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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Joshua James: Super Musician Genius

Ian and I made the long drive down to Club Velour in Provo last night to see the Joshua James concert. I hate Provo, so I will only agree to go down there when it's for something really spectacular, and of course, Joshua James fits that bill to a T.

It's difficult to describe Joshua's music, because to me it's otherworldly, for lack of a better word. But I guess you could say it's in kind of a folky-rock-and-roll genre. A lot of people, I think, don't really get into folk-influenced music, and I understand, because I too was one of those people once. But I really suggest, if you are also one of those people, that you give it a try, because honestly, that's where all the really talented musicians are. Ok, that's a biased opinion (but really what opinion isn't biased? Isn't that the definition of an opinion?). Let me put it this way: it's easier for mediocre musicians to come off as decent in other genres, like mainstream rock, punk, indie, and so on. Not that I don't love and appreciate the real talent that some people who play in those genres possess. But it's hard to fake it in folk-influenced rock. And in Jazz it's impossible. But that's another subject for another blog.

Back to Joshua James. I first had the good fortune of hearing him when he opened for David Hopkins (another must-hear musician) at a free show up at the U of U last April or so. The auditorium was darkly lit, because whoever put on the show couldn't figure out where the controls to the stage lights were. (That will go on the list of things one must know before putting on a show. Check.) But Joshua's performance was undeterred by this minor detail, at least to my ear. He completely blew me away. And last night's show at Velour was equally impressive.

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that live music is one of my favorite things in the world. But I feel like Joshua's performance transcends even what I've come to expect from a live show. Words don't even give justice to the experience, which is why Joshua James is a simply-must-see-act. Even his albums, though excellent, don't fully communicate the passion that pours from him as he plays. When you hear him live, it almost seems like Joshua is his music; one and the same. It is completely entrancing to watch this man play live. Indeed, you almost forget where you are until the song ends and you are left in complete awe in the aftermath of his craft.

Joshua is also one of the most provocative lyricists I've heard. His songs are beautiful in both their simplicity and poignancy. He is not another spewer of love song cliches, though his music is very much full of love. Passion is a better word for it, I think. No matter the subject of the song, whether it be criticizing our politics, mourning injustices, mocking cliched love songs, or celebrating life, passion pervades his lyrics, melodies, and above-all, his performance.

Joshua James is music at its most sublime.



Visit the Joshua James Tour Blog.





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6 comments:

Tennessee Mike said...

He apparently came through Nashville back in August; it's a shame I didn't know about him back then!

I like his honest mini-moustache.

Sra said...

Yeah, I believe he is actually from Nashville, but lives in Utah now. So I'm sure he will return to Nashville in the future. You'll have to catch him when he does.

Buffalo James said...

Sra.

first and foremost.
thank you for coming to the show,
and thank you SO much for expressing how you felt about it via your amazing blog, i feel so honored to be a part of it, i hope that you might make it to the kilby court show in january with boa. things like this are what make making music much easier.
sincere,
sincerely.
lee,
joshua

Sra said...

I'm glad you liked the post, Joshua. It's wonderful to experience music of the caliber you write and perform. I will surely attempt to see your show at Kilby.

Sra said...

I'm glad you liked the post, Joshua. It's wonderful to experience music of the caliber you write and perform. I will surely attempt to see your show at Kilby.

Buffalo James said...

Sra.

first and foremost.
thank you for coming to the show,
and thank you SO much for expressing how you felt about it via your amazing blog, i feel so honored to be a part of it, i hope that you might make it to the kilby court show in january with boa. things like this are what make making music much easier.
sincere,
sincerely.
lee,
joshua

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