Sunday, June 23, 2024

Jan James – Time Bomb

American artist Jan James has, over the past several years, gradually built up a name and a rep in bluesy soul music. She learnt her chops from a Tennessee guitar man named Catfish and learned her vocal chops singing in a church choir. During her career to date, she’s been based in Chicago and became a fixture at Buddy Guy’s Blues Legends and the House of Blues, she’s shared stages with John Mayall, James Brown and Little Feat, sang with Jeff Beck at the 100th anniversary of Harley-Davidson and has played Janis Joplin in the play “Love, Janis,” based on her letters.

James’ long-time collaboration with Craig Calvert has been extremely rewarding, and their creative partnership has been an exploration of roots music, including soul, blues with the occasional foray into rock ‘n roll, and which continues on this new release.

Her latest album, Time Bomb, is a slight deviation from her previous work, in that all the songs have been shaped and inspired by current events. Tracks like ‘Desperate Times’ look at what she refers to as the mess society’s in at present. Also, ‘Blood On Your Hands’, which is a riposte to the events of January 6th 2021, where she says, “you’ve gone too far, shown who you are, and thank God we’ve thrown you over.” Guess who she had in mind?  But it’s not all about doom and gloom. The overall message of the album is Happiness as they sing “embrace and share all the love you can find.”  On ‘Diamonds and Gold’, she tells a man such earthly things will not protect him when he’s old and cold. Let ‘Love Surround You’, ‘Don’t Lie To The One You Love’ and ‘Love Is The Answer’ all have love as a central theme, and ‘Don’t It Feel Good’ is about how good love feels when it all goes right.

From political tracks which speak truth to those in power, right across the spectrum to love, ‘Time Bomb’ is a powerfully honest album, and Jan James makes her feelings known on an album which showcases her soulful bluesy vocals in an engaging manner.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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American artist Jan James has, over the past several years, gradually built up a name and a rep in bluesy soul music. She learnt her chops from a Tennessee guitar man named Catfish and learned her vocal chops singing in a church choir. During...Jan James - Time Bomb