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Music Review: Brandon James – Down In The Sand (EP)

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Brandon James’ press releases describe his sound as west coast country music. It sounds like polished pop/rock to me, but the important thing is good music is good music, which is what Brandon James has produced.

He is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and culinary enthusiast, courtesy of his parents Toronto based bakery business. His passion for music shares space on his web site blog, Country Rock Recipes, with his fondness for cooking. Just check out his Honey Garlic Sun Chip Chicken.

His latest release is the four song EP, Down In The Sand. He wrote or co-wrote all the tracks and provides the vocals while accompanying himself on his acoustic guitar. He has gathered a stellar group of musicians in support, including drummer Dirk Sommers, bassist Austin Underhill, electric guitarist Rod Castro, keyboardist Skip Edwards, violinist Eliza James, banjo player Dennis Caplinger, and background vocalist Shaun Williamson.

The EP was produced by Skip Saylor, who has worked with the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Roberta Flack, Santana, and K.D. Lang. He has produced and mixed a clean and tight sound that avoids many of the pitfalls of independent releases. The sound has a clarity and crispness that fits the music well.

If there is one thing Brandon James can do, it is write and create catchy and memorable pop/rock. The melodies stay in your mind long after the music has stopped.

“Down In The Sand (With Me”) makes it immediately clear that he can create full sounding music. It and “Walk In The Sun” are positive, toe-tapping, party songs. “Beautiful Eyes” and “”The World’s On Fire” both make use of his smooth and emotional voice.

The only negative about his new EP is it is too short, but such is the life of the brief EP. This was his second EP in a row; hopefully, he will create an entire album of his catchy music in the near future.


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