Austin-based indie-rock/soul vocalist and guitarist Jo James introduces “Down To The River,” a track lifted from his upcoming album, Found My Way, slated to drop September 8. To celebrate the release of Found My Way, Jo will perform at Antone’s in Austin on September 9.
Talking about “Down To The River,” Jo shares, “The significance of the living water that washed me clean and completely saved, and soothed my soul can be tied to one beautiful name. The song ‘Down To The River’ talks about the goodness of that water. The transforming power of that water. It washed away the things that were holding me down, holding me back, and I stepped into everything I was created to be. The day I went down to the river was the day I was born of water and the Spirit. It was the day I truly came alive.”
He goes on, “Sonically I wanted to capture the pain, joy, and strength of this story. A sound that tells you that this person had a past of hurt and pain but found his way to joy, hope, and life through the transforming power of the water.“
Recorded at Cedar Creek Studios in Austin, Texas, Found My Way includes the talents of friends/musicians Eli Menezes (producer/bass), Jon Deas (keys), Tony Econom (drums), and Crystale Taylor, Courtney Gayle, and Xavier Gonzalez Jr. on backing vocals.
Along with receiving the honor award at the 100% Music Songwriting Contest and a nomination for the “Soul of Austin” award at the Austin Armadillo Awards, Jo has performed live on Good Morning Austin and Balcony TV Austin. Jo was a featured performer on Season 17 of NBC’s The Voice. Commenting on Jo’s performance, judge John Legend said, “Great raw talent and voice is lovely to listen to.”
Jo’s sound blends elements of blues, neo-soul, R&B, and funk into neo-retro sonic creations. He’s shared the stage with Leon Russell, Dr John, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Robert Randolph.
Opening with Jo’s deliciously rasping voice atop a subdued sleazy, gritty guitar, “Down To The River” flows into a funky rhythm as seductive layers of blues rock give the tune raw, grimy colors. A smoldering bridge leads to a thick, resonant shell of a braying organ, crunching percussion, and Jo’s dazzling, granular guitar licks.
Drenched in luscious, muddy blues flavors, with “Down To The River,” Jo James delivers visceral, affecting music that’s ooh la la! excellent.