Driving Toward The Sun
RELEASED: FEBRUARY, 2013
“The Eagles only wish they had material like this to use to connect with a current-day audience. This is the rare album that will resonate with people who are looking for substance and depth..” – New York Music Daily
“This is about good music and James has packed Driving Toward the Sun with nothing but. Hopefully, you will make the effort to listen because you deserve to hear the best as much as James deserves to be heard. If you don’t know the artists mentioned, think Linda Ronstadt or Eagles or any of the smooth country-rockin’ artists of the past. No, James won’t sound exactly like them, but she sure as hell gets what rockin’ country is all about. This is a gem of an album. I know I say this all too often, but I’m in love.
Production? A-plus. Performance? A-plus. Songwriting? A-plus. No need to go on. This is A-plus across the boards. – No Depression, Frank Gutch, Jr.
“Every song is a keeper. It’d be hard for anyone to dislike this album…it’s that good. Highly recommended. Top pick.” – BabySue
“James has another set of wonderful, deeply emotional songs on her hands. Aided by her smart guitar playing, we have here a gal that’s not only the whole package, she is one of the few that decided to go for it all and scored. Once again, great songs/killer band. This is the kind of music we were enjoying before everything went sideways.” – Midwest Record
Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home
RELEASED: FEBRUARY, 2011. On Highways, Ghosts, Hearts and Home,
James has mastered the neat trick of sounding traditional yet totally contemporary at the same time. James’ songwriting deftly twists old song forms with her own flair and infuses them with a modern intimacy.
Her latest disc finds her expanding her lyrical and musical reach through her psychedelic, country-folk lens.
From the yearning, 3/4 time of James’ “Falling Waltz 2″ and the countrified charm of “Thank You Tomorrow”, to an almost Beatlesque “On Your Side” and the dreamy landscapes of “Out in the Woods”, tune after tune reveals the unique qualities of James’ voice, her melodic skills, or her oft-admired knack for turning a phrase.
Fired by her genuinely independent spirit, James is equally adept at creating highly accessible music. Her lyrics address life, love, hope, colorful characters, ghost stories and good times from the viewpoint of a mature woman with a child in the modern world, facing bigger issues than just the angst of youth.
With the 11 original songs written, recorded and produced more as a “concept” than just the sum of all parts, Highways, Ghosts, Hearts and Home is one powerful, refreshing and sonically pleasing new release from an extremely talented musician.
“We’re issuing a Hot Stuff alert” – Midwest Record
“A singer/songwriter can make his or her rep on two things: excellent songwriting and an eye for small musical details. Fortunately Susan James has both.” – Blurt Online
“The proceedings are immediately captivating” – Blues Review/BluesWax
Track Listing: (click titles to listen)
1. Airstream Girl
2. A Weed Is Not A Weed (When It Grows Where It Belongs)
3. Thank You Tomorrow
4. On Your Side
5. Cold Moon On The Highway
6. Old Jug Song
7. Out In The Woods
8. Calling Mr. Zimmerman
9. Falling Waltz 2
10. How To Fix A Broken Girl
11. Goin’ To California
Susan James: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Electric Guitar
Produced by Susan James
All songs written by Susan James
2010 Dumplings Music (ASCAP)
published Dumplings Music (ASCAP)
“She expresses herself with a poise and intelligence rarely found in musicians who have twice her experience–not to mention recording budgets. The tactic allows her to explore textural motifs, but it also punctuates the gutsiness that fuels this peculiar, worthwhile voyage.”
- Richard Martin, Willamette Week
Shocking Pink Banana Seat
“To hear her is to like her ! In a field of starry-eyed, post-Lilith female folkies it`s getting harder to scythe the wheat from the chaff. Which is why the latest entry from crafty Californian Susan James comes as such a brow- wiping relief: it doesn`t whine, it doesn`t jangle, it doesn`t mask vague Naomi Wolf-ism in vitriolic hyperbole. Instead, it slithers along on its muscled Gothic belly via murky Joy Division chords, confident straight-from-the heart vocals and metaphors plucked from everyday existence, not some snooty college textbook.”
- Tom Lanham, Musician Magazine
Life Between Two Worlds
“Susan uses phrasing and intervals that make her work stand out against the ususal fare offered by current singer-songwriters. Her lyrics also reflect an awareness of the land and its Native people. The title song, for instance, is an elegy for the American iIndians and the disjointed world in which they have been placed. “Between Two Worlds” is carried by Susan’s powerful voice and her innovative songwriting deserves careful listening”
- Tom Culbertson, Gryphon Gazette