James Taylor has shared the YouTube video of a performance of his longtime live staple “Steamroller Blues” featuring Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. It was filmed on November 11, 2018 at the second VetsAid festival in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA.
As at just about all of Taylor’s live shows for decades, Taylor oversees a hugely entertaining, slow blues rendition of the song first heard on his Sweet Baby James album of 1970. He delivers the lead vocal in his deliberately exaggerated and lighthearted bluesy style, with Walsh weighing in on electric guitar. Tom Evans (saxophone) and Mike Thompson (piano) also star in a stirring band rendition.
“Steamroller Blues” was notably covered on stage by Elvis Presley, as captured in his 1973 live album Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite. The song was also recorded by Merry Clayton, Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon, Tower of Power and many others.
Walsh created VetsAid in 2017 to help returning US soldiers and their families with holistic, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care. He was also on the bill for the 2018 event with fellow Eagle Don Henley, Chris Stapleton, Ringo Starr, and Haim.
The arena audience featured military veterans, active-duty military and their families, and raised over $800,000 for charity partners supporting vets and their families. The VetsAid Jobs Fair, in cooperation with Operation GoodJobs and Goodwill WA, connect dozens of veterans and families with meaningful employment and a living wage as a result of the funding,
The VetsAid veterans charity event was founded in 2017 by Walsh to raise funds and awareness for the urgent and significant needs of returning US soldiers and their families in the areas of holistic, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care.
The VetsAid 2018 Band featured here included Taylor, Walsh, Evans, and Thompson as well as Will Hollis, Scott Crago, Steuart Smith, Jimmy Johnson, Erica Swindell, Lara Johnston, Lily Elise, Chris Holt, and Milo Deering.
James Taylor’s Over The Rainbow – The American Standard EP, released in November 2020 as a companion to his American Standard album, can be bought here.