On this stellar release ‘I Don’t Know It’ from Nathan James, you can really hear an artist come into his own on these 8 original, and 3 classic tunes. What you get is a seamless variety of styles and settings ranging from one man and his National resonator bottleneck guitar, to amplified juke joint dance music, and back to fingerstyle acoustic folk blues.
With all these different but related influences, James has molded his own sound that is both old timey and a fresh new approach. On the title track ‘I Don’t Know it’ (track 4) you can really dig this original sound performed by his live three piece band. It features the Mississippi Hill Country inspired riff on a plugged in resonator guitar. The inventive ‘hand clap’ back beat drumming is played by veteran Marty Dodson whom has toured extensively for years with Mark Hummel, and John Nemeth. The tasteful and toneful harmonica is played by multi-instrumentalist Troy Sandow whom also plays upright bass in the band and on the Magic Sam classic ‘Easy Baby’ (track 7).
Also being a talented multi-instrumentalist, James layers the album with his own drumming, upright bass, and banjo playing which can be heard on the string band classics: ‘Too Long’ (track 5), and mandolin on ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ (track 10). The guitar boogie ‘Send You Back Home’ (track 8) features James as a true live “one man band”- playing guitar, rack harmonica, and drums with his feet simultaneously!
Once again Nathan James is joined on record with long time musical mentor and legend James Harman on ‘My Last Nerve’ (track 6). One day while Nathan was tracking Harman’s harmonica parts for a new Z.Z. Top record at his own Sacred Cat Studios, the two had a break while Billy Gibbons was back in Texas preparing the next song to email for harmonica to be added to. So without wasting any time, the two quickly worked up a James Harman original and had it finished recording just as the next Z.Z. Top song was done traveling through cyberspace!
With one other solo album and 3 other joint efforts under his belt and over 12 years of performing and touring for a living, Nathan has developed his own voice among those before him in this rich tradition of Blues and American Roots music. This album is sure to be joined into the ranks as a timeless, heartfelt expression of an artist doing what his biggest passion is, and listeners can easily acknowledge how much soul and energy was put into it’s creation!!