Joshua James – Tickets – Jammin Java – Vienna, VA – September 16th, 2014

Joshua James

Joshua James

Neulore, Armon Jay

Tuesday September 16, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00

This event is all ages

• Full dinner and drink menu available
• The Lobby Bar opens at 7pm

Joshua James
Joshua James
“Humanity,” said Dostoevsky, “is a mystery. It must be unravelled.” On his latest album, My Spirit Sister, Utah-based Americana artist Joshua James attempts to do just that, laying bare a narrative catalogue of his unraveling of the complexities and imperfections inherent in us all. “There is for each of us a constant search for love,” says James. “We look to our families, spouses, and friends for support, but sometimes we must look into the dark that covers the night, searching for acceptance. These songs stem from that.” 


Joshua James was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he found solace early on in old records. James moved to Utah for university, where he began writing songs while studying nursing. “Leaving your home, your family, and living somewhere without the support of that structure is going to cause you to change,” he says. “I suppose it caused me to expand my view of the world, people, culture, god, the pursuit of a "career,” money and its affect on a man.” These themes and the hard-edged, stark landscapes of these states seep into the compositions on My Spirit Sister, which are stunningly beautiful yet somehow perilous and harrowing in execution. James draws on inspiration from the untidy and unseemly parts of ourselves that we tend to hide even from the people closest to us. He may find more questions than he answers, but his ethos of working to be honest about his own weaknesses led to a chillingly engaging record.


The critical reception to James’ previous albums, ranging from Paste Magazine who named him one of the next 25 Artists You Need To Know and NPR who said “James specializes in lyrics that cut right through listeners with their sincerity and honesty,” left him without much to prove moving into his new album. This gave James’ the space to experiment more and to expand his sound. “The progression from the first album to this one is quite sonically and expressively different,” he says. My Spirit Sister has a dark mystery to it, reflected both thematically and sonically. Referencing the frailty and weaknesses of humanity, the songs are about “the things that come up in our lives without warning, lovers and relationships.” Where a lesser songwriter might simply explore the pain in this darkness, James makes peace with it, bringing a strong, cold undercurrent of hope and aspiration beneath it.


“I’m in constant flux with "being true" to myself, perhaps we all are, but this record really feels like an honest endeavor to me. I enjoy the connection that can exist when becoming vulnerable and the easiest way for me to do that is through song.” This sense of vulnerability is palpable on My Spirit Sister. Here, Joshua James proves himself to be a mature songwriter, blending the line between what is fictional and what is confessional like a painter mixing watercolors. He’s been an artist to watch for years now, but with his new album, he’s finally arrived.



Neulore
Neulore
NEULORE was formed in Nashville, TN in the Autumn of 2009 to tell stories of hope. After releasing a well-crafted EP, “Apples & Eve”, they have begun to take their heartfelt songs to the masses. With a live show that not only entertains, but affects, leaving the audience with a sense that anything is possible, Neulore is captivating the hearts of all who draw near. Describing their sound as “truth in modern tones” and boldly stating that “the new folk music has arrived” they are firmly rooted in the tradition of community, the pursuit of wisdom, and the telling of timeless stories from a fresh perspective.
Armon Jay
Armon Jay
"For Armon Jay, the making of his new album, Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed, was a two-year journey from darkness into sunlight, from what he calls desolation to consolation, the culmination of sleepless nights where he saw his faith tested, but his hope ultimately restored, through a set of songs that speaks from the very core of his being.

Thanks to raising close to $14,000 on Kickstarter from family and friends, Armon was able to travel to producer Joshua James’ idyllic Willamette Mountain on a one-acre farm against the beautiful backdrop of American Fork, Utah, to record the album in two eventful weeks. James, introduced to Armon Jay by mutual friend, singer/songwriter Noah Gunderson, proved a valuable partner, not just producing the album, but serving as “farmer, mountain climber, goat herder, high-tailin’ bike rider and a bit of a wild man,” helping Armon get over his fear of heights as well as failure. The album was mixed in Los Angeles by Todd Burke, who has worked with the likes of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson in his Monrovia studio.

The Chattanooga, Tennessee-born Armon’s father was a portrait painter (“An ‘eccentric’ artist like me,” he adds), who plucked out songs by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson on a guitar, while his mom, who used to sing around the house, introduced him to the likes of Whitney Houston and Kenny Loggins on the tape deck of the family’s ’89 Buick. Armon sheepishly admits to plinking out the theme to the movie Titanic on the piano by ear before picking up a guitar at 12 and starting to write songs two years later.

Armon owes his personal and creative breakthrough to finally being correctly diagnosed with Adult ADD and getting married last summer. Armon is particularly proud of the album’s centerpiece, the title track, which measures the gap between the man he is, the kind of man he wants to be, and learning to accept the difference. “I will wait…for you,” the song concludes.

Armon found Dutch illustrator Anton Van Hertbruggen’s work on an art bloggers website, and immediately texted him to see if he were interested in creating the cover and inside sleeve art for the new album. After a series of back-and-forth email exchanges, Van Hertbruggen then submitted two original pieces depicting the record’s theme of light traveling into dark. From finding producer Joshua James to discovering the right artwork, Armon has taken a truly modern DIY approach to his first full-length solo album. And if he’s not totally cured of all his mental phobias, the very existence of Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed is proof of its therapeutic value—not just for Armon Jay, but any listener who finds himself in a similar place, which, in case you didn’t realize it, is most of us. Armon Jay’s message is that there are second chances which offer the opportunity for redemption.
Venue Information:
Jammin Java
227 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA, 22180
https://jamminjava.com/