In what may have been the largest gathering under one Island roof since sometime in 2019, a joyful crowd of close to 800 music lovers turned out for Kate Taylor’s record release party Tuesday at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. More listeners camped in the dark outside, some dancing to the music that spilled out into the campgrounds.

The show was a celebration of Ms. Taylor’s new album Why Wait, and hosted by the record’s producer, Peter Asher, who also produced Ms. Taylor’s debut LP Sister Kate in 1971.

“She’s incredibly soulful, with a deep understanding of rhythm and blues and where it comes from and what it means,” said Mr. Asher, one-half of the 1960s British performing duo Peter and Gordon and fleetingly the artists and repertoire chief for the Beatles’ Apple Records label.

Capacity crowd at the Tabernacle cheered on Kate Taylor and friends Tuesday night. — Maria Thibodeau

Structured like a mid-20th-century rock and roll revue, the Tabernacle concert was guided by Mr. Asher as he interspersed music-business memories with crowd-pleasing versions of  songs both classic and obscure by Paul McCartney, Del Shannon, Hoyt Axton, Phil Spector and other hit-makers of the era.

Before introducing Ms. Taylor, Mr. Asher recalled his first meeting with her brother James, whom he would soon sign as Apple Records’ debut artist in 1968.

“He told me he’d come from a mystical Island I’d never heard of, very far away,” Mr. Asher said, to laughter from the Vineyard crowd.

Mr. Asher became Mr. Taylor’s manager and met the entire, musical Taylor family — including Kate, then a teenager, whose singing especially caught his ear.

“I loved the quality of her voice, which is completely unusual and immediately recognizable,” he recalled.

Kate welcomed her daughter, Liz Witham, who sang harmony.

“It’s a dream come true to work with him again,” Ms. Taylor told the audience, as she took the Tabernacle stage amid cheers and ovations. Tuesday’s concert proved that the voice Mr. Asher first heard at the dawn of the 1970s is still as clear, distinctive and captivating today.

Showcasing the new album, which has songs by the Beatles, Taj Mahal, Mr. Taylor and the sibling’s nephew, Aquinnah singer-songwriter Isaac Taylor, among others, Ms. Taylor got the audience clapping and singing along to her original title tune, the gospel-fueled Why Wait.

She also welcomed local guests including the Ukeladies (Judy Belushi, Joanne Ashe and Laurie David) and her daughter, filmmaker Liz Witham, who sang harmony.

Among the standouts in a generous set: Betty Everett’s rousing It’s In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song), Taj Mahal’s She Caught the Katy (with a gender reverse) and Isaac Taylor’s tender love song to Aquinnah, Beams of the Queen.

Ms. Taylor also brought the excited audience to nearly pin-drop silence with her rendition of James Taylor’s pensive lullaby, You Can Close Your Eyes.

Throughout the evening, the headliners were backed by a band with impeccable rock credentials including former Wings drummer Steve Holley, Neil Diamond’s longtime bassist Bill Cinque (playing guitar) and keyboardist, guitarist and singer Jeff Alan Ross, who was a later member of the Welsh rock band Badfinger.

But it was two other members of the revue who got the loudest applause: British guitarist and singer Albert Lee and electric bassist Leland Sklar, who also played on Sister Kate 50 years ago.

Why Wait also features Sister Kate alumni Russ Kunkel on drums and Danny Kortchmar on bass.

Ms. Taylor and Mr. Asher now head out on tour, which takes them to Nashville next week.

For information on the tour and to purchase Why Wait, visit