Angela James’ music brings to mind the rich, deep voices of artists like Patsy Cline and Rosanne Cash with the narrative sensibility of more modern female troubadours like Neko Case and Cat Power. Traditional and hip, artful and sometimes avant-garde, her songs suggest a sweet melancholy that aches with both pleasure and pain at the wonder of our shared experience.
With her first full length record, Way Down Deep (released 11/14), James took her nascent career to the next level of craftsmanship by employing some of Chicago’s finest jazz improv players and incorporating them into a bold sonic tapestry that highlights both her refined ear and wide-ranging influences. Her second full length, Time Will Tell (3/2016), finds her exploring similar themes of love and loss but with more darkness, confidence and curiosity. Called “smoldering and gorgeous” by the Chicago Reader, Time Will Tell effortlessly bends and blends musical genres, taking James far beyond her “country” roots. Her music speaks to new horizons in progressive Americana in a way that feels both indebted and freed from the strictures of time.
Accompanied live by her collaborator and husband Jordan Martins, and drummer Charles Rumback, Angela delivers a sound that is both adventurous and reverential while creating a warm palette for her thoughtful lyricism.
Born and raised in Eastern TN, with sojourns in Mississippi and Brazil, Angela James calls Chicago home.