Local rock/country crooner Jeremiah James has grown up a lot since Boise Weekly reviewed his debut release, Sounds Like Home, in 2005. He moved to Nashville, moved back, cut off his long ponytail and started sporting prescription specs. James' music has also begun to reflect a maturity and a comfort level that only comes with age.
With a new release, Idaho Cowboy (recorded at Project 7 Studios here in town), James pays homage to the Americana musicians who've come before him, singing about women, whisky and a life on the road, and solidifies his reputation as an honest singer/songwriter who pokes fun at himself and exacts a little revenge on a girl or two who's taken Cupid's arrow and busted it across her knees. "Stay Away (From Me)," is about an ex, an issue that James—like any good country singer—often works out in his music: "Don't come knockin' 'round my door, sugar / 'Cause I might just let you in. / I used to love ya / I still love ya / but stay away from me."
The title track of the album was written by local legend Pinto Bennett and co-authored by cowboy poet Baxter Black. And though he didn't write the song, it's a great representation of James' playing and singing style: "He's an Idaho cowboy / no Tennessee plowboy / wild as them Rockies he rides. / A cougar in the canyon / the devil's own companion / riding with a fire in his eyes."
Just because he needs glasses and wears his hair a little shorter, doesn't mean James has slowed down. He rocks the joint Wednesday nights at Pengilly's, and if you look close while he's singing about heartbreak and hooch, you'll see there's still plenty of fire in his eyes.
June 19, 7 p.m., FREE. The Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St., 208-344-8010.