Steven James has spent much of the past decade building up an impressive reputation on the music scene in Southern America, being the figurehead for two highly successful rock bands. 2014 has seen two big changes for this native of Corpus Christi, Texas; firstly he has taken the opportunity presented by a hiatus for his band The Shake Down to make the transition to recording and performing as a solo act. Secondly, whilst still maintaining that rock sensibility, Steven has experimented with his musical style and embraced that Texas flavour to produce music with a healthy Country leaning.
When discussing the new direction in which the singer finds music taking him he explains ‘the bands I worked with in the past definitely had an edgier, rockier sound. These new tunes I’m recording I feel are more personal, these are the songs I’m writing at 2am after a few cocktails. They’re about my life, my love…and some wild nights!‘. It is hard not to be intrigued reading that and wondering how this new output from a seasoned performer and writer will sound. Thankfully we did not have to wait long, debut single ‘Best Of Your Love’ was released a little over a month ago and is proving hugely popular, as Steven showcases the tune amidst a large scale Texas publicity tour.
The mid-tempo rocker is packed full of energy, driven along by a big throaty electric guitar riff. Featuring a superb guitar solo, strong organ fills and big, bold percussion the track makes the listener sit up and pay attention. There is a wonderful looseness to the single, refusing the temptation to shine and polish it to perfection lends it far more appeal, allowing it the chance to actually make an impact, rather than sound like a whole host of other songs on the radio. The singer proves himself to be a confident vocalist, there is a gritty edge to his delivery which fits perfectly with the satisfyingly rugged feel of ‘Best Of Your Love’ overall.
The current single (available now on iTunes UK) is paired with B-side offering ‘Go Down Slow’, an equally impressive tune. Bearing a number of similarities to its’ A-side, it see the full-out vitality of ‘Best Of Your Love’ pared down slightly to present a chugging crowd-pleaser. Complete with vocal ‘na-na-na-na-na’s and handclaps the track has all of the elements to make it a catchy as heck celebration of young love, and it certainly is.
Steven James is touring around the US to gain further recognition as a solo artist, in addition to numerous dates on his hometurf of Texas, he recently held a showcase in Los Angeles and has shows booked in Nashville. Following that the singer is heading back to the studio in Austin to record some more tracks for a full EP release. On the evidence of the two songs we have heard to date we will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for the release of more material from an artist who looks set to find a home within Country music. A genre which is currently developing and expending to welcome in talent with a little bit of a Southern Rock influence to them, a list of talent to which you can definitely add Steven James.