Rolling Stone has posted a feature article by Brian Hiatt, who interviews James Taylor about his upcoming release Covers. The article will also appear in the upcoming October issue of Rolling Stone magazine, issue #1062.
With its forays into country and soul, the album is the latest proof that Taylor is a more versatile singer than his best-known hits might suggest. Thanks to a regimen of vocal exercises, his voice is perfectly preserved too — strong and clear, that distinctive nasal honk intact. His crystalline vocal tone and precise sense of pitch lend themselves oddly well to R&B — it’s as if he’s so white that he goes all the way around the other side. “He’s just a soulful white guy,” says [longtime backup singer Kate] Markowitz. “Most black singers love his take on things like that.” Taylor is equally comfortable with country — he sings an authentic version of George Jones’ “Why Baby Why” on Covers, as well as Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman.” “He sings the living shit out of it,” says Webb.
The issue also contains a review of Covers, giving it 3 1/2 stars:
Covers, then, is a fan’s notes: a great singer-songwriter playing DJ, showcasing songs he loves for listeners who love him.
(Again, Bridget comes through!)