Saturday, September 03, 2011

Jame Hill’s new CD

I’m going to say right off the bat that I don’t think there is a better ukulele player today than the Canadian James Hill.

Having said that, I won’t have to mention the ukulele again. On his newest CD “Man With A Love Song”, the ukulele is just one of many instruments he plays to make the music he makes.

And he has truly made music on this CD. The 13 songs (with one reprise) are tight and confident. His voice, also is more confident. The sound swings from bluegrass to, well, swing to sultry shuffle. These are all great songs and it isn’t hard to see why he put them together on this CD.

His musical partner, Anne Davison, supplies honeyed harmonies, cello and violin; supporting but never overpowering James.

The first song “Hand Over My Heart” (good pun) starts off with a bang and never looks back. If you’re looking for that breathtaking instrumental work, you get it in spades on this cut.

In the second song we’re introduced to Anne’s killer harmony singing and cello playing.

The best written song, for me, is the eighth cut “What Would You Have Me Do?” that opens with “The lady is too fat for words/ but she sings like her life is on fire”. Damn.

Although all the songs are definitely worth listening to, I’m just mentioning a few that stuck with me. The ninth cut, “Indecision Rag” tosses you in the rollercoaster and takes off, never looking back. Relentless.

Lyrics are always a benchmark for me, and the writing on this CD is topnotch.

But…the song I would cover, the one that grabs me by the throat is the final (two) cuts “Voodoo Forever, Aloha”. I’m a sucker for a song in 6/8s time and a spooky lyric.

Quit reading this and go buy this CD.

“Man With A Love Song” James Hill


Phredd said...

The four songs at his website sound fantastic. I also love the look of the album graphics and his new website. Thanks Craig!

Craig said...

I don't know if I actually made the point in the above review, but what James is doing is making good music. The fact that he's doing it on a ukulele makes it relevant here...but the important thing is that it's good music.

David said...

I knew it was coming out, but forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. I agree with the above.

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