James Taylor

James Taylor with Jackson Browne

Saturday, June 13th at 7:30pm
DTE Energy Music Theatre
33 Bob Seger Dr
Village of Clarkston, MI 48348
United States

Event Description:

Legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor's released a new album titled, American Standard via Fantasy Records. Listen to the album’s lead track, the Gene De Paul / Sammy Cahn classic, “Teach Me Tonight” here. In addition to the new album, Taylor announced a major U.S. tour with special guest Jackson Browne, kicking off on May 15 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The tour will reach 26 cities nationwide.

The new collection marks Taylor’s 19th studio album and his first release since 2015’s Before This World, his first #1 career album. On American Standard, Taylor infuses new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art, reimagining some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and making them completely his own. Pre-Order American Standard here. 

“I’ve always had songs I grew up with that I remember really well, that were part of the family record collection - and I had a sense of how to approach, so it was a natural to put American Standard together,” explains Taylor. “I know most of these songs from the original cast recordings of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, including My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, Carousel, Showboat and others.” He adds, “In terms of how they were performed and recorded before, we paid attention to the chords and melody, but we were interested in doing something new, and in bringing something new to it, we’ve reinterpreted the songs, that’s what makes it worth doing.”

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 21 for a special show featuring Brandi Carlile and Shawn Colvin. For more information please visit tour.jamestaylor.com. 

The 14 carefully chosen selections on American Standard 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 master 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.”

The album comes on the heels of Taylor’s previously announced Break Shot, a deeply personal and authentic audio-only memoir, for Audible. This one-of-a-kind music and storytelling experience is the first-ever Audible Original performance by James Taylor and will be available on January 31. Pre-order here. Produced by MTV/VH1 veteran Bill Flanagan, Taylor takes listeners through the triumphs and traumas of his childhood and difficult family life. Break Shot illuminates the deep connection Taylor has with the songs on his new album, American Standard.