James Taylor’s Influences: Woodie Guthrie
Taylor began playing guitar in 1960. His technique was learned from his bass clef oriented cello training and practicing on his sister’s keyboard. Taylor was quoted in Timothy White‘s 2002 biography on him called Long Ago and Far Away saying, “My style was a finger-picking style that was meant to be like a piano, as if my thumb were my left hand, and my first, second, and third fingers were my right hand.”
Though his technique was inspired by previous training, his style was influenced by hymns, carols, and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Woody Guthrie[/lastfm]. Guthrie was an American singer, songwriter, and folk musician who not only influenced Taylor, but also [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bob Dylan[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bruce Springsteen[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Joe Strummer[/lastfm].
Guthrie’s most well known song is “This Land Is Your Land.”