Jeremy James | Landlocked

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United States - NY - Upstate NY

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Landlocked

by Jeremy James

Rootsy folk-rock with a message.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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1. Home
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3:43 album only
2. Waiting
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2:39 album only
3. Old Man Winter
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3:15 album only
4. All The Things We Knew
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3:20 album only
5. Thruway
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3:15 album only
6. Saline River
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3:53 album only
7. Best Defense
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5:00 album only
8. The Sober Light Of Day
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4:48 album only
9. Measure Up
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3:30 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Born and raised in by-God Arkansas and a direct descendent of Jesse James, this alt-country/folk singer-songwriter has steady aim with songs as gritty as Steve Earle and deft storytelling as poignant as John Prine. There are no vague poetic mumblings, just great straight-ahead lyrics about mama, church and politics; his influences ranging from the Indigo Girls to Johnny Cash. His latest release, Landlocked, is a polished studio album that features popular touring singer-songwriter Namoli Brennet and local Albany, NY, favorites Almost Awake and the Bookdrop Bees.


Reviews


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jed ryan

JEREMY JAMES: "LANDLOCKED"
JEREMY JAMES: "LANDLOCKED"

Originally from Arkansas, prolific singer-songwriter Jeremy James has a history as interesting as his music itself: he hails from the same county as legendary bad boy Johnny Cash, and he's a direct genetic descendant of a legendary bad boy of another variety, Jesse James. Now happily living in Upstate New York, James' south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line roots have nevertheless proven to have had a long-lasting influence on his music-- as he acknowledges in "Home": "You can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take my country out of me". "Home" is the opener for "Landlocked", the fourth album from this young, self-described modern alt/folk artist. It's a catchy (to the point where you'll likely be singing along-- or at least clapping along-- after a few listenings...) intro to the album in which Jeremy recalls some of the more memorable images from his southern, Red State upbringing (the smell of honeysuckle, a picture of Jesus on the wall, a rusty old pickup truck on concrete blocks in the yard, etc.). The song also features some inspired lyrics like, "When look back on my Red State line, I can't help but to romanticize it; watching two worlds collide, and I'm in a Blue State of mind!". The angelic guest female vocals, courtesy of Casey J. Chapman, add an interesting touch. Throughout "Landlocked", Mr. James sounds youthful but knowing, he conveys pain without whining, and his music proves to be incredibly earnest-- without "overdoing" it, always a danger with folk music. Despite flawless production, James keeps it pure, which is one of the reasons why "Landlocked" stands out as a highlight album by an out 'n' proud artist in 2007. We may live in an age where there's an explosion of interest in queer culture in the media, including LOGO, but none of our advances will ever replace our own real-life stories and life experiences. We don't question that James' lyrics and feelings came right from his heart and soul. Despite the earnestness and homegrown feel, the music on "Landlocked" is rich in symbolism and meaning: acceptance of yourself and others, tolerance, justice ("Best Defense"), change ("All the Things We Knew"), and religion ("Home") are among the themes he explores. It's amazing what Mr. James can do with just his vocals and a guitar (like on the final track, "Measure Up") --or just his vocals and a mandolin, for that matter. On "Waiting", he plays that instrument so energetically that the listener worries that he may break the strings (I'm "waiting" to hear that one live!). Jeremy recruits his friend and fellow indie musician Namoli Brennan for some harmonica for "All the Things We Know", a soothing, somewhat haunting, almost ethereal piece featuring some provocative lyrics. This track, along with "Sober Light of Day" later on in the album, lets Jeremy give the audience the full range of his vocal ability. James displays a more mature side of his persona with "Old Man Winter", a track which features James' voice taking on a gravelly tone, and lyrics that are especially hard-hitting, even moreso when you realize that they are likely biographical. And, anyone who has ever experienced an Upstate New York winter will know how the harshness of the season can be a fitting allusion to how harsh relationships and life in general can be. "Thruway", a song about, yes, the New York Thruway ("I've been driving all night long, I've been driving my life away; Rain is pouring on the windshield, tonight on the New York Thruway..."), is a hybrid of road song and campfire ditty, featuring more of James' mandolin skill. Although the lyrics reveal it's a song about an anticipated trip to meet up with a romantic interest, any musician who spends a great deal of time on the road (like James himself) will relate immediately. "Sober Light of Day" is yet another provocative track, which features some exquisite piano work by Namoli Brennan. "Landlocked" closes with the somber "Measure Up". It's possibly his most personal song, if the listener can be convinced (This listener wasn't!) that Jeremy James' self-esteem would ever be challenged by a romantic rival. Nevertheless, the closer packs an emotional wallop.

What amazing about "Landlocked" is how much energy, heart, soul, and meaning that Jeremy James packs into the nine songs on the album. If Mr. James is able to get so much inspiration from places he has been to, and is able to bring it back to the masses through his music, then let's hope he keeps right on travelin'!

Jed Ryan
PM Entertainment Magazine

Xavier P. and RadioIndy

Excellent modern folk CD. Pick up a copy today!
“Landlocked” by modern folk artist Jeremy James is an album with a deep-rooted purpose. Uplifting and inspiring, Jeremy pulls at the heart-strings of listeners with songs like “Home” that summons tears, passion, and hope all in the duration of a three minute song. “Old Man Winter” stands out as potently emotional and lyrically crafty. Moreover, Jeremy’s vocals are best described as pacifying and contagiously hopeful. “Landlocked” hails no fewer accolades in the area of instrumentation with its catchy lead acoustic guitars and occasional organs. What’s more, this record carries with it production that many artists strive to obtain. Modern folk fans of bands such as Nickel Creek will find this assembly to be a well-worth-it investment that will undoubtedly yield renewed hope and optimism!