Concord MusicJames Taylor has announced official details about his upcoming solo album, Before This World, which will be released on June 16. The 10-track record includes nine original Taylor compositions, and features guest appearances by Sting and acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Both Sting and Ma lend their talents to the title track, while Yo-Yo also plays cello on a song titled “You and I Again.” In addition, Taylor’s wife, Kim, and son Henry contribute harmony vocals to the tune “Angels of Fenway” and to a cover of the traditional song “Wild Mountain Thyme” that closes the album.

Taylor recorded Before This World, his first album of new original material in 13 years, at his home studio, The Barn, in Washington, Massachusetts, with accompaniment from members of his longtime backing band. The record was produced by Grammy-winning producer/engineer Dave O’Donnell.

“My sort of self-expression and the autobiographical aspect of my work is a thru-line that links all my albums together,” says James. “I think I have grown musically, and I think people can hear it in what I played in ’68, and you can hear it in what I’m singing about now. It is ongoing, it’s still me, but it’s still evolving.”

Before This World will be available as a standard CD and digital download, as well as a two-disc deluxe edition featuring a bonus DVD. The video disc will offer a 30-minute making-of documentary titled There We Were: The Recording of James Taylor’s Before This World, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and new interviews, including conversations with Sting and Ma.

The first single and lead track from Before This World, “Today Today Today,” currently is streaming at The Wall Street Journal‘s website. Taylor also has posted a trailer for the album and a video message to fans at his official YouTube channel.

Here is the full track list of Before This World:

“Today Today Today”
“You and I Again”
“Angels of Fenway”
“Stretch of the Highway”
“Watchin’ Over Me”
“Before This World/Jolly Springtime”
“Far Afghanistan”
“Wild Mountain Thyme”

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