Berkshire Eagle Staff
James Taylor says he won't be touring in 2013 so he can devote time to complete his first new album of original songs in 10 years.
"I'm taking the year off," Taylor told The Eagle on Friday. "I'm not touring, I'm trying to write an album."
Asked if that means no Tanglewood appearances next summer, Taylor replied, "It's difficult to play Tanglewood without booking at least a month of work, because I can't pull my band together for one gig and have them miss out on other work. These guys need to fill their schedules if they can."
However, he added, "We're still talking about whether or not there's something I can do at Tanglewood. But I've told my band we're not going to do a big tour, it's going to wait until I've made the new album."
Taylor plans spend 2013 hunkering down at his home and studio in the town of Washington to prepare for the recording project. The goal is to release the album by the summer of 2014, he said.
"That's what I'm hoping for," he said.
Taylor acknowledged that "it's hard to take the year off, there are a lot of very compelling things that come up and it's amazing how the entire calendar fills up."
"For three years in a row, I've intended to take the fall off," he said. "I have to get really serious about it, and yet offers come along from old friends and things I'd love to do, and also the opportunity to work and bring home a paycheck.
As Taylor put it: "They say if you work for yourself, you have the toughest boss available. You're reluctant to turn things down, but I've really got to write this album, it has to happen now. It's certainly worth a try."
Taylor is back in the Berkshires after four weeks on the campaign trail performing at rallies and fundraisers for President Obama's re-election campaign. Taylor said he's committed to one more event for the president, a "living-room concert" in Norwich, Vt., and to do one more event for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
His road trip for the Obama re-election effort has included appearances in North Carolina, as well as stops in Detroit, Nashville, Atanta, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley in California, and Santa Barbara, Calif.
This story will be updated in future editions of The Eagle.