Back in the late 1960s, James Taylor helped usher in the era of the sensitive singer-songwriter with his eponymous first album and, in 1970, his breakthrough hit "Fire and Rain" from the album "Sweet Baby James."
He's remained consistently popular though the decades, thanks to impeccable musicianship, intelligent compositions, excellent choices in cover songs and a charming persona.
Taylor will bring all that to Tampa on Friday when he performs with his All-Star Band at Amalie Arena (which used to be the Tampa Bay Times Forum).
His band is made up of respected studio musicians rather than "stars." Perhaps the most famous is drummer Steve Gadd, who has worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Eric Clapton.
But, of course, Taylor, who has won and armful of Grammy Awards and a truckload of gold records, and who's been inducted into both the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, will be the main attraction.
Reports from earlier shows along the tour have been uniformly enthusiastic. Taylor has been culling songs from all phases of his career in a show that lasts well over two hours, and complements his music with stories from his career.
He's been opening with "Something in the Way She Moves," from his first album, and he relates the story of playing it in a small room for Paul McCartney and George Harrison, while Taylor was looking for his first break.
Details: 8 p.m. Nov. 14, Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets: $48.40-$116.45. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com.
-- Marty Clear