James Taylor’s “Covers”: Live studio recording with the entire band.

September 29, 2008 | By | Reply More

James Taylor will be releasing his new CD, “Covers,” tomorrow.   I’m in.  In my opinion, James Taylor is an incredible musician who surrounds himself with incredible musicians. Like all geniuses, he’s reinvented himself several times along the way, and he’s been cranking out hits for almost 40 years.

Anyone who has spent time playing Taylor’s music (I have), especially his more recent works such as “Hourglass” or “October Road,” immediately realizes that Taylor simply makes it look easy to play and sing (consider, for example, “4th of July”).  There’s a lot going on in his work, but it often doesn’t seem like it while I play the role of listener.

As a musician, it’s an entirely different story.  There are no straight “C” chords anywhere in sight.  You won’t find a measure without some sort of hitch to the rhythm.  I’m an experienced guitarist (I still occasionally play out), but I am especially amazed how challenging it is to play Taylor’s recent creations well, in such as way as to make it look easy. To those who are doubters, pick up a guitar and give it a try.

As I mentioned, Taylor is releasing a new CD tomorrow and there’s a wrinkle to it.  He gathered his entire ensemble (there’s probably about a dozen musicians in all) into one studio and recorded the music straight through.  This technique offers the control of the sound that you can only get in the studio as well as the feel that you can only get when the band performs as a single unit (rather than layering the tracks, as is so often done).

I enjoyed watching and listening to this video, which further explains the how and why.


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Category: music

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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