Singer/songwriter James Taylor has begun work on his first studio album since 2002′s “October Road,” his final release for longtime label Columbia. “I’ve got four or five things started and near completion,” the artist tells Billboard. “Maybe I’ll have something ready by March, but I wouldn’t want to promise it.”

Next month, the 1998 Billboard Century Award winner will embark on his One Man Band tour, a shift away from his traditional full-band summer outings. “Larry Goldings is going to play keyboards with me, at least to start with,” he says. “We’re going to play smallish theaters, houses of around 3,000, We’ll do that in the first half of March, the first of April, the first half of May, and beyond that we’ll see.”

“It’s been a number of years since I worked solo,” Taylor continues. “That’s all I used to do, and that’s how I started out. So it’s nice to get back to that every once in a while.”

At present, Taylor has yet to affiliate himself with a new label home. “We’re in state now where you can really get started at home and get into the project without needing a big company to bankroll you, so it’s probably a good idea to do that, and that’s how I anticipate we’ll work on it, on a project-by-project basis,” he reports.

As previously reported, Taylor will be honored Feb. 6 for his considerable musical and philanthropic contributions as the 2006 MusiCares Person of the Year. Among the artists saluting him at the Los Angeles event, produced by the Recording Academy, will be Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Dixie Chicks, Taj Mahal, Paul Simon, Alison Krauss and fellow Century Award recipient Randy Newman.

As a result of the honor, Taylor jokes that he will no longer be able to fuss that he has not gotten his due. “I can’t complain about anything,” he says. “It’s been such an important part of my life, complaining; I don’t know what I’ll do with the spare time.”

His new album should really be special. Let me know what you think on my facebook page by clicking here.

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October 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm | On Air | No comment