With little more than an acoustic guitar and his low growl of a voice, James Keyes has been plying
his trade for years in the taverns and bar rooms of New England. His music is a modern version of
an old tradition steeped in folk and blues, and on hearing his songs you'll be taken to another time
in American history when songwriters traveled the country by thumbing rides and hopping trains,
playing for beers and whatever folks could afford to throw in the hat.
Occupying his own unique space in American music somewhere between the throaty junkyard stomp
of Tom Waits and the wild mercurial ramblings of Dylan, James Keyes is a musician whose own sound
is just gritty and earthy enough to scare away the casual listener in these times of disposable culture
and just easy enough to make the adventurous a listener for life.
It's the cumulative sound of all the folk music that's come before it. Gut-bucket blues, honky-tonk tear jerkers,
songs of the road and its endless freedom, dark nights in smoky roadhouses and that long black ache
of the broken American dream.
Yeah it's dark. And it's hard and unforgiving but it's also human and warm, you just have to give it a listen
to get it. Or maybe not. Keyes travels solo with only a guitar and his right foot beating out the time on a
home made pedal board. His songs run the gamut from the profane to the sublime and never stop long
enough for you to figure out which.