Friday, January 13, 2012

Hot One of the Week: Jim Dead

I may be nineteen years old, but I see the importance of musical evolution and I hope that my tastes reflect that appreciation. I feel as if I’m a rare Johnny Cash fan of my generation and, even stranger than that, I enjoy listening to country radio. I just can’t help it when I’m at home. The farms, fields, and hills of Northwestern New Jersey just invoke within me a desire for country music. Home is much different than New Haven, Connecticut; country has become one way for me to differentiate. These are thoughts that I’ve had this week as I listen to Jim Dead.

Jim Dead is an artist who caught me by surprise this week. I spent time listening to artists on BandSoup and heard so many different genres of music, never did I expect to be mesmerized by a countrified blues-rock singer-songwriter. The first thing that came to mind was Johnny Cash and the last few albums he released before his death, a set of dirges enshrined forever. If you are familiar with those albums at all, the tracks “Sadly, Those Birds Refuse to Sing” and “Devil on the West Bound 3:10” will surely resonate with you. You can find these songs on BandSoup and Dead’s first recorded release, Go Tell the Congregation.

Jim’s work is riddled with haunting tunes that are diverse and reminiscent of Kenny Rodgers, Bob Dylan, The Doors, and even Nirvana. On his second LP, Ten Fires, you find more dark acoustic melodies, but many more songs with a full-band and bigger sound. His music is based in the roots, simple, and imperfect, yet the poetry of it speaks to me. The fact is, I would totally love to sit down and see Jim Dead at a local bar and hang out, it’s that kind of music.

Don’t just take my word for it. Try his music out for yourself, and let me know what you think.

-Doug Foley
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