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James Taylor Tours With Shure

ONE-MAN MICROPHONE
James Taylor tours with Shure‘s KSM9

NILES, IL, October 5, 2007– A personal experience for both James Taylor and his fans, the One Man Band Tour intersperses a full concert set of 20 songs with a rich narrative highlighting events spanning the artist’s life. Illustrated with photos and drawings from Taylor’s own private archives, the monologue reveals the inspirations behind the songs, offering rare insight into a body of work known widely the world over.

“The hardcore fans turn out for this show, and everyone gets to listen to all the songs they came to hear,” explains David Morgan, One Man Band’s front-of-house audio engineer. “Along with the music, they share in everything from a look at James’ old black-and-white photos and home movies to stories of old girlfriends and adventures. Comic relief abounds as well, including a joke now and again about Karen.”

Those familiar with Taylor’s song “Carolina in My Mind” already know that Karen was the “silver sun watching the morning come”. Today, almost 40 years after her metaphorical debut in song, Karen reappears before One Man Band audiences in a police sketch resulting from her time spent with Taylor on an island off the coast of Spain in 1968.

As Taylor looks inward and travels back with One Man Band, the task of developing the show’s audio blueprint in the here-and-now was assigned to Morgan as a natural outgrowth of his work with the artist, which began with 2005′s Summer’s Here Tour. Since March of 2006, Taylor has alternately traveled with both his full band and as a one-man act, with the latter being captured for release on DVD this summer just past at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA by Sydney Pollack and Don Mischer.

A touring veteran known as the man out front for Paul Simon, Bette Midler, and Steely Dan, among others, Morgan approached his One Man Band assignment along with monitor engineer Andy Sottile.

“The first thing I wanted to examine before I started touring with James was his vocal sound,” Morgan recalls. “He had been using an AKG 535 for quite a while, and had made a switch to in-ear monitors some time ago. Regardless of who I’m working with at any given moment, I always try to put myself in the performer’s place. I know the 535 as well as any mic, and since it has a pattern approaching omni at either end of the frequency spectrum, I reasoned that if I were him, I’d want a vocal mic a bit more suited for use with in-ear monitors. The off-axis information coming into the 535 wasn’t ideal in this application.”

Enter Shure’s hardwired KSM9, a reference-quality microphone utilizing dual-diaphragm construction Morgan had been experimenting with since its prototype stages in 2004 when it didn’t even have a name. Impressed with the vocal quality after using it on the Bette Midler tour that year with backing vocalist Margaret Dorn, again in 2005 at a Katrina benefit concert given by Simon & Garfunkel, as well as with James Taylor’s backing vocalists during the Summer’s Here Tour, Morgan brought the mic in full production trim with switchable cardioid/supercardioid versatility to the first One Man Band rehearsals held in Taylor’s barn in Lenox, MA in 2006.

“The KSM9 has a realistic quality to it I’ve never experienced with a mic built for live sound applications,” Morgan says. It’s clean, transparent, sweet-sounding, and honest. Not at all hard to manage either, and for James Taylor, it works perfectly with his in-ear monitors, which was one of my main concerns. Quite often, mics with tight pattern control like this one come back off-axis hard and distorted, but such is not the case with the KSM9. Everything sounds amazingly true. It’s easy to fall under the illusion that you’re not even listening to a microphone at all.”

Lacking a huge input list as such due to the show’s rather singular character, Morgan fleshed out the One Man Band stage with other offerings from Shure including a pair of KSM44s on Larry Golding’s piano.

“What I’m trying to do in a most basic sense is give everyone in the audience the impression that they are sitting in their own living room listening to James and Larry Golding playing just for them,” Morgan says of his approach to the show. “In order to create that kind of intimacy, you have to have realism. I’m getting just that from these mics, and in the case of the KSM9, this may just be about the best thing from Shure since the SM57.”

About Shure Incorporated

Founded in 1925, Shure Incorporated (www.shure.com) is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics. Over the years, the Company has designed and produced many high-quality professional and consumer audio products that have become legendary for performance, reliability, and value. Shure‘s diverse product line includes world-class wired microphones and wireless microphone systems for performers and presenters, award-winning earphones and headsets for MP3 players and smartphones, and top-rated phonograph cartridges for professional DJ‘s. Today, Shure products are the first choice whenever audio performance is a top priority.

Shure Incorporated corporate headquarters is located in Niles, Illinois, in the United States. The Company has additional manufacturing facilities and regional sales offices in China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, The United Kingdom, and The United States.

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