Home Read Albums Of The Week: Seth James | Different Hat

Albums Of The Week: Seth James | Different Hat

The Texas singer-guitarists cooks up a tasty gumbo of rock, soul, R&B and blues.

266

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Texas singer-songwriter and guitarist Seth JamesDifferent Hat is a musical gumbo of Texas blues, R&B, rock, country soul, rootsy funk and more. James’ signature sound defies pigeonholing with an eclectic style that is on full display with Different Hat, an appropriate title for an artist who blends so many varied styles.

James is a true testament to the idiom ‘what you see isn’t always what you get’. How can a life-long working West Texas rancher, donned in cowboy hat and boots, authentically embody the rock, soul, R&B and blues stylings of an artist one might think came from a city such as Detroit, Chicago, New York, New Orleans or Memphis? He digs. Isolated on his family farm with no radio while growing up, James dug up the records of Muddy Waters and Lightning Hopkins — then Booker T. & the M.G.’s, NRBQ, Delbert McClinton and so many more. They all laid the foundation that James built on. Ultimately, he found his musical identity and established himself as a force through his soulful vocals, songwriting and virtuosic guitar playing.

On Different Hat, James runs the gamut from tackling the last year of isolation in World Full of Strangers and his bluesy take on Fort Worth folklore in Please Linda Lou to his quiet prowess as an interpreter in Ohoopee River Bottomland to the seductive album closer Real Bad Deal — the first time James has omitted his guitar on one of his recordings.

A large grassroots following has been hip to James for years as he has shared the stage with artists ranging from Percy Sledge to Buddy Guy to ZZ Top. The miles logged and music played have given James the self-assurance to remain true to oneself as an artist regardless of the current trends and flavor.”