Reviews for "Strange storm"


 “It’s refreshing, it’s bracing... 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 

full review

"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 

full review

Reviews for "Disaster relief"


All About Jazz

", yet poignant funk jams. ..the band’s feel good ethos produces perfect party music.” - Paul Naser

full review

Blog Critics

“Delicious soul-funk, innovative and brisk…played with fervent passion and oodles of sonic heat.” – Randall Radik

full review

reviews for "the lovely ugly truth"


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 

full review

Vintage Guitar Magazine

 “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.”  

Pittsburgh Daily News

 “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 

full review

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) 

Full review

reviews for "Thrones of Gold"


Time Out NY

 "Brooklyn singer-songwriter Darrin James touches on Robbie Robertson’s gruff soulfulness, Tom Waits’s 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." 

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 

full review

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