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 who’s own sound is just gritty and earthy enough to scare away casual listeners in these times of manufactured pop 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.
His first solo album “Ruminations” was released in January of 2010 to critical acclaim and brought together his love of old folk, blues and acoustic music together for the first time on record. Showcasing his sparse but lyrical songwriting, Ruminations drew comparisons from critics to Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash.
Devil Take The Hindmost is his second solo record and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2010 release Ruminations. Released in May of 2011 Devil… picks up where its predecessor left off but quickly takes on a life of its own with an intense and heavier approach.
Supported by an endless live schedule and heavy college, indie and internet radio rotation, Devil Take The Hindmost reached #13 on the Roots Radio charts without label representation of any kind and continues to gain praise at home and around the world.
In addition to thinking globally and acting locally, James Keyes plays regionally and tours nationally.