James Taylor: "American Standard is a guitar album - I’ve had some of these arrangements since I started playing"

James Taylor
(Image credit: Future)

If we exclude the insightful protest songs of Bob Dylan, mostly played over simplistic backings, the pithy words and harmonically sophisticated arrangements of Paul Simon, or the often wistful, sometimes jazzy but always poetically sublime meanderings of Joni Mitchell, then James Taylor is the archetypal singer- songwriter-guitarist.

An often troubled intellectual, Taylor’s masterstroke was in putting deeply personal lyrics, sometimes clear but often cryptic, onto a country-folk musical backdrop with deft and hooky acoustic guitar picking at its core.

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.