The Civil War Collections - Artist's Biography

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 and both sisters played piano. In the lulls between his sister's music lessons Jim would 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 it. 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 Adams, a nationally known traditional ballad singer, storyteller, banjo player, and author who played banjo on all his recordings.

Return to The Civil War Collection, Volume I or The Civil War Collection, Volume II.