James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

First performance: 24/04/1970


Bruce used the song as little snippet: 
1970-04-24 Monmouth College, West Long Branch, NJ 
One show, with Steel Mill the sole act on the bill. This was a replacement concert for a cancellation of the musical "Hair". Bruce recites the opening line of James Taylor's song: "Sweet Baby James" during "Garden State Parkway Blues".
...There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range ...


"Sweet Baby James" is a song written and recorded by James Taylor that serves as the opening and title track from his 1970 breakthrough album Sweet Baby James. It was released as the first single from the album but did not chart. Nonetheless, it is one of his best-known and most popular tunes, considered a classic. Taylor considers it his best song. The song was written by Taylor for the son of his older brother Alex, who was also named James (and indeed was named after him). Deliberately a cross between a cowboy song and a lullaby, it was first thought up by Taylor as he was driving through Carolina to meet his infant nephew for the first time.

Bruce on the artist

intro to "Millworker"
"Thank you…thanks…I guess I’m not gonna be announced because I think I’m supposed to be a surprise or something ….but I personally, I personally am surprised, I thought this was gonna be a very small dinner and I was the only one playing….I tend to be a little on the reclusive side so it’s…but, uh, tonight is kind of filled with resonance, I’m glad to be here with James and, uh, also the first gig I ever had after I made an album was opening in Pennsylvania for Cheech and Chong so ….But I'm glad to be here tonight for James. James to me was always uh... for me he was always an authentic southern voice. And uh... I guess you, you grew up in Massachusetts but you lived– you were born in Carolina, am I right? (James Taylor signals Springsteen that it's the other way around) The other way around? Thank god, that makes sense for my story here because, uh, it was always something deeply southern in James' voice. One night we played New York and he sand, uh, he sang "The River" and it was just uh... he just did such a beautiful thing with it. And, uh, besides being an incredible songwriter and, and musician, he's also the star of my all-time favorite films, "Two-Lane Blacktops". Uh was that– that was that the only one? There was never another one? That was it? That's a cool one though. That was a good one to choose. If you haven't see "Two-Lane Blacktop", see "Two-Lane Blacktop". He's, he's fabulous, you know. Alright, this is "Millworker".
Bruce had 6 performances with James Taylor:
2016-12-14 Carnegie Hall, New York City
Bruce performs at the 27th Rainforest Fund Concert.  
2004-10-11 MCI Center, Washington
Finale of the Vote For Change concert series 

1995-04-12 Carnegie Hall, New York City
The sixth annual Rock for The Rainforest benefit for the Rainforest Foundation. With various artists. "The River" is a duet with James Taylor 

1990-01-17 Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame all-star jam. 
1987-12-13 Madison Square Garden, New York City
All Star Benefit for the Homeless Children. Bruce backs Dion on "A Teenager In Love", along with Paul Simon, Rubén Blades, Lou Reed, James Taylor, and Billy Joel. "Born To Run" is the solo acoustic version. "Glory Days" is with Paul Simon and Billy Joel, backed by David Letterman's house band, The World's Most Dangerous Band. The Chuck Berry classic "Rock And Roll Music", which features all of the evening's performers, with Bruce, Billy Joel, James Taylor, and Paul Simon taking verses. The lineup for the night was Paul Simon, Paul Shaffer and The World's Most Dangerous Band, Lou Reed, Dion, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Laurie Anderson, Rubén Blades, James Taylor, Nile Rodgers with Chaka Khan, and Billy Joel; also joining in were Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Chevy Chase, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Cosby, Kevin Nealon, Lorne Michaels, and the baseball stars Don Mattingly and Ron Darling, who introduced Bruce. 

1978-03-17 Trax, New York City
Springsteen, along with James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, Dickey Betts (of the Allman Brothers Band) and legendary promoter Bill Graham attend a performance by Warren Zevon at this tiny club then-located at 100 West 72nd Street. Zevon had just begun his Excitable Boy tour and this show (which didn't start until 3am and lasted for nearly two hours) may have been of an invitation-only or promotional nature. At some point during the show some of the under-noted musicians/celebrities took the stage as a troupe to perform the "werewolf howls" background vocals on "Werewolves Of London". Springsteen was definitely present but there are conflicting accounts if Bruce was part of the on-stage troupe or not. Springsteen also performed at another Zevon concert three months later on June 23). Warren Zevon / David Landau / Rick Marotta / Stanley Sheldon  / Waddy Wachtel / Dickey Betts (Guest) / Bill Graham (Guest) / Linda Ronstadt (Guest) / J.D. Souther (Guest) / Bruce Springsteen (Guest) / James Taylor (Guest) 


There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range.
His horse and his cattle are his only companions.
He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons, waiting for summer, his pastures to change.
And as the moon rises he sits by his fire, thinking about women and glasses of beer.
And closing his eyes as the doggies retire, he sings out a song which is soft but it's clear
As if maybe someone could hear...
Goodnight you moon light ladies, rock-a-bye sweet baby James.
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams?
And rock-a-bye sweet baby James.
Now the first of December was covered with snow
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston.
Though the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting,
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go.
There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway,
A song that they sing when they take to the sea,
A song that they sing of their home in the sky, maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep,
But singing works just fine for me.
So, goodnight you moon light ladies, rock-a-bye sweet baby James.
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams?
And rock-a-bye sweet baby James.