J Tilman – James Blues
J Tilman, to either despair or delight, remains a quite enigmatic and under-heard artist. Indeed at first listen it seems easy to categorize him into the emergent folk scene, stocked under Mumford and Sons, Ray Lamontagne and Fleet Foxes. Yet given the opportunity J Tilman possesses a gift which allows him to be a defining feature of the genre rather than a side dish to this nu-folk steak.
The opening line is quite frankly brilliant, ‘James incurred the wrath// of a jealous woman’ delivered with a whisky laden whisper, the lyrics treading that fine line between melodramatic and emotionally authentic. There’s something charmingly simple about the music, a lone acoustic guitar accompanied by occasional percussion, the age old musical juxtaposition of unsophisticated instrumentation paired with lyrics of considerable emotional weight, granted this song is not a stone clad original but an exquisite example of the aforementioned style. It has that feel of a camp-fire song which may have travelled far and through many performers to reach your ears and regardless of its or J Tilman’s popularity, this song is a gem to be cherished