Thursday, April 23, 2009

Joshua James

The Ghost.
The God.
The Devil.

Hell, it nearly sounds cliche and almost trite. But if you've had a chance to see Joshua James and hear the background behind some of his ballads, you'd find they are true stories and not a vivid imagination captured by great songwriting. I've seen him three times now, all by accident. The last time, I watched his tiny frame belt echoes and drop jaws throughout the overwhelming and sold out Ellie Caulkins Opera House before Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova took stage. It was his brief but heart-aching intros to each song that really left an uncomfortable stain on your face when listening to his songs. Horrific deaths in his family. Family substance abuse problems. Friends losing fathers prematurely. A unique view of the holocaust from the view of a child.

From his site:
“I used to isolate myself in my parents basement, away from my five siblings, and devour records by Dylan, Marley and The Doors,” says James. These influences are clear in the simple beauty of his songs, deconstructed yet complicated. One could say his material deals in the contrast of absolutes: Love and Hate, Life and Death, Good and Evil, Pleasure and Pain. “It’s not all black and white, I do enjoy intricacy in my story telling,” states Joshua. “But leaving the gray area there for the audience to draw from often means more."

Joshua James - FM Radio

From his homebases in Lincoln, NE to Utah, Joshua James is on tour now supporting dates for Ani DiFranco, The Duhks and a slew with Rocco Deluca. Aside from his very well-received debut album, The Sun Is Always Brighter, James has also released Sing Songs, an EP of songs that didn't make the final cut for another project, available here from North Platte Records. I strongly suggest the entire first album and also taking a stroll to his MySpace and check out songs that are only available by recommended purchase, such as "Crash This Train," "Ribbon Bows," and "Baby Boy." All full of heartbroken whispers.

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