Add Date: September 28
Artist: Shayfer James
Album: The Owl & the Elephant
Label: Strike Line Media
Genre: Rock, folk pop
Comments: We often quote from promotional materials on this blog--sort of a shortcut, if you will, so that we can review music as efficiently and effectively as possible. The average onesheet has a pretty standard formula: give the musician's background, compare them to other acts familiar to college radio, and then (effusively) praise the artist as the next John Lennon/Radiohead/Bob Dylan/Mozart. But sometimes, for reasons unknown, someone escapes from the local crazyhouse and gets to write the promo material, and I'd hate to deprive you of the pleasure of reading it. So, here's what we find out about this particular artist:
"Shayfer James can be described pointedly as a myth in wolf's clothing. Referred to by his rapidly growing group of followers as The Villain King of New Jersey's underground noirpop music scene, Mr. James is devilishly captivating and deliciously unusual. From the worn bottom of his ripped black boots, to the wrinkled top of his black pinstriped hat, Shayfer James is the portrait of vagabond royalty. A man of bewitching grace, grisly humor, profound story telling, and whiskey-flavored wit. The self-defined 'spawn of the elephant and the empress', Mr. James attributes his musical and lyrical abilities to his early exposure to pipe smoke, demons, and jesters, and his oddly chivalrous nature to his life-long apprenticeship to L.V.S. (his mother's father)."
Now that you're primed to listen to The Owl & the Elephant, it would seem almost superfluous for me to describe the record, but I'll give it a shot: this is actually quite good cabaret folk that should appeal to fans of The Dresden Dolls, Rasputina or Tom Waits. Start with "Life Is Beautiful" and "Your Father's Son."