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MP3 James McCandless & Julianne Macarus - Out West Somewhere

Folksingers, songwriter (James), acoustic musicians.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (47:07) !
Related styles: FOLK: Modern Folk, FOLK: Fingerstyle

People who are interested in Steve Goodman John Prine Willie Nelson should consider this download.

“McCandless conveys a consistent vision throughout of who he is and how he wants to entertain – and he succeeds…” Rich Warren, Sing Out!

What can you say about this James McCandless character? Geographically speaking, he was born out west and raised in Chicago, so he really doesn’t know if he’s supposed to be a cowboy or a gangster. He has played guitar and studied, taught, performed and recorded music since the age of six. Other than that, he hasn’t worked a day in his life. Ever since the time Studs Terkel told him that Federico Fellini said, “All art is autobiographical”, the door flew open for Jim to confidently write about any damned thing he wanted to.

Truly, Jim is a rather large exaggeratomus. But without exaggeration we would have no Rashomon and without Rashomon there would be no Akira Kurosowa and without him we wouldn’t have The Seven Samarai and no Seven Samarai means no Yul Brynner and without Yul Brynner there would be no shaved heads, which means no basketball and on and on until everything disappears!! What kind of world would that be? Like the dark side of Mercury which (guess what) also has craters! Now there’s a howdy-do!

By the way, "It May Go On Without Me" has become an Ivy League frat house favorite.

His music has been recorded by Kat Eggleston, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Jimmy Moore, Sean Keane, Arty McGlynn, Nollaig Casey, Bell & Shore, Susan Shore & Don Stiernberg, Dan Bern, and Body Parts; he has worked with Julianne Macarus, John Williams, Hayes & Cahill, Larry Nugent, Gan Ainm, Liz Carroll, Buddy Mondlock, Frank Tedesso, Jano, Andrew Calhoun, Victor Sanders, Brian Anderson, Jim Craig and Tom Dundee.

Jim has also performed with P.J. Hayes, Greg Brown, Joan Baez, Odetta, Chris Smither, Sean O’Driscoll, Claudia Schmidt, John Fahey, Tim O’Brien, Jim Post, Natalie McMaster and Tom Paxton.

“A beautifully crafted Western concept album, Out West Somewhere is complete with hopeful frontiersmen, homesick families, disoriented travelers, broken-down cowboys, and ornery outlaws all soaking into the expansive plains that house them. McCandless shows himself to be a rather eclectic songwriter, as well as an excellent guitarist, with the rolling fingerpicked guitar of the title track, the strange imagery and foreboding viola of “Christopher”, and the country blues guitar workout of “Lowdown Yankee Liar”. The sing-songy satire of a self confident star in “It May Go on Without Me” has a definite Irish folk feel in both phrasing and melody, just as “The Drunken Brawl” strongly calls to mind the chaotic sprawl of the classic Irish tune “Johnny McAldoo”. John Williams’ sympathetic accordion works well in underscoring the characters in transition in the lilting “King Of The Mugs”, with Williams returning to contribute a wooden whistle instrumental in “The Black Rose”. Deserving the equal billing she receives, Julianne Macarus adds perfect violin to many tracks, with her mandolin, pianolin and viola further filling out the rather sparse sound. Occasionally complementing McCandless’ light croon with her own ethereal backup vocals, Macarus’ contributions can’t be overlooked. Using a vibrant economy of words, McCandless effortlessly portrays the sense of awe felt by those settling down in the openness of the West for the first time in “One Rock”, just as the gossip surrounding the outlaw in “Tom Horn” puts the listener in the middle of the fearful town. Such are the tangible, often strange, images that McCandless employs, that make “Out West Somewhere” a fully realized concept.”
Matt Fink, internet review.

“…”Out West Somewhere” is a wonderful collection of songs and instrumentals evoking life in the Old West. It’s a folk album of immense quality and, while the songs hark back to those good old bad old days, they never succumb to the obvious. Quite an achievement in itself. Apart from traditional tunes, “The Black Rose” and “The Boys of Bluehill”, all are McCandless originals. “My life is a dry river where only the tears will flow,since my wife ran off with a Bible thumper a couple of years ago” he sings in the title track, while “It was ninety degrees at midnight when Tom Horn arrived, and you could hear that baby screaming from here to the riverside If you could grow a stinkweed in a field of barleycorn, you could surely have a little bastard as mean as Tommy Horn” he informs us in “Tom Horn”. Steve McQueen must’ve got it wrong! Praise, too, must go to Julianne Macarus, whose violin, viola and vocal harmonies make such an important contribution and help propel this collection of songs firmly into the realm of modern classics.” Dave White, Rock ‘n’ Reel Magazine,England

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