CD Review 

Sounds Like Home: Jeremiah James

Somewhere along the line, country music went from being about heartbreak, temptation and loss, to being about ... well, basically country music turned mostly into a big group of posers. Enter Jeremiah James. Cut from the same cloth as Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and Bob Wills, James wears his heart on his torn and dirty sleeve. His lyrics knock you into a 1000-yard stare while you wonder how some scruffy dude with a penchant for whiskey could express heartbreak so deftly. His first album, Sounds Like Home, just got released and is, no doubt, the first in what will prove to be a long chronology of recordings. It offers a stunning first glance into the James' world--a place where heartbreaks never quite mend and folks "do time in their mind for awhile," people act a bit messed up towards each other and great songwriters die and leave a noble legacy (e.g., Johnny Cash). James deals with the whole mess by ordering up a double shot of something 90-proof. One of my favorites off the album is a tune called "Thinks of Her Now." The refrain starts with, "He thinks of her now, like he thought of her then/misses her most whenever he falls in love again/he thought he found a connection/but he's still looking around." It is a lament made more poignant with backup vocals by local Rebecca Scott. And she is not the only friend who helped out with James first recording effort. The album was co-produced with Ben Burdick and local musicians such as Bill Lyles and Dan Costello all dropped in to help out. Jeweler Mike Rodgers even set up the bulk of the album artwork. The recording sounds good; maybe a bit low end heavy, and perhaps a little extraneous playing. Jeremiah's songs sound best straight up; just like James likes his whiskey.

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