A banner which states: “Let the words write themselves” is tattooed onto Beau James’ right forearm, framing a Super Deluxe 55 microphone. “I write what is true to me because if I am going through a hard time, I am sure there are thousands of others going through the same thing,” says Beau.
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Beau formed The Heavy Heavy Hearts. The band’s dark, angsty riffs, machine gun drums, and unmatched musicianship found its way onto the soundtrack for the Sony film Bad Country, as well as radio playlists across the nation. However, after a few years in Los Angeles, Beau became afflicted with wanderlust and, accompanied by the Hearts, made his way to Nashville. While rocking through the local scene, he subsequently rediscovered his passion for an old flame: Americana Music. Over the winter of the Snowpocalypse, he called together some of Nashville’s finest underground musicians to record his first solo record, “Indigo Road”.
In this album, Beau James showcases his talent as a nuanced songwriter, lyricist and performer. The tracks deliver a bluesy, country, rock and folk personality, revealing exactly what Americana is meant to be. This is the kind of music you’d perhaps expect from an artist onto his 5th or 6th studio album.
James also assembled the album, with an elegant song-to-song cohesion and the sense of an emotional storyline. ‘Indigo Road’, ‘Carolina’s Calling’, ‘When I Still Had You’, ‘Best If You Just Leave’ and ‘Ten Shots’ are particularly evocative, while tracks like ‘Ghosts Of Your Past’ and ‘Lucky Star’ will get your feet tapping.
I am a hardcore John Mayer fan, and to be honest, Beau James’ lyrics, music, composition, production, and vocals are all qualitatively reminiscent of the superb musical vibe and aura Mayer dissipates across his tracks and the result is phenomenal.
The maturity of James’ lyrics and the chord progressions, together with his vocal extensions are exceptional and you don’t need to have life experience to really understand the depths James goes through on this one, because he emotionally walks you through it note by note.
Of course, the music is brilliant – however, the meanings behind these songs are probably among the most powerful I’ve ever heard on a debut – because I completely get it. It speaks to me as If I was once there, where he is now. I seem to understand exactly where he’s coming from…and you will too.
Music is not just the sound though, often impressive sounds become a barrier instead of a carrier of something deeper, a message your mind and heart can recognize if you keep it open long enough. Beau James’ songs are structured in this way –sounds that will impress you, but with words and stories to bend, break or uplift your heart!
My absolute favorites are ‘Carolina’s Calling’ and ‘Ten Shots’ because I’m a sucker for acoustic driven ballads and a heartfelt voice carrying a slow-burning melody. But James also comes up with great tunes and beautiful, sometimes gorgeous arrangements all over the 10-track album. “Indigo Road” is an awesome collection of songs with a beautiful, organic sound, full of maturity, carefully and thoughtfully done.