John Lloyd Young - The Language of Soul

People who don’t know about @johnlloydyoungfriends often ask me, “Why do you fly across the country or drive several hours to see someone perform?  Is it really worth it?  Is he really that good?”

So I explain that yes, he really is that good, and it is completely worth it - and why.  After seeing him perform Tuesday night at Cafe Carlyle, I have even more reasons to give them as to why they should take any opportunity they can to experience a JLY show.

JLY proves that he can take any song and make it his own, no matter what language the song happens to be in.  He takes the time to explain a little bit about each song, and it’s a pleasure to learn more about these songs and why they are so special.  But even if he didn’t, we would still be moved - with JLY, music is truly the universal language as he not only performs each selection fluently, but with so much emotion that you can’t help but feel every word and note along with him.  He sang “Ming Ri Tian Ya (If Tomorrow Comes)”, which I have heard several times but still moves me to tears.  It was my first time to hear him sing “Usted”, which is a song I already loved…but hearing him perform it took my breath away.  He debuted a new language this time at The Carlyle, performing “Parla Più Piano (the theme from The Godfather) with so much passion that you could feel it throughout the room.  He was born to sing in Italian - and not just because he is Italian.  It’s because he feels it in his soul, which he does with every song he chooses in any language.  He told us how he learned this song because it was requested to be sung for the Vice President and his wife a couple of weeks ago, and how nervous he was to do it that first time.  Needless to say, he has perfected it in a short amount of time.  Bigger than Pacino and DeNiro - my hand to God.  :o)  

It was also my first time to hear JLY perform the Doors classic, “The Spy”, and I was definitely not disappointed.  You get that feeling that he just might know the deepest secret fears of everyone in the room, just from the way he performs it.  It’s better than the original, as are “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “To Make You Feel My Love” - he is so good at making all of these songs his own that it’s hard to listen to the original after you’ve heard JLY.  I actually heard “Maybe I’m Amazed” come on the radio as I was driving home from NYC yesterday…and no offense to Sir Paul (who I am a fan of), but his version just didn’t do it for me - it paled in comparison to JLY’s.  It really is a gift to be able to do that with songs like “Just One Smile”, “Since I Fell For You”, and so many others.

Of course he also treated us to “Sherry” with the moves, letting us sing along as well.  Most special for me was “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” - which is a personal favorite of mine for many reasons ever since I was a little girl.  He told us how he has not only sung this one (like “Sherry”) over three thousand times, but how many Presidents and dignitaries he has performed it for, including the recent performance for current Second Lady Karen Pence.  After hearing all of that, it made it even more special to have him serenade us with this song…and yes, that also took my breath away.

One of the best things about seeing JLY perform is hearing all of these various anecdotes that he is gracious enough to share with us, that make us feel like we are all sitting in his living room listening to him share his stories.  Stories about his trip to Cuba with the arts delegation are always touching, especially hearing how he performed for and with Smokey Robinson, and how all of the schoolchildren who met Smokey had no idea who he was, yet ran to him and clung to him like a grandfather because of his sweet spirit.  And one of my favorite things is hearing the stories behind the songs that JLY wrote with Tommy Faragher, as well as songs that Tommy and other songwriters wrote that JLY has chosen to perform and/or record.  It’s always fascinating to hear how a song came about or where the idea came from.  And he really shines on the original material - I can’t wait to hear “Almost There”, “Alone Together”, and “Slow Dawn Calling” on a recording….and I truly do believe that these songs belong on the radio, especially “Slow Dawn Calling”.  I have faith that we will all be hearing it there soon, and that many of the people who ask me if JLY is really that good will take notice and realize it for themselves.  That day is definitely coming.

Other highlights of the night?  Having JLY come and hang out with us at the bar while Tommy and the band performed an amazing instrumental number, watching many members of the Carlyle staff dancing to the music (I caught a reflection of one of them in the mirror by the bar - dancing in the kitchen), and seeing JLY gain new fans that were seated at the bar with us who had never seen him before and were completely blown away.  These two ladies discovered what we all know, and what others will soon discover - that John Lloyd Young is an incredibly talented man with a beautiful soul who can work magic with anything he performs.  He speaks - and sings - the language of soul.  If you have the chance to see him perform, do it, whenever and wherever you can.  He really is THAT good.  :o)  

Most electric motorcycles look like bad streetfighter knockoffs. But we reckon @shanghaicustoms have cracked the styling code.
Expat Kiwi Matthew Waddick and his crew are the men behind this beautiful prototype electric street tracker, with discreet mesh panels hiding the battery packs.
It’s set to go into production soon. Any takers?
Hit the link in our bio for more great shots in hi-res.
#electricmotorcycle #rideelectric #custommotorcycle #motorcyclesofinstagram #bikeexif

A falta de ti, me bebo un café, me fumo un cigarro. A falta de ti duermo, te imagino. A falta de ti me aprieto fuerte las entrañas y grito en silencio. A falta de ti me emborracho y cuando cierro los ojos te sueño.
—  Yazheel Yaoyoltzin (Tlatemoani)