James Scott Fant - 'Pig Iron: The Blue Room Sessions I’(February 12, 2013)
The instant James Scott Fant kicks off 'Pig Iron: The Blue Room Sessions I’ you’re immediately inside the humanity his songs describe – living, surviving, making something out of nothing and above all keeping your sanity by recognising the world for what it is and getting on with it despite the odds.
His voice reaches out and pulls you into songs that take exactly where you expect – into tales you want to hear.
It's a voice that if could you see it rather than hear it, would be calloused like working hands, scuffed like well-loved, worn-in boots but possessing all the experience-laden attraction of both. Listen to ‘Out Of Cannan’ – its simple six-string melody will capture immediately. And the lyrics – “Ridin' hard out of Canaan tonight on four bad tires and one headlight, Ain't no promise this promised land will ever be right. I'm tired of waitin' for a miracle.” Chock full of feeling and already in your head.
The magnetism of the lyrics continues through the resigned reflection of ‘Worse for the Wear’ and the deep seated contemplation of the regret-filled ‘Restless Wind’.
James moves into the realm of acoustic blues with the gutsy ‘8 Lb. Sledge’ complete with its edgy aggressive ‘don’t mess with me’ vocals and pulsating guitar. And just when you think you’ve got a handle on his style there’s ‘Annie Sings The Blues’ – sharp observations that go hand in hand with desperate truths.
Yeah, I know that this EP has been out a while in the USA but it’s only just made its way to my ears. However, if hard-tales and well-written Americana folk gets to you then you’ll love it – I do. And that’s a good enough reason to share it with you.
Reviewer: Tom Franks