“Splash of Red” is a departure from earlier recordings, concentrating more on guitar arrangements of traditional Irish tunes than songs. However there are four new McCandless songs, two serious, “The Rock In The Road” and “Splash Of Red”, and two goofy, “Mother’s Sweet Revenge” and “18th Anniversary”. Referring to the tunes, McCandless says he aspires to play the guitar the way Gene Kelly dances.\" Andrew Calhoun, Waterbug Records
“Long time fixtures on both the Irish music circuit and in the folk clubs in Chicago, singer/songwriter James McCandless and violinist/vocalist Julianne Macarus have produced an amiable new CD that blends both of these worlds. “Splash of Red” is a mixture of McCandless’ folk songs and sets of Irish tunes, played brilliantly by McCandless on guitar, sometimes aided and abetted by Macarus, bassist Jimmy Moore, and Dennis Cahill on guitar or mandolin. As a writer, McCandless’ most vivid lyrical moments have involved wistful reminiscences, and the romantic title tune is a fine addition to this body of work… The bulk of the disc consists of instrumentals and these, played with vim and grace, are well worth the price of admission.\" Michael Parrish, Dirty Linen
His music has been recorded by Kat Eggleston, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Jimmy Moore, Sean Keane, Arty McGlynn, Nollaig Casey, Bell & Shore, Susan Shore & Don Stiernberg, Dan Bern, and Body Parts; he has worked with Julianne Macarus, John Williams, Hayes & Cahill, Larry Nugent, Gan Ainm, Liz Carroll, Buddy Mondlock, Frank Tedesso, Jano, Andrew Calhoun, Victor Sanders, Brian Anderson, Jim Craig and Tom Dundee.
Jim has also performed with P.J. Hayes, Greg Brown, Joan Baez, Odetta, Chris Smither, Sean O’Driscoll, Claudia Schmidt, John Fahey, Tim O’Brien, Jim Post, Natalie McMaster and Tom Paxton.