James King with Keith Prater Live on Poppy Mountain in 2005
Thanks to Allen “Styx” Hicks and James Stiltner for the video.
James King Bed By The Window
Raw, high lonesome bluegrass is the language James King speaks best. King’s road band, recording with him here for the first time, abet his singing ideally, especially the tenor of mandolinist Kenny Prater, who squeezes the heart with his harmonies on the title song.
King’s preference for a wailing, frayed vocal style nicely folds into his noted partiality for 1960s country and folk, represented here by tunes from the pens of Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, and Stonewall Jackson.
Old-timey bluegrass sprouts are everywhere, too. “Wear a Red Rose” kicks the CD off in high gear, and Damon Black’s “Tall Pines” and Moon Mullican’s lovely “Sweeter than the Flowers” offer a solid one-two succession with the hollering tune being followed by a somber waltz.
King shares with Del McCoury and few others an equally rooted and fresh bluegrass vision. –Andrew Bartlett
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