Watch James Taylor And His Band Perform Motown Favorite ‘(I’m A) Road Runner’

The much-covered song was first made a hit by Jr. Walker & the Allstars.

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James Taylor has shared an infectious live version from 2018 of “(I’m A) Road Runner,” the Motown gem written by Holland Dozier Holland that was first made a hit by Jr. Walker & the All Stars.

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The performance is taken from Taylor’s concert at at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC on May 16, 2018. It features the venerated singer-songwriter on harmonica, in place of Walker’s saxophone on the first hit version. JT and his band returned to the venue in June this year on his summer tour. Now touring in Europe, he was forced to cancel his show last night (7) in Zurich and tonight’s in Frankfurt because of a case of Covid in the band.

The tour is currently due to resume in Berlin on Thursday, and conclude on November 20 in Hamburg; more information is expected soon on the artist’s social media outlets and website. Taylor recently posted one of his occasional behind-the-scenes clips on his socials, taking viewers backstage before the band’s show in Turin.

James Taylor - (I'm A) Road Runner (Charlotte, NC, May 16, 2018)

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Taylor recorded “(I’m A) Road Runner” for his 2018 album Covers, on which he also remade another Motown favorite, the Temptations’ “It’s Growing.” He has sometimes performed the song on tour before, notably in 1976.

Among myriad covers of “Road Runner,” it was cut in 1967 by King Curtis, in 1973 by the post-Peter Green, pre-Buckingham and Nicks line-up of Fleetwood Mac, with lead vocals by Dave Walker, and in 1976 by Steppenwolf, for the album Skullduggery. Peter Frampton included a version on his 1977 album I’m In You and Paul Weller’s live reading of it, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall and featuring Johnny Marr as guest guitarist, was on the deluxe edition of his 2015 album Saturns Pattern. Then Deep Purple chose the song for their 2021 covers album Turning To Crime.

Listen to the best of James Taylor on Apple Music and Spotify.

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