Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor released his new album, American Standard last week to glowing reviews and major chart entries in the US and overseas. The Fantasy Records release sold over 82,000 equivalent album units in its first week landing at #4 on Billboard‘s Top 200 Album chart and #1 on its Top Album Sales, Top Rock, and Top Americana/Folk charts.
American Standard, the 19th studio album of his illustrious career, is Taylor’s 13th Top 10 album overall and with it, he becomes the first artist ever with Top 10 albums in each of the last six decades. The collection also had impressive chart debuts internationally landing at #1 on the Canadian chart and #11 in the UK.
Listen to and buy American Standard HERE. Taylor just wrapped series of high-profile promotional appearances on Good Morning America, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,Late Night with Seth Meyers and Live with Kelly and Ryan. In addition, he performed on iHeartRadio’s specialICONS with James Taylor: In Celebration of His New Album American Standard, which was livestreamed and broadcast on radio stations across the country.
The U.K.’s Independent said American Standard is “the American songbook elegantly traced,” and USA Today affirmed, “[American Standard] covers the Great American Songbook faithfully and masterfully.” Taylor is also featured on the current cover of American Songwriter Magazine and has appeared recently in Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, the LA Times and on the cover of Parade Magazine.On American Standard, Taylor, reimagines some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century, infusing new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art.
The 14 carefully chosen selections naturally feature Taylor’s one-of-a-kind vocal ability and incomparable musicianship, but what makes the album so unique is the inventive way he and fellow co-producers, longtime collaborator Dave O’Donnell and esteemed guitarist John Pizzarelli, approached the project: beautifully simple, stripped-down guitar arrangements based on Taylor’s and Pizzarelli’s skillful guitar work rather than the more traditional piano. The effect is mesmerizing.
A small sampling of the album’s inspired repertoire includes James’ swinging take on Walter Donaldson and George A. Whiting’s “My Blue Heaven,” Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner’s enduring “Almost Like Being In Love,” from the score of Brigadoon; Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s enchanting “The Nearness of You,” Frank Loesser’s jaunty “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” from the Broadway smash Guys and Dolls; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s piercing social commentary from South Pacific, “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” a superb reading of the Billie Holiday-Arthur Herzog Jr. classic, “God Bless The Child,” and the first ever cover of a song originally featured in the 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon Katnip Kollege, “As Easy As Rolling Off A Log.”
In a recent interview with Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday Morning, Taylor talked about his inspiration for the new album as well as his previously released audio-only memoir Break Shot. A deeply personal and authentic memoir, Break Shot illuminates the deep connection Taylor has with the songs on American Standard, and also takes listeners through the triumphs and traumas of his childhood and difficult family life.
In addition to the new album, Taylor has announced a major US tour with special guest Jackson Browne, kicking off on May 15th at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The tour will reach 26 cities, nationwide. The US tour follows his already announced coast to coast Canadian Tour with Bonnie Raitt. Taylor will also be returning to Fenway Park in Boston with his All-Star Band on June 21st for a special show featuring Brandi Carlile and Shawn Colvin. For more information please visit https://tour.jamestaylor.com/.
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