up to the plate when the series premieres its 21st season in November.

“We’re happy to have Doug bringing his enthusiasm and love for Kentucky to the series,” said KET executive director Shae Hopkins. “He’s a natural storyteller that we think viewers will appreciate and enjoy.”

Doug himself is looking forward to joining KET.

“As host, it will be an honor and privilege to carry on this rich tradition of sharing our state’s proud history, geographic diversity, and natural beauty with my fellow Kentuckians,” he said.

During his 11-year career in baseball, Doug won two World Championships with the Reds and a Gold Glove award at second base for the New York Mets.

Born and raised in Lexington, Doug currently resides there with his wife, Olga. He is a banking officer with Central Bank & Trust and is involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations, including Hope for the Warriors and the American Association for the Prevention of Substance Abuse in Athletics.

A graduate of Somerset Community College, Doug has been inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

Kentucky Life is one KET’s most popular local programs and is overseen by series producer Brandon Wickey and executive producers Mike Brower and Craig Cornwell. The series has been in production since 1995. Doug is the series’s third host; former Kentucky Life hosts are Dave Shuffett and Byron Crawford.


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