Jason James: Seems Like Tears Ago (Melodyville Records)
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Jason James is in the next wave of great traditional country artists. You’ve all heard of Simpson, Childers, Jinks, Cauthen, Crockett, etc. You’re gonna have to add another name to that list and that name is Jason James. This is tear in my beer country that is praise worthy for it’s authenticity. This is Texas dance hall music that is timeless. And I can’t wait to listen to the whole shebang one more time.
This is Jason’s second album and it should put him on the map as one of the up and coming country troubadours. Logging in more than 150 shows a year, Jason is a musician who is not afraid of the open road. In our recent interview, Jason reiterated a slogan I have heard from country artists before: “We don’t get payed to play, we get paid to travel”. Because music sales are basically null and void, that statement is truer than ever. This music travels well and Jason is a road warrior himself, so that won’t be an issue.
Seems Like Tears Ago (Track 1), the title track, is a glowing example of the type of ride you are in for when you listen. This is just sad country music at it’s finest. The twang, the vocals, the production value. It’s all there. Jason sings in a style similar to George Jones where he goes and reaches for those high notes at the end of his vocal phrasings. I can’t get enough of this one.
No true country album is complete without a number about honky tonkin’. Jason took care of that with We’re Gonna Honky Tonk Tonight (Track 4). This is a tune that requires a dance floor and a good dance partner. Not really. It is perfectly acceptable to dance in place in your most comfy office chair or recliner, the choice is yours. The pedal steel fills are as close to prefect as you can get. Pure joy
Time to get back to the sad tunes. I Miss You After All (Track 2) is a song about lost love and feeling a sense of loss. This is a country classic in the making. “It fits right in there.” I am truly astounded at how good it sounds. Again, the formula is great writing, great vocals, great players, and tons of that twangy pedal steel. The ingredients are all listed on the side of this cereal box. This box doesn’t require a deep dig to get to the prize at the bottom. The prizes are everywhere. Better than the Lucky Charms marshmallows.
I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will. This will be a staple in any country music fan’s record collection. It has all the elements with the assistance of 21st century technology. Jason James will fit nicely between Alan Jackson and Waylon Jennings.