Friday 24 February 2012

Review: T.A. James

T.A. James - S/T (Huh? Records)
T.A. James new EP is his debut solo release, though there’s a long list of recordings on which he’s a featured musician, playing lead, rhythm and bass guitar. The list of bands he’s trod the boards with is longer still, and includes names like The Kingsnakes, Tom Townsley & The Backsliders, L’il Georgie & The Shufflin’ Hungarians and Bernie Clarke & The Rhythm Sharks, though he’s probably best known as bassist with Carey Bell’s touring band, playing on Bell’s award winning 1997 album, “Good Luck Man”, released on the renowned Alligator label.

Seriously, the list above barely scrapes James’ resume, and it’s more than worthwhile visiting his website to get the full picture. I’m amazed it’s taken as long as it has to get him into the studio to record under his own name, though I suspect a win at the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society Solo/Duo Blues Challenge boosted his confidence, and gave him a prod in the right direction. The six tracks on his debut EP boast a combination of high-wire instrumentals and solid vocal tracks. His voice is far from perfect, but it does possess a broke-down quality that’s appealing, and it works to fine effect on “...Bad to the Bone...” and “Bone Appetit”. Of the instrumentals “Climb-Lick Maneuver” is particularly handsome.
Rob F.

T.A. James: T.A. James

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