Kris Allen Covers James Taylor “Sweet Baby James” (VIDEO)


“This is a song by one of the artists that inspired my upcoming album,” writes Kris Allen on his Youtube page about his latest cover, “Sweet Baby James” by the legendary singer/songwriter, James Taylor. “Wanted to share with you guys.”

The video, titled “The Rooftop Sessions,” finds the American Idol season 8 winner, delivering a sweet, and contemplative version of the song, which was written by James back in the early 70’s as a lullaby to his baby nephew. Maybe Kris was thinking of his own baby son, Oliver, as he performed it.

Although we have heard some of Kris’s new music live on the road, there’s no release date, cover art or title for the next album, produced by the Civil Wars producer, Charlie Peacock, but it’s coming soon. Kris and his family are about to move from Arkansas to Nashville.  New music is coming, so stay tuned!

Watch Kris Allen cover “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

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  • Ratna12

    This is such a beautiful cover and Kris has that quality in his voice that is perfect to cover a James Taylor song. I hope that the move to Nashville will work well for him. Kris is a great singer songwriter and I want more people to discover his music.

  • macfae

    haven’t been following Kris for awhile but the title caught my eye.
    Glad I checked it out…he did a lovely rendition.

  • geekygirl

    Beautiful rendition, this had me tearing up. This song is always in my heart for one of my best friends in high school who died unexpectedly from swine flu at the young age of 21. After 45 years, it still brings back memories of her and I driving in my car singing this. Thank you Kris, that was lovely.

  • mamacitabaja

    I agree. His talent far exceeds that of most artists being played today. I hope this move will be something that will finally give him more exposure so the world can see and hear what we fans do. A voice like his needs to be heard.

  • girlygirl

    Very nice!

    Kris tweeted that the other day that he was writing the “thank you’s” for the liner notes, so the album is (hopefully) getting closer to being released.

    And Katy posted an instagram saying that it was her last day of teaching HS for the year, so I would think that that move to Nashville will be sooner rather than later.

  • Miz

    I love this so much. Kris has such a sweet and expressive voice.

    I was thrilled when Kris said a while back that he was listening to James Taylor, Paul Simon, and similar artists while in the process of making this album. Folk rock is my favorite genre and those are two of my favorite singer songwriters.

    I’m pretty sure the photos have been picked for the album cover and Kris said he has the title but wasn’t telling anyone what it is. He plays his cards very close to the chest.

    I’m excited.

  • krismicklin

    I am so EXCITED for Kris’ upcoming CD! This is a beautiful rendition. Sure hope Kris presents more “Rooftop” sessions but sure hope he doesn’t fall off the roof!

  • krismicklin

    I totally agree with you and Ratna12! The whole world needs to hear Kris Allen!

  • LA944

    Kris does have a sweet voice. I haven’t followed him closely–but I enjoyed him on AI. The other week while walking my dog , “The Way You Look Tonight” came up on my itunes shuffle. I couldn’t figure out who was singing, but loved the voice. It was Kris. I thought –damn I’m going to have to check him out more.

    I’m a huge James Taylor fan and have been since I was 13. (Going to see him next month for about the 25th time ha) I’m also thrilled to know that Kris is listening to these incredible folk/rock artists. James, Paul, Joni, CSN&Y etc are huge talents. They wrote their own music, lyrics, great musicians and some of them are wonderful singers as well. Now, it seems like it takes 27 writers to write one mediocre song–lol

    I think Kris did a sweet version of SBJ. When I think of the great songs James T wrote by the time he was 21 –it blows my mind. The one problem for me when other artists cover some of JT’s tunes is in the guitar playing. Many of his songs are so guitar driven and he is such a phenomenal player with that unique picking style–that it just doesn’t sound quite right. But, how many can play like James T?

    I’m excited to hear Kris’ album.

    PS–If anyone hasn’t seen this it’s pretty hilarious. It’s Garth Brooks describing is love for James Taylor and meeting him.

  • MissMyEm

    Sweet Baby James is one of my favorites by James Taylor. I find that the people who he claims influenced him are some of the best there were/was in the business. Not only James Taylor and Paul Simon, but more recently, after seeing him in concert, Bruce Springsteen as well. I imagine since he’s writing his “thank you” notes now, the CD will be out within the next few months. And leave it to Kris to not tell every secret there is, like exactly when and the title.

    Whatever and whenever…I’m so excited to hear new music from him AND..I hope that the summer has them moving to Nashville which I hope will be a lucrative move for him. Kris is a pretty smart cookie and always manages to land on his feet no matter what obstacles come his way.

  • milwlovesadam

    Very sweet. One of my favorite songs of James Taylor. I remember seeing him in concert a long time ago, in an open air setting on a warm summer night, and how everybody sang along to this. Thousands of voices……

  • Mel432

    Beautful song, beautiful rendition. Kris looks a lot like Cook here. Normally they don’t look anything alike, but the glasses, facial hair and hairdo make them look similar.

  • MargieIdol

    I loved this. I wonder where that particular rooftop is?/ With that building in the background, it doesn’t look residential.

  • S.G.

    No one gets me more excited for new music like that boy, right here! He is so talanted, a very unique singer & songwriter, if only the rest of the World would listen to him, he is at least 100x better than half the crap on radio! Fingers crossed for the success of album three.

  • nyc57

    That was beautiful and touching.I’m surprised Kris hasen’t covered James Taylor before.Kris always reminded me a little of him.
    I only saw James Taylor once in concert .It was at Belmont Ractrack (sad no triple crown today) many years ago in the park area after the races We watched in the pouring rain and it was great.