March 15, 2021 | « back

BERKSHIREEAGLE.COM — James Taylor wins Grammy — his sixth — for ‘American Standard’

Berkshires-based singer-songwriter James Taylor is the winner of his sixth Grammy Award, for his most recent studio album, “American Standard,” released in February 2020.

The citation for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album was his sixth Grammy win. The Grammys were handed out in a nationally televised ceremony Sunday night.

The rode a ski lift in Montana.

He offered congratulations to the team that worked on the critically lauded album of 14 pop and Broadway classics, including his wife, Kim, the Fantasy Records label, co-producers John Pizzarelli, the noted guitarist, and longtime collaborator Dave O’Donnell, as well as studio manager Ellyn Kusmin.

“I’m tickled pink, and very grateful,” Taylor said.

The category he won included nominees “Blue Umbrella” by Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian, “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter” by Harry Connick Jr., “Unfollow the Rules” by Rufus Wainwright, and ”Judy” by Renée Zellweger.

“American Standard,” his 19th studio release, charted at No. 1 for Billboard’s Top Album Sales, Top Rock and Top Americana/Folk listings, and No. 4 on the Top 200 album chart the week after it was released.

It was his 13th top 10 album overall, making him the first artist ever with top 10 albums in each of the past six decades, according to an announcement from his management team.

The album was intertwined with his audio memoir for, “Break Shot,” a deeply introspective take on his childhood and early career.

During a revealing fireside chat with The Eagle at his home studio, Taylor mused about the long and winding trail, including bouts of depression that led him to spend time at the McLean psychiatric hospital outside Boston, and then at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge to kick heroin.

“Austen Riggs is very close to where I live now,” Taylor said. “Life circles around.”

Taylor, a resident of the town of Washington, turned 73 last Friday.

Whether he will perform at Tanglewood on July 4 depends on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s plans for a potential partial reopening of its summer home. An announcement about the season is expected in the coming weeks.

Taylor also has an extensive North American tour with 39 shows rescheduled from last year, beginning May 14 in New Orleans and ending Oct. 2 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The U.S. tour (with the exception of Tanglewood) includes Jackson Browne, while the Canadian performances feature Bonnie Raitt.

Coinciding with the album’s release, Taylor promoted it on “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Good Morning America,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Live with Kelly Ryan.” He also was featured as the “Mega Mentor” on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Album tracks included Walter Donaldson and George A. Whiting’s “My Blue Heaven,” Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner’s “Almost Like Being In Love,” from the Broadway show “Brigadoon,” Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s “The Nearness of You,” Frank Loesser’s “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” from the Broadway show “Guys and Dolls,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” from “South Pacific,” the Billie Holiday-Arthur Herzog Jr. classic “God Bless The Child,” and the first cover of a song originally featured in the 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon Katnip Kollege, “As Easy As Rolling Off A Log.”