Samuel James

Singer. Songwriter. Guitarist. Raconteur.

 

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"Samuel James is as enigmatic as they come. James, if you don’t know, is a Portland-based composer, musician, and storyteller in the folk, roots, and blues traditions. But that description feels incomplete. Let’s contemplate his latest project, Already Home Recordings Volume 1. On this short, fascinating album (the other three volumes are slated for release over the course of a year), James offers up one original composition and two traditionals, each one done “two ways,” as a response to discovering that his family lineage, rich with musicians, boasts artists both of the African-American folk tradition as well as the white-American folk tradition. These tracks explore that duality as well as the shared spaces by James first performing the song solo, then performing it with a full band (and by "band," he means just him -- he played all 24 instruments that appear on the album). This is a deeply personal, rich narrative, an introspective but aware art project about our contemporary American experience that feels, right now, very vital to our cultural dialogue."

-Dispatch Magazine