James announces his next JT covers challenge! The next featured album is his 1968 debut album, James Taylor.
You’ll find the James Taylor track list here. Please dig deep into these choices and do not be shy about your performance! James doesn’t care how talented you are — this is about community, and he loves to see your effort, enthusiasm and collaborations with friends and family (we all do!).
Happy first birthday to American Standard which was released on February 28, 2020. Click below for a special look at the making of the album set to James’s recording of “God Bless The Child”, and click here to pick up the album if you haven’t already!
In recognition of Black History Month, here are James’s lyrics to his 1991 song, “Shed a Little Light” (from New Moon Shine), dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. The video performance is from the Lowcountry Voices‘ 2015 guest appearance with James at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC.
Oh let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women, living on the earth
Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together
With a desire to see the world become
A place in which our children can grow free and strong
We are bound together by the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead, we are bound then we are bound
There is a feeling like the clenching of the fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
Though the body sleeps the heart will never rest
(Shed a little light ohh lord) Shed a little light oh lord
(So that we can see) Ohh now
(Just a little light ohh lord) Just a little light oh lord
(Gonna stand it on up) Stand it on up
(Stand it up ohh Lord) Get down
(Gonna walk it on down) Gonna shed a little
(Shed a little light ohh lord)
(Can’t get no light from a dollar bill)
(Don’t give no light from the TV screen) No No No No
(When I open my eyes, I want to drink my fill)
(From the well on the hill)
Then you know where I’ll be
Hazey Jane (aka Karen Landau) has just released a new album! All Kings features backing by Mike Landau (Karen’s husband and James’s longtime guitarist), Charley Drayton, Andy Hess and Greg Leisz. The album was mixed by James’s music producer extraordinaire, Dave O’Donnell.
Click now to see the video for the title track, and visit HazeyJane.net for more!
James’s Audible Original audio memoir, Break Shot, was released just one year ago — in February 2020. To celebrate the release, James sat with journalist Bill Flanagan for a far-reaching on-stage interview at the Sheen Center in New York.
The genre singer/songwriter was named around 1970, give or take, and was said to apply to me among others: Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne… Why that supposed movement didn’t begin with Bob Dylan or even Woody Guthrie or Robert Johnson beats me, maybe they were still “folk“. But, if it means anything, Carole King deserves to be thought of as its epitome. I’d been deep into her songs – “Up on the Roof”, “Natural Woman, “…Cryin’ in the Rain” – for a decade before Danny Kortchmar introduced us in Los Angeles in 1970. She played piano on my “Sweet Baby James” while working on the songs for her own “Tapestry”. Our collaboration, our extended musical conversation over the next 3 or 4 years was really something wonderful. I’ve said it before but Carole and I found we spoke the same language. Not just that we were both musicians but as if we shared a common ear, a parallel musical/emotional path. And we brought this out in each other, I believe.
It was a big change for Carole to leave NY for LA. She left behind an established, hugely successful career as a Brill Building tunesmith, with her husband/lyricist Gerry Goffin and went west, on her own, with two young daughters. She started writing by herself, about herself – that is to say, from her own life. It came out of her so strong, so fierce and fresh. So clearly in her own voice. And yet, so immediately accessible, so familiar: you knew these songs already. I had that experience the first time I heard Carole sing “You’ve Got a Friend” from the stage of the Troubadour: “oh yeah, that one” Incredible that this song didn’t always exist… Carole’s focus was her family: Louise and Sherry and imminently, Levi and Molly. She had no time for the stuff the rest of us in Laurel Canyon were up to. She had her family and her songs. Certainly she would have her adventures, dramatic emotional switchbacks, in years to come. But in those days, she seemed to watch the dancers with a kind, wry detachment. To me, she was a port in the storm, a good and serious person with an astonishing gift, and, of course, a friend.