This R & B and Blues singer out of Texas, now based in LA, has completed an extremely solid disc which has national distribution that show cases her East Texas upbringing. That rising comes with a deep root system that spreads through the border between the R & B of Texas seamlessly fitting with the stomping Zydeco sound from Louisiana. She has a voice that drives the music deep, right into your bones that makes it difficult to sit still when she and the Rhythm Tramps are playing. Right now she is someone who is going to draw comparisons to Bonnie Raitt as her voice has that same gritty edge to it, yet there might be stronger comparisons when you listen deep, to Delbert McClinton's soulful delivery. Terry Wilson who is also the Producer and the bass player with the Rhythm Tramps mainly wrote this disc. She has augmented the Rhythm Tramps with several good musicians from the area around LA.
James at times is a gritty singer reminiscent of and doing a fine fine job in the delivery to the fiery Etta James on the classic If I Can't Have You, where she pairs with Mike Finnegan on some blistering piano duet. Should you think her soul is a veneer listen to the depth of emotion in the gospel-tinged ballad Carry That Burden, she is for real and has learned her lessons. She also shows off her great incendiary piano fireworks on the rolling barrelhouse boogie of Long Way From Texas. Then feel the swamp water rising and the gumbo stewing with the second line drums and picture the snaky line of dancers on Voodoo Doll. She is a singer and piano player who has spent her time in the trenches and then some. This disc that break her out to the general public so she can reap some of the rewards of her hard work. It displays her many sides of excellence perfectly.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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