Joshua James #MusicMonday


Joshua James is American folk’s finest and today’s #musicmonday pick. Hailing from the midwest, James writes songs about love, God, tragedy, and substance abuse.  James would not classify himself as a “Christian artist”, and from my observations, he seems to leave his specific faith stances removed from the content he produces (music, writings, etc.).  In fact, I’ve followed James since his first album in 2007 and still am unsure of his faith stances, which leaves more room for interpretation than blanket statements about God seem to. Interestingly enough, this has created some good dialogue on many websites on faith (from the normally awful comments of youtube to music sites to formal reviews).

James’ intimate vocals are what make him great, but his catchy tunes will challenge your thoughts and keep you humming for days.  Check it:

“The New Love Song” – Recommended by NPR as the song of the day and helped put James’ first album release in 2007 (The Sun is Always Brighter) to #1 on iTunes’ Folk Album list.  He was also featured on a Best of 2009’s singer/songwriter recommendation mix

“Crash This Train” – This is Joshua’s most political song. Joshua has spoken out about his distaste for the Iraq War and this song essentially cries out to God to end it. Regardless of your thoughts on the Middle East, James says one of my favorite lines from a song ever that we can all agree on: “It ain’t hard to tell, when it’s love that we sell.”

I covered the song a long time ago on my facebook page (the delay makes it look weird…sorry…)

Joshua James released “Build Me This” in 2009 and everyone who I’ve played the record for has really enjoyed it.  He does (tastefully) use the “d-word” in this song, so skip this one if that offends you. I have no idea what this song means, but it sounds awesome.

Coal War

Live Performance: FM Radio – This is a more tragic song by Joshua James, where he adds “You are my sunshine” to the end in an incredible arrangement.  He questions how God could have taken his sister in an emotive song that shows a depth of honesty most artists never touch. So good…

FM Radio Lyrics
I heard about, i heard about your daddy got sick.
Drove down to the river to die alone.
Seven days, seven days till they found him all.
Wrapped up in a blanket on the boat.
So we put him in the ground.
Down, Down, Down.
Your momma said “stay strong, don’t cry.”
So that is what you did.

Years later, years down later down the road.
On a bus with your FM Radio, half drunk, a cigarrette
hangin out.
What happened to your lonely soul? Crying out.
What happened to your lonely soul? Screamin out.
You said try and lose.
You said try and lose.
Everything you’ve known.
Everything you’ve seen.
Everything you’ve loved.
Everything you’ve been
And everywhere you walk
Every Song you sing
Everytime you wake
it haunts you once again.
My Daddy ain’t comin home
Daddy ain’t comin home
My Daddy ain’t comin home
Daddy ain’t comin home
My Daddy ain’t comin home.

Here are pictures of when Joshua James was on tour in the summer of 2008 and stayed at my parents house with me. In fact, his whole band slept over – 6 members, plus another friend of mine.  I blogged at a blogspot back then and wrote of the experience.  He loved my dog too. Here is photographic evidence:




I recommend both his first album (The Sun is Always Brighter) and his newest (Build Me This).

Build Me This is $9.99 on iTunes for 17 tracks, plus a music video.  Since I love you so much, here is a link. The Sun is Always Brighter is $9.99 too.  If you’d like a physical copy, you can go here.

See how easy I make it to make you spend money on music I love??

Oh, and if you are broke and can’t afford it, you can download music for free from his site, including “FM Radio” and “Coal War”. Awesome.

Let me know what you thought…


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