James Taylor has shared the video of a 2018 performance of a lesser-known gem in his peerless songbook. “Nothing Like A Hundred Miles,” featured on his gold-certified 1976 album In The Pocket, comes from his show with his band on June 3 that year at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA.
The show came during Taylor’s North American summer tour of 2018, which came ahead of July dates in the UK and Europe including his appearance on a stellar bill with Paul Simon and Bonnie Raitt in London’s Hyde Park. Raitt had been scheduled to be the special guest on the first leg of the North American run, but had to miss the start due to an unexpected medical situation that required immediate attention. She joined the tour later that June, after Sheryl Crow had guested at three shows including the two at the Hollywood Bowl that immediately preceded the Sacramento concert.
Taylor’s All-Star Band on the tour featured the familiar, distinguished line-up with vocals by Arnold McCuller, Kate Markowitz, and Andrea Zonn, the latter also featured on fiddle. Kevin Hays played organ, Steve Gadd was on drums, Michael Landau on electric guitar, Jimmy Johnson on bass, and Luis Conte percussion.
Raitt, indeed, made an appearance on harmony vocals on In The Pocket, but on a different track, “Family Man.” The album version of “Nothing Like A Hundred Miles” featured the rich harmonies of David Crosby and Graham Nash, along with Taylor himself. Waddy Wachtel played electric guitar on the song and David Lindley featured on dobro, with Leland Sklar on bass and Russ Kunkel on drums.
The song was covered in 1988 by acoustic guitarist and bluegrass musician Tony Rice and the same year brought another notable interpretation by Ray Charles and B.B. King, on Charles’ album Just Between Us. The set also featured guest appearances by Gladys Knight, Lou Rawls, and Kenny Carr.