Sweet Baby James: The Music of James Taylor
— A generation of singer/musicians influenced by James Taylor pays tribute to him with their versions of his classic bittersweet country rock songs built around love, friendship, loss and life, including “Sweet Baby James,” “Sunny Skies,” “Steamroller,” “Blossom,” “Oh, Susannah,” and “Fire And Rain.” A fitting “hats off” to one of the greatest song stylists of the 20th century. (Company of seven including Piano/synth, guitar, bass, drums, cello & vocals.)
The Sweet Baby James tribute concert stars the multi-talented and multi-faceted Bob Stillman who has lit up some of New York’s best-known stages as writer, musician and actor. He's been nominated twice for Tony Awards---first as actor, composer and onstage pianist in “Dirty Blonde,” and later as one of the songwriters for “Urban Cowboy.” Bob has also brought his uniquely soulful original songs to such popular New York venues as Joe’s Pub, The Cutting Room, Wilson’s and Elaine’s. His just-released debut CD “Come Down Angel,” co-produced with Tom Corwin (whose credits include work with Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder) has been steadily attracting listeners, and was selected as one of host Zoe Montana’s “Essentials” on radioio.com’s Acoustic channel. Featuring solid grooves, soaring melodies and biting lyrics, Bob’s songs combine folk-rock, jazz, pop and classical influences to create a style that is deeply personal, intimate, sophisticated and emotionally rich.
Last season Bob co-starred with Christine Ebersole in the acclaimed Broadway musical "Grey Gardens." As George Gold Strong, real life friend and accompanist to Big Edie Beale, Bob once again has the opportunity to combine his piano playing, acting and singing in a brilliant new piece of theater.
Born in New York City, Bob studied piano and composition at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools beginning at age 9. He went on to graduate with honors in music from Princeton. His other New York stage credits include Molina in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (opposite Vanessa Williams), and the dying singer/songwriter in the cult off-Broadway hit "The Last Session." He's also been featured in some of the coolest new musical theater pieces by such new-wave composers as Adam Guettel (“Saturn Returns” at the Public Theater, released on Nonesuch as “Myths and Hymns”) and Michael John LaChiusa (“Hello Again” at Lincoln Center.
Kids of a certain age (and possibly their parents) will remember Bob as Reed on Nickelodeon's "Allegra's Window," where he learned not only how to talk to puppets, but how to write songs for them as well. (They sing funny...but then, that's the point.)
Featured in the show is Connie James who has spent the last 20 years as a club and studio singer in New York. She has also been nominated for a Pixie Award for Best Song/Soundtrack in a Motion Picture for the song “Three Words”, which she co-wrote and recorded with Composer/Pianist Onaje Allen Gumbs, for the short subject film “Whoa”. The film received the Angel Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003. The film was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
A classically trained singer with a degree in music from the University of South Carolina, several years ago Ms. James decided to add acting to her repertoire of talents, landing roles on NBC’s “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit” and “Homicide: Life on the Street”. Ms. James’ voice can be heard as the announcer in commercials for “Partnership for a Drug Free America” and for Denny’s “Skillets for Breakfast”.
"In a pitch-perfect supporting cast, Bob Stillman deserves a special shoutout as George Gould Strong, whose song, “Drift Away,” brings depth to what could have been a stock character."
-Travers, Rolling Stone
-Feingold, Village Voice
-Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News
for DIRTY BLONDE
"Excellent...invaluable...a dream of a chameleon"
-Brantley, NY Times
for THE LAST SESSION
“Bob Stillman’s nervy performance is like a live wire that both holds the show together and electrifies it.”
-Feingold, Village Voice
"The standout performance comes from a multi-talented Bob Stillman, whose skills both as actor and musician not only make the death-bent musician credible but enable you to care about him as much as the fictional people around him do."
-Barnes, NY Post
“Performs with unusual power and grace”
-Kissel, NY Daily News
for AS YOU LIKE IT
"Bob Stillman sings the play's songs with great eloquence"
.'...It's a pleasure to hear a true singer, Bob Stillman as Amiens, handling Shakespeare's songs.'
"But perhaps the most striking element in this production is the music composed by Willliam Finn for the songs. As sweetly rendered by Bob Stillman's engaging Amiens, Shakespeare's lyrics at last sing."
Sweet Baby James
Lo And Behold
Fire And Rain
Anywhere Like Heaven
Oh Baby, Don't You Loose Your Lip On Me
Suite For 20G
Act Two will be drawn from the following:
How Sweet It Is (Duet)
Never Die Young
Secret O Life
Shed a Little Light (Duet)
Shower The People
Sweet Potato Pie
Your Smiling Face
You've Got A Friend