Bed By The Window
James KingRounder CD0425
Rounder Records Corp.
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
The first time I heard James King, I was reminded of Tina Turner. I recalled her opening to Proud Mary, when she said they wanted to do the song "nice and easy," but then added, "We don t do anything nice and easy."
That's how it is with James King. His voice comes through with the power of a freight train, and the emotion of a long lost love. His songs are stories set to music from the archives of country music and from the best new tunes he can find. He recalls songs from folks like Stonewall Jackson (Big House On The Corner) and Johnnie and Jack (Called From Potter s Field). King doesn t do anything nice and easy.
The title tune is a touching story of two old friends who share a room in nursing home. The one by the window tells the other what is going on outside the walls. King's treatment of the song puts you in that bed, hearing what is happening outside, making you yearn for your own view.
King s band is a red-hot band. They, like King, step up to the mikes and come at you like a freight train. Adam Poindexter plays banjo with a power and style that makes you immediately think of folks like JD Crowe. Poindexter's opening to I Don't Do Floors is worth playing and replaying all by itself. But let it play through, as this is the hottest number on the album. It has been said that great music conveys the emotion of the human experience. That it touches our emotions and is timeless. Whoever said it was listening to James King. There s nothing nice and easy about Bed By The Window. It is simply, James King at his best.
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Edited by Mark O'Donnell