Chatting with DJ Darwin Davidson of WERU

WERU BangorAt the IBMA World of Bluegrass conference, I had a chance to sit down and talk with Darwin Davidson, DJ for WERU radio in Bangor, ME and host of the popular Bronzewound Bluegrass Show. We had a great time chatting about the album, bluegrass music and the music industry. The show just aired but in case you missed it, you can click here to listen in:   WERU Interview. As a bonus, you’ll get to hear 3 songs from my new album, Rhyme & Season! Enjoy!!

An Early Christmas Present

RMR 12-10 Chart   I just wanted to send out a big ole “Thank You!” for the incredible response you’ve given to my new album “Rhyme & Season.” A good friend of mine contacted me over the weekend and said, “Did you know that your album is charting on Roots Music Report?” I’ve been so busy lately that I hadn’t bothered to check in a while and sure enough, there it is, listed at number 37 and rising on the Roots Music Report Contemporary Bluegrass Chart. What a great early Christmas present, especially since it came from all of you!!!

I sure hope you and yours have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season!

 

 

Music to My Ears

Releasing a concept album unleashes a whole lot of questions from listeners…and that’s a good thing! Many of you have wanted to know why I chose the songs that appeared on my new album “Rhyme & Season.” Others, mostly reviewers, wanted to know why I called the album “Rhyme & Season.” And lately I’ve been getting more questions about the homeless and how you can get involved. THAT’S music to my ears!!

Behind the Songs LogoI’ve sent out six announcements that delve into the reasons for each song choice as well as the reason for the album. In case you missed any of them, I’ve posted them on the website under Recordings>Rhyme & Season>Behind the Songs. You’ll also find the lyrics and the names of bandmates that were featured on each song.

I love receiving your comments and hope that you’ll let me know how this collection of songs moved you. You can email me at info@jamesreams.com.

Rhyme & Season is Mighty Pleasin’

Nominations3I admit, I was holding my breath while waiting to hear what the critics thought about my new album, Rhyme & Season. Putting out an album is like cooking up an 11 or 12 course feast and hoping that folks like what you have done. The wait can be terrifying and sometimes the comments can be brutal. Thank goodness everyone really seems to like Rhyme & Season! I thought you might like to glance through some comments that have been received so far.

  • “James Reams’ bluegrass may not be everyone’s, but there is little chance of it being labeled generic: rough around the edges, solid to the soul! Bluegrass concept albums remain rare, and on this wide-ranging collection of singular songs, Reams and his Barnstormers have crafted an intense and sympathetic portrait of turbulent times. Reflecting the forgotten, disenfranchised, discarded, and troubled, ‘Rhyme & Season’ is a mighty powerful return to the recording studio for one of bluegrass music’s most independent and evocative visionaries.” - Donald Teplyske, Reviewer for Country Standard Time
  • “James Reams has walked the walk of those who have been cast aside. Now, in Rhyme & Season, he talks the talk. Actually, he sings it…with conviction. There is an authentic, gritty feel to the music that can’t be faked. This fine record will become an important part of the dialog about those who are down and out, left behind and marginalized.” - David Morris award winning songwriter and journalist, Reviewer for Bluegrass Today
  • “Rhyme & Season had me mesmerized the entire time it was playing.  It amazes me how [James] can continually raise the bar with each project.  The lyrics of each song fit him like a glove and the instrumental [portion] of the project was superb.” – Al Shusterman, KCBL Radio, “Backroads Bluegrass” program host
  • “James Reams has seen his share of tough times and they’ve clearly shaped who he is both musically and spiritually. This collection of tunes not only tells a beautiful story, but is beautiful to listen to. James’ unique voice and killer band carries you blissfully throughout the journey, a journey that James has chosen to use as a way to bring awareness to, and benefit the less fortunate. Good on you, James!” - Tony Kamel, Wood & Wire
  • “James Reams’ new album [Rhyme & Season] is loaded with some of the best contemporary/traditional bluegrass music you’re likely to hear this year or any year.” - Mitch Finley, Music Reviewer for Inland Northwest Bluegrass Music Association
  • “[Rhyme & Season’s] first song sucked me right in…I love the rockabilly sound of ‘Born to Roll.’ Your albums always tell a great story – that’s one of the things I’ve always liked about your music.” - Barb Heller, Program Host for NCPR Radio

Rhyme & Season is Finally Here!

R&S Cover - 2-9When those boxes were unloaded from the UPS truck, I just couldn’t help getting excited. I was like a kid at Christmas opening them up and getting my first look at the completed CD that I’ve been working on for over a year. First thing I did was unwrap one and put it on to play. Making an album has a lot of magical moments, but none can compare to the first time you hear the finished product. I’m just pleased as punch and hope you are too!

Rhyme & Season will be available for online purchase on March 29th. Here’s what a couple of the early reviewers had to say:

“James Reams’ bluegrass may not be everyone’s, but there is little chance of it being labeled generic: it’s rough around the edges, solid to the soul! Bluegrass concept albums remain rare, and on this wide-ranging collection of singular songs, Reams and his Barnstormers have crafted an intense and sympathetic portrait of turbulent times. Reflecting the forgotten, disenfranchised, discarded, and troubled, “Rhyme & Season” is a mighty powerful return to the recording studio for one of bluegrass music’s most independent and evocative visionaries.” – Donald Teplyske, Country Standard Time

“Listening to James Reams’ “Rhyme & Season” is as comfortable as returning home after being away. But that sentiment belies the more serious and sincere undercurrent running throughout the album. The album definitely has the James Reams ‘stamp!’ this album is a credit to his existence.” – Brian McNeal, Prescription Bluegrass

You did it!!

I felt like it was New Year’s Eve all over again this weekend as I watched the clock countdown the final hours of the Kickstarter Campaign for my new project, Rhyme & Season. If I had thought to purchase a bottle of champagne to celebrate, I would have been popping the cork…instead I popped the top on a can of soda and pretended. But nothing could dampen my excitement as the campaign reached the goal and I realized that I could start booking the recording studio! Thanks to you, the album will remain on schedule for release in November, 2015. I’ll be posting album updates periodically here on the website just to keep you informed about the album’s progress so check back regularly. Woohoo! I’m still celebrating!

It’s the Final Push for Kickstarter – We’re Almost There!

Goal ThermometerThe last days of the Kickstarter Campaign to help with the production costs of my newest album, Rhyme & Season, are here. The campaign will end at midnight on Sunday, May 31st. I’m so close I can taste it!! But, if the $5000 goal isn’t reached by midnight on 5/31, then the campaign will be terminated as if it never happened at all. I won’t receive a penny and none of the pledgers will be charged.

I just need $1500 more and we’ll make it. If you have been waiting to see if this project is for real, check out the article that appeared last week in Bluegrass Today. If you were waiting to see if we were going to fund…stop waiting and start pledging!

This is it…if the campaign doesn’t fund, then production will be delayed until I can raise the money. Putting out an album on your own has it’s perks (artistic freedom being HUGE!) but that means that I also have to lay out a lot of money upfront for licensing, studio rental, mixing, graphics as well as paying the special guests that will appear on the album. That adds up to a pile of cash and last time I looked, I hadn’t won the lottery yet. My well is just about dried up and I sure hate to delay this project. Please, dig deep and support this project now.

In the News

Bluegrass Today Article 5:18:15

 

Hey folks, in case you didn’t notice Richard Thompson of Bluegrass Today ran an article about my new album, Rhyme & Season, on May 18th. This guy has a great way with words and turned just a few comments from me into a beautiful, well-written article that I hope you enjoy reading it!

 

Help Me Complete My New Album!

Seasons CoverHey folks! I’m just so excited about this new project. Everything is coming together and we’re getting ready to begin the recording phase. That’s when the expenses just get to be more than my pocketbook can manage. So, I’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help fund the production costs associated with completing the album.

Check it out! You’ll notice that I’ve put together some enticing rewards for you, but more than that, I hope you’ll take pride in sponsoring an album that hopes to raise awareness about the homeless. I have to raise $5,000 by May 31st or the project won’t fund. Please help me get the word out by contacting your local bluegrass association, DJ, newspaper, friends…well, you get the idea!  Thanks so much!