Joshua James’ Masterful 2009 LP, Build Me This, Courtesy of NoiseTrade
In what I have to say is our best TST “Download Den” offering yet, we are passing along the opportunity to download the Joshua James’ 2009 masterfully rustic, gorgeous LP, Build Me This, courtesy of NoiseTrade. James is a breathtaking songwriter, and this sophomore release presented him as a peerless, young artist with a weathered, old soul digging up skeletons from American soil (James grew up in Nebraska and now resides in American Fork, UT) and molding them into thirteen songs that comprise an unforgettable journey.
I bought this album back in 2009, after one listen to opening track “Coal War.” The song is the best example of the prodigious gifts of James as an original songwriter and musician. Perhaps, James’ most impressive gift as an artist is his ability to write songs that transcend music as mere entertainments- that are offered up as prayers, dirges, and celebrations. James is a storyteller and lyricist of the highest order (he was 25 at the time of the release of Build Me This), and his words and singular voice have an inexplicable power to simultaneously break your heart and heal your subterranean wounds. From the rowdy joy turned funereal waltz of “Magazine,” to the Neil Young & Crazy Horse electric stomp and howl of “Black July,” to the poignant, acoustic folk ballad “In the Middle,” to the somber prayers and sing-along cleansing of the exquisite “Daniel,” James’ Build Me Thisis a genuine, American classic.
I bought Build Me Thisa few short months before leaving my home in Indiana to embark on a new journey; I cast off for Texas to take a stab at becoming a writer in the fall of 2009. This album was my treasured company for hundreds, if not thousands, of heartland miles traversed between Indianapolis and Austin during that time. Not only have James’ songs not lost their immense power and beauty in the three short years and lifetime of experience since, as I play them now, they truly do feel as essential as the blood coursing my veins.
Joshua James will release his first album since Build Me This, titled From the Top of Willamette Mountain, on November 6 with the great Richard Swift (Damien Jurado, The Mynabirds) producing. In celebration of the new album, NoiseTrade is honoring Build Me This by offering the album to you entirely free of charge(You can leave a tip though!). If you don’t own this album already, please take advantage of this opportunity and discover one of today’s deeply fulfilling artists.
This post first appeared on The Silver Tongueon 10/30/12.
Stream: Joshua James – Build Me This
Justin works as a content producer for ChaCha in Indianapolis during the day. He got his start writing music pieces with Laundromatinee in Indianapolis, where he still makes featured contributions. Justin resides in Noblesville, IN, and his personal blog, Division St. Harmony, can be found at www.divisionstharmony.tumblr.com.
His first loves in music have long been The Clash, Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. His personal tastes are fairly broad and include garage, indie rock, classic rock, Americana, roots, outlaw and classic country, punk, blues, rhythm and blues and soul.
Justin takes pride in an affinity for writing and music that is both rich in head and heart. Justin welcomes you to follow him on Twitter at @clashrebel and on Facebook.
Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing!