Jim Taylor was born into a musical family in western North Carolina. His grandparents had their own ragtime band and his mother had a degree in music from Columbia College. Jim's father was known for his strong baritone voice and both sisters played piano. In the lulls between his sister's music lessons Jim learned to play piano by ear.

Jim first became interested in traditional music in the early 1980s when a friend let him borrow some Jean Ritchie albums and mountain dulcimer recordings. Soon afterward, Jim heard the hammered dulcimer and decided to learn to play. While attending school in Texas he took lessons from Russell Cook and Dana Hamilton. Others who influenced his style were Jerry Reed Smith and Malcolm Dalglish.

By 1982 Jim was making his living building his own hammered dulcimers and selling them. In 1989 he recorded Come Before Winter followed by The Falls of Richmond in '91, Little Rose is Gone in '92 and The Bright Sunny South in '94.

Jim was married to Sheila Kay Adams, a nationally known traditional ballad singer, storyteller, banjo player, and author who played banjo on his recordings.

The Civil War Collection, Volume I

A superb quartet featuring Jim Taylor and friends on hammered dulcimer, fiddle, banjo, and guitar, playing music for square dances, hoe-downs, and minstrel shows; for sitting around the campfire or socializing in the parlor ... With fascinating liner notes telling the story of each tune, this album offers 70+ minutes of music (including Gary Owen, Haste to the Wedding, Arkansas Traveler, Seneca Square Dance, Booth Shot Lincoln) -- a rare treat for lovers of string band music and a treasure trove for students of the War Between the States. The Civil War Collection is a co-production of Gourd Music and Pearl Mae Music; it combines material on the Pearl Mae cassettes The Falls of Richmond and Little Rose Is Gone.

The Civil War Collection Liner Notes, Song List

The Civil War Collection

The Civil War Collection, Volume II

Jim Taylor’s second collection. New tunes and stories straight out of the archives and campfires of the Civil War.
Featured musicians on this album are Jim Taylor (Hammered Dulcimer), Sheila Kay Adams (Banjo), Bruce Greene (Fiddle), Carl Jones (Guitar), Don Pedi (Mountain Dulcimer), and Beth Magil (Whistle).

Tunes include: Old 1812, Wagoner, Hog-Eyed Man, Liza Jane/Buffalo Gals, Colonel Crockett/ Jenny On The Railroad, Getting Out of the Way of the Federals, Run, Rebel Run, Gunboat, and Rickett’s Hornpipe/Fisher’s Hornpipe.

The Civil War Collection Volume II Liner Notes, Song List

The Civil War Collection
The Bright Sunny South

Songs from the Civil War. Compositions include:
Battle of Pea Ridge, Shiloh Hill, Paddy's Lamentation, and Bright Sunny South.
Jim Taylor is accompanied by Shelia Adams on Banjo and a number of other talented musicians.