Thirty Years of Farming
Rounder Records Corp.
by Allen Price
There is no one quite like James King. His booming voice creeps right inside you as he sings tales of loss and loneliness. He squeezes every drop of emotion from his soul, and pours it into each song until it is becomes a part of you. Listening to an album by James King is a free ride on an emotional roller coaster. What James Brown is to soul music, what BB King is to the blues, and what George Jones is to country, James King is to bluegrass music. When James King sings, he isn't on the bandstand telling you his tale. He's sitting across the dining room table from you.
Thirty Years of Farming is another great collection from this gifted and skillful artist. The title tune grabs you by the throat from the start, telling the tale of a family who loses the longtime family farm. King has you standing right beside them as their belongings are auctioned off and hauled away. Roy Lee is a heartfelt tribute to the late Roy Lee Centers, legendary Clinch Mountain Boy, who died tragically. And speaking of George Jones, there are a couple of tunes that came from the Possum, Flame in My Heart and Color of the Blues.
The music of James King, like the other artists listed above, transcends genre and touches all of us. It's not just bluegrass music. It is the sound of the human experience.