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About 85 BPM
James Taylor covered ‘Oh Susannah’ in 1970, and the song appears on his album ‘Sweet Baby James’ (track 7). Stephen Foster originally wrote the song in 1848 and it was a huge hit across the U.S.A. As a result of the success of this song, Foster is considered by many to be America’s first great songwriter.
Oh Susannah is a little tricky to play at times, probably the hardest thing to get used to is the timing. Taylor plays the verses/choruses freely and he constantly weaves in and out of time. For that reason it makes it really very hard to play it exactly the same way that he does.
James Taylor certainly has a very unorthodox style of playing guitar, and I imagine he’s the type of player that never plays the same thing twice. Personally I’m a huge fan of this freestyle approach because you never quite know what’s going to happen. So as you learn to play Oh Susannah, try not to get too caught up on the meticulousness of playing it just like the recording. Watch Taylor perform it live and it’ll different each time.