WALTER SCOTT ASKS... JAMES TAYLOR
On June 16, the multi-Grammy-Award-winning singer/songwriter, 67, will add to his long list of compositions with his first collection of new songs in 13 years on his latest CD, Before This World.
Why so long between albums? “I’ve been recording a lot and touring a lot, but in order to deliver a batch of new songs, it takes a different kind of work. I didn’t really get down to it until I took 2013 off.” Who were your influences when you
were growing up? “The first thing to really impress itself on me was the family record collection—a lot of Broadway, a good deal of folk music and traditional music, like Celtic. Then my older brother Alex introduced me to rhythm and blues, rock and roll and soul music.”
I was surprised to find out Taylor Swift
is named after you. “I was too! Taylor and I played a gig together about two years before she became so amazingly successful. Then she invited me to come finish one of her tours about four years ago at Madison Square Garden.” Where did you get the idea to teach guitar lessons on your website, jamestaylor.com? “I tried to come up with little guitar studies that explained certain things that I do. I was aware that a lot of people were using my style and my songs to teach guitar, and I thought, Why
not get it from the horse’s mouth?”