From the opening track, “Broken Hearted Past”, you realize that the brand new recording by Beau James – “Landmarks” – is no ordinary EP. It is one of the best independent Americana EPs in years. It has touches of classic Americana, rock and roots flavors coupled with a polished production. Each track offers great engineering, amazing vocals and a very talented group of musicians. After listening to this EP, you’ll begin to hum the tunes, which is always a great indication of how deeply music has impacted the listener out of the blocks.
The musicians along with Beau James’ spot on vocals, takes you back to when rock was great. In a word, this recording cooks, whether it is a slow ballad or an up-tempo rocker, you won’t be disappointed. This is what music is all about. It entertains you all the way through, never stopping to take a breath.
At the same time it gives you a peak into James’ loves and life experiences, as well as his dreams and aspirations, bundled with all the fear and marvel that is included into that emotional package. This is an exemplary work that makes you yearn for more. I first heard Beau James’ on his previous debut solo release, “Indigo Road”.
I knew from that recording that James was destined for great things – and all that greatness is showcased right here on “Landmarks”.
Beau James who handles Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Nylon String Guitar, and Banjo, plus his backup group, provide a tight sound that is inspirational and moving. The production by Mike Butler grooves, rocks and it entertains you – a phenomenal piece of engineering and mixing.
Surely “Landmarks” will become a quick indie classic that will be emulated by others, and it will stand the test of time. Songs like upbeat stompers “Shotgun Town” and “Head Start” beckons you to listen to them over and over again.
The smart, heartfelt lyrics and tremendous vocals on the slow-burners, “She Stayed Home” and “New Chord” will amaze you with their depth and dynamics. The music here will take you on a sojourn to bluesy balladeering heaven, where falling in and out of love is more than just a word.
The intense melodies and the touching lyrics, set to the classic, more stripped down, acoustic-driven soundscapes, works perfectly towards moving emotions.
Without a doubt “Landmarks” is one of the best things of its kind to come down the pike in many a moon, and if you’re into some knee-slapping rhythms, Beau James can comfortably deliver that too – checkout the rolling “Lost & Found” and “Cowboy Boots”.
All-round, this EP is a heterogeneous expression of emotional enlightenment with carnivorous beats. And the key to its impact can be found in the three things that Beau James seems to be able to inject into each and every song he writes and performs, in varying doses – power, grace and heart.
Out through Randm Records, grab a hold of “Landmarks” if you want to catch the emotions, sounds, and life of Beau James’ music – which is visceral and raw, yet thoroughly polished in a way that is real, soulful, and organic. If you love melodic, soulful Americana music with an edge, you cannot be without this in your collection!