Early James – Singing For My Supper

Do you get legitimately excited when you discover new music and a new artist that you like?

During this pandemic lockdown, I have found myself going on long walks and bike rides and listening to music that Spotify thinks I will like. I get genuinely thrilled when a song comes on that I don’t know but really really like. And that usually leads me to buy a new record.

When I purchased my copy of Singing For My Supper I was intrigued by my order number: #00002

Am I actually the second person to order the record from the website? It seems that way.

This album is delightful. It is familiar and comforting because it touches many different aspects of the folky-country retro sound. Singing For My Supper is like your best friend’s friend from college: you have never met, but you have heard enough about him that you feel like you already know him.

A lot of this record is easy singer-songwriter folk-country. It has twangy guitars, bluesy dobro, and simple drum beats. Other parts of this record take that simpleness and step it up a little with electric piano, steel guitars, and a mandolin.

The style of country music on Singing For My Supper floats effortlessly between the 60s and the 70s and between lightheartedness and a more serious tone.

There are dashes of swimmy surf-style guitar sounds reverberating on this record. When that surfiness is coupled with a distinctive hollow echo it is very reminiscent of the owners of Ealy James’ record label: The Black Keys.

Note that Dan Auerbach produced this record.

Early James’ voice is captivating. He sings with ease and a softness, but his voice has grizzle and a gravel underneath. There is a maturity to the sound in Early James’ voice that is usually found behind the pulpit of a Primitive Baptist Church in middle-of-nowhere, Alabama.

He sounds like a man who has had a lifetime of pain hidden behind smiles and sweet songs. It is fantastic.

Call your grandmother while she is locked down in her house and spin Singing For My Supper for her.

My favorite track: Stockholm Syndrome

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