“I am self taught because I was too stubborn and lazy to do what teachers wanted me to do. I just wanted to play the music I liked.” It would seem that singer/songwriter RYAN JAMES was either sort of a problem child during his schooling years or simply a pure product of that famous Texas modus operandi. It would seem that way when you take into account his once unsettled spirit that led him through years of right to left and backwards to forwards in an attempt to find his “place.” It would appear that James was a flighty soul drifting from one band to the next, one university to the next, one major to the next and one town to the next, all the while never finding true happiness outside of his guitar, his pen and his thoughts. Hindsight being 20/20 it now appears that Ryan James was being DIRECTED all along to play and record the music pouring out of him.
And that is why DIRECTED, Ryan James’ brand new July 17th release on High Tail Records, is not only perfectly named, but also corroborates James’ rite of passage through thirteen solid tracks of perfect afterglow. The record was recorded in Nashville with reappearing producer Tim Lorsch (Bull Creek Productions). “Tim brings a nice dimension to any record he is a part of,” explains James,“ This record is melodically endowed and the songs are of a straight feel-good nature. There is nothing depressing about it.” The record kicks off with the first single “Should’ve Broke Your Heart”, a cheery confession of an ego stricken man left high and dry without a tear in her eye. And while “Just Keep Driving” is any gypsy’s favorite with its drifting demeanor, “Buckle Down” is the rambler’s anthem pumped full of adrenalin and that undefeated attitude. The record also has its sentimental side most prominently displayed in the title track, “Directed,” which sets a cool reflective ambiance accompanied by a melody as tender and fragile as hard lessons learned. The record also features carefully selected covers from the writers James most respects. Keith Gattis’ “She’s Always Leavin,” Sam Baker’s “Waves,” and Paul Thorn’s “Are You With Me” all appear on this stellar summer 2007 release.
While still basking in the light of his debut release BACK TO THE WIND, which garnered him two top 10 hits on the Texas Music Chart and a nomination at the Gruene With Envy Awards, the Ryan James Band deepens their tracks in the music terrain as they kick off into a high caliber tour just in time for this new record release. “I like to split the difference between being deep and being fun. Everyone at my live shows experience every emotion. I like to build it up until you bang your head then break it down gently.”