Jeremy James' name is a hallmark of songwriting talent. His naked power-folk is a boon to the Albany scene. Featured on local radio station WEQX, James is also listed as an "essential pick" by Internet radio's RadioioAcoustic.

An Arkansas native, James settled in the Capital District after high school, and became Albany's new favorite son of acoustic music. His second album, "Grey Gardens," was officially kicked off by a CD release party Saturday at The Muddy Cup on Madison Avenue.

James embraces folk music. Picture a sedate Hammell on Trial fused with Elliot Smith. His lyrics are a callback to folk's storytelling roots. In "Allegiance," the opening track of "Grey Gardens," James makes a political statement muted by the anecdote, "In my hometown there is but one lonely courthouse and there are 26 churches that want to save my soul."

James' use of bare guitar rhythms further highlight the artist's lyrical power. Love songs like "Mr. Rochester" leave the listener feeling privy to an inside joke when James poses, "You could be my Mr. Rochester and I could be the crazy lady in your attic." James is an old soul whose new release is more colorful than its name suggests.

With a voice like Loudon Wainwright's and lyrics like Joni Mitchell's, this one-time country boy is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

--CE Skidmore - Glenns Falls PostStar, Dec 8, 2005