When singer José James released his fourth album, No Beginning, No End, in 2013, there was something different in his signature eclectic mix of jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and rock—a new influence. Acoustic guitars.

“I had started working with Emily King, who’s a singer-songwriter in New York City,” James says. “She wrote the songs ‘Heaven on the Ground’ and ‘Come to My Door’ on that album, and she played acoustic guitar on those.”

James explores the acoustic guitar even more deeply on his latest album, While You Were Sleeping. He nods to the Taylor 514ce sitting in his lap. “I just love it,” he says. “I fell in love with it right away.”

The singer, who signed with the legendary Blue Note label for No Beginning, No End, says he’s now officially in a long-term relationship with his Grand Auditorium-shaped Taylor. When the 37-year-old Minneapolis native dropped by the AG studio recently to perform an Acoustic Guitar Sessions, he talked about how his Taylor has changed the way he composes and impacted the sound of his two most recent records.

For more Acoustic Guitar Sessions, check out the archive.

 

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