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PRESS


“Saying James fits the mold of great songwriters could too easily have him fall by the wayside, like many others who have gone that route. But, given his writing, singing, and playing talents , that's unlikely.” - Vintage Guitar Magazine

Medium.com “It’s refreshing, it’s bracing, it’s a welcome relief from the prepackaged reflexes that dominate the chatter in the major music media. These guys get your attention and don’t waste your time once they have it. The band is adroit, with mastery of varied grooves and rhythms. Generous chunks of hard rock guitar balance against the quick reflexes of a funk and fusion-honed rhythm section that underpins the James’ snarled ire. …Strange Storm has impressive brilliance in harnessing anger and railing against injustice." - Ted Burke

Music-News Darrin James Band's third full-length effort is a brilliant funk-fusion trip which firmly retains the grit of each style it embodies to produce a powerhouse statement of an album. Strange Storm is a brazen yet beautiful piece of philosophically political art that you can also boogie to." - Jon Ireson

Flea Market Funk -"Playing with the spirit of Fela in his music as well as speaking to his fellow humans about the state of the world present and past, we think James has captured the exact sound he was looking for on this single. We haven’t heard this much political cry in the latest batch of afro beat influenced sides that have been flowing freely from the four corners of the United States. While most records are for sure deeply rooted in the pioneers of the genre, it’s more musical than anything. There is no political outcry like James and company do on this track: “Unmanned drones, no-fly zones….Bombs Away, Big Mistake.” While most musicians play just to play, feel the rhythm and spread the musical love, Darin James has a message to the world on this one... We at Flea Market Funk feel that this side was done tastefully. If you like your music mixed with a bit of political activism as well as African horns and percussion, then “Bombs Away” is right up your alley.

Nashville Music Guide - "Darrin James on Ravine Records is powerful, unpredictable, filled with soulful eloquence and rocking electricity.

Anti Music - "This is really good stuff. It's not the sort of thing you'll ever hear on most commercial radio. Instead, it's the kind of music that sounds really good on public radio. These are the kinds of sounds that must be stretched out and fully developed to have maximum impact. Darrin James has a fantastic thing going on, and these two tracks are a pair of perfect samples of his sound.

Brooklyn Examiner - "Heavily influenced by sounds of Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and the 70's, James infuses political activism in particular with track "Bombs Away," which also merges a call and response hook, Afrocentric beat (Fela Kuti Afrobeat), along with jazz instrumentals shedding light on our government for projecting power through violence around the world."

Ellenwood - "Both tracks on the new single are refreshing and blend a number of styles to a unique new sound, heretofore unheard in James’ work. With his breathy, gravely Tom Waits-esque vocals and ingenuity in coming up with new ways to create and compose, it will be interesting to see where Darrin James takes his band next."

Time Out New York - "Brooklyn singer-songwriter Darrin James touches on Robbie Robertson’s gruff soulfulness, Tom Waits’ vaudevillian menace and Paul Westerberg’s ramshackle charm in the bluesy rockers on his debut album, Thrones of Gold. James has a knack for perceptive lyrics and memorable tunes; his crack band supplies the laid-back grooves."

Pop Matters - With wit and smart wordplay,... a raw and expressive voice...the band has a solid organic sound throughout, an impressive credential considering the scope includes everything from gospel and murder ballads to primal rock and country blues. Some stinging guitar, subtle strings, and a great use of the horn section helps grab your attention from track to track. A very nice surprise. - by Bill Holmes

Pittsburg Daily News -(FOUR STARS) “When you review as many albums as we do each year in The Daily News, it’s easy to become jaded and more than a little cynical. Because it’s the nature of the music business — or for that matter, the entertainment industry as a whole — to find something that works and then copy it. That’s why so many bands sound the same at any given time. So when someone with an original voice comes along, we, as critics, invariably find ourselves drawn to the port in the musical storm. Darrin James is one such artist… The talented singer/songwriter and his Darrin James Band mates don’t fit neatly into any musical category. There are elements of rock, folk, country and blues evident throughout fantastic sophomore release “The Lovely Ugly Truth.” With a shape-shifting voice that has drawn comparisons to Robbie Robertson, Tom Waits and John Prine, the 12 songs gathered here are uniformly strong…You’ll have a hard time finding a song you don’t like on “The Lovely Ugly Truth” — and that doesn’t happen very often. - by Jeffrey Sisk

Jezebel Music - “In 2009, it is hard to give great singer songwriters the attention they deserve – we receive so many submissions from guys with acoustic guitars, that it is sometimes easier to just talk about the ones that the big name blogs give the most press…but “The Lovely Ugly Truth” is such an enjoyable track: raucous, bluesy, and obviously classic, a composite piece of “rock and roll.” James has a such smokey gruff voice that it seems it would have been a rejection of his own birthright not to sing the blues. James isn’t going to invent any new genres, or get called a sonic pioneer, but with a song this genuine and immediate, who cares?” -by Max Sebela

Kansas City Online - "Each song feels real, like James lived it and seeks to purge the stink — or keep the beauty — surrounding the story in his music. And they’re all good, songs and the band, plus a collection of guest musicians attracted to the talent involved, lending the right amount sound — be it horns, organ, guitar, pedal steel or backup vocals — to accent each tale....The authenticity bleeds through the words...James reminds one of Tom Waits, both in his voice and the way his songs creep into your insides and rattle the truth you sometimes fight to avoid. And just like when the realization hits home and an escape may be necessary to put things in perspective, James has a rocker of a song for that, too — “Whiskey Breath Blues,” a perfection of attitude for when the times call for the middle finger to be raised against the world amid drinks with wayward friends. — by Bruce Rodgers (December, 2009)

North of the Border - This Brooklyn singer-songwriter sounds more like an east Texas swamp-rock veteran than a Yankee musician, but his love for roots music like blues, country and soul combine to spin out dark lyrics of desperate characters and situations…His gruff, growling vocals bring a Tom Waits comparison, but has more of a Springsteen sound to me….There is little doubt that this first-class, gut-bucket blues and swamp rock album with some serious subject matters will take more than a few spins to get the full effect, but I think you’ll get a big kick out of it.”

Blog Critics - "Its literate lyrics and subject matter are a big part of why Thrones of Gold stands as one of the best indie productions of the year so far." - Jon Sobel

The Deli Magazine - "The man's got Joe Henry versatility, a crackerjack studio band, and a great sense of craft... from a Lovett/Waits blues into a John Prine diatribe then rocketing off with an Elvis Costello pop gem. The record was made with a lineup featuring seriously tasty musicians making notable decisions that allow Darrin’s throaty vocals to take the foreground. It’s got it all. " - Walt Wells

Honest Tune Magazine - One track. That’s all it takes to make Darrin James' latest effort worth the entire album. The opening track on his Thrones of Gold, “Trivial,” with all its reckless abandon and rock and roll energy - think The Gourds meet The Faces - is more than worth the price of admission. In this day and age where rock and roll has fallen prey to oh so many gimmicks, its nice to have just one real, raw, rock song.Darrin James does this in just one tune, then shifts gears a number of times... making Thrones one darn fine record." - Chase Farmer

Americana UK - An intriguing debut for his own record label...Initial listens to this album indicated a blues leaning. His voice is gruff and rough and suited to the delta blues or jazz but this cd is far more than that." - Phil Edwards

Cowboy Trance Blog - The DJB sounds so completely authentic and true to its voice that it almost feels cleansing, and makes you wonder why in the hell great songs like these aren't everywhere, drowning out the vapid clowns that pollute the genre. The debut album, Thrones of Gold, doesn't sound at all like a debut, but rather like a sharp, soulful, and rocking veteran that Darrin James will surely become."

Pace University Press - "Born to sing the blues, Darrin James tears at the soul...There's an uncanny, effortless authenticity to it that is aloof and genius at the same time. The Brooklyn-based musician has a certain weary, detached air about him, as if he barely realizes the scope of his words and music while executing them in untroubled fluency. Despite such ease in his music, every song is tinged with raw emotion...undeniable talent and originality." - Julyssa Lopez

Dissolver Magazine - Thrones of Gold, the debut from the Darrin James Band, is a strong disk the whole way through, incorporating an inspiring variety of musical styles and lyrical themes. With a rugged voice and virtuoso guitar skills, James and his band make the most of his well-written songs." -Jon Gorey

Isthmus Daily Pages: " Bluesy New York singer-singwriter Darrin James strolls down the same back alleys and dusty country higways that inspired Springsteen and Dylan."

Soul of Rock n' Roll Blog "grooving rock and roll, country flavor, and earthy blues with a soulful style."

Indie A'na Jones Blog - "The earthy roots rock that characterizes James’s music has the quality of something real and something tangible.... Thrones of Gold, blends country and soul. Conjuring the heartland - let’s call it Americana, let’s call it music for the everyday blue-collar man (or woman) – his course vocals and folky twang are a force to be reckoned with."

BabySue Magazine (May 2007) - "If you're in the market for some good, hummable music that touches on real human topics...Thrones of Gold just may end up being your favorite album of the year."

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