When his father is James Taylor and his mother is Carly Simon, music is quite literally in artist Ben Taylor’s DNA.
The State Theatre will help to showcase just how much Taylor takes after his parents at 9 p.m. tonight, where Taylor is set to perform.
The singer/songwriter is scheduled to begin promptly at 9 p.m., but the theater doors open at 7 p.m., and the opening act, Grace Weber, will go on at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $18, but the theater is having a special where tickets are $15 for students who show their Penn State ID.
Marketing director for The State Theatre Cathy Brown described Ben Taylor as a singer/songwriter with a folk and country sound.
Taylor’s album “Listening” was released Aug. 14 and featured the single “Oh Brother,” which Rolling Stone magazine said “shows off Taylor’s soulful voice — which bears more than a passing similarity to his father's pipes.”
“He looks and sounds like his dad, but is more contemporary,” Brown said, who is a James Taylor fan and first heard Ben Taylor’s music when her daughter discovered him years ago.
Grace Weber is the opening performance of the night and describes her sound as indie/soul with some pop.
“It’s a mix between Adele and Sara Bareilles with some Carole King ,” Weber said.
The singer/songwriter’s first album “Hope & Heart” was released in September 2011, and she said her vocal influence derives from women like Billie Holiday, Indie.Arie, Etta James and even Beyoncé .
As for songwriting, Weber cites artists like Bon Iver and Carole King as her inspiration.
“I’m also inspired by my peers every day,” Weber said.
Weber, who performed with Gavin DeGraw at this summer’s “Summerfest ,” said she is on a two-week tour with Taylor that began on Oct. 1 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“Ben is so funny,” Weber said. “He tells stories and talks about what each song means to him during his performance.”
It will be a great show, “watching someone in his element perform,” Brown said.
Weber said the two match each other well.
“We both care a lot about storytelling,” she said.
She added that both she and Taylor connect to the audience through words and melodies.
For both artists, their music is a reflection of the things going on in their lives, Weber said.
“Our music is the catalyst for that,” she said.
Weber is in the process of working on her sophomore album, which is due out in 2013. New songs from this album will be played at her performance tonight, Weber said.
Brown said concertgoers should expect a very talented musician when watching Taylor.
“You can’t argue with his musical roots,” she said.