March 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Album Review: The James Douglas Show – ‘9’

"Have you ever felt like a band was “Your Band”? Well, The James Douglas Show is my band."

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Have you ever felt like a band was “Your Band”? Well, The James Douglas Show is my band.

It started off as one of those synchronistic moments in which you’re reminded that there are no accidents in this life. I was coming into the radio station where I work, about to do my funk show. Filing out of the elevator was this group of guys looking all kinds of funky, in crazy, over-the-top-outfits – at least they were over the top by Santa Fe standards. I made a double take at the guy with the foot-high mohawk, James Douglas the lead singer. “Okay, who are you guys?” I asked. They introduced themselves as “The James Douglas Show.” The band’s drummer, Marco Nunez proceeded to tell me about the band’s McDonald’s-sponsored tour and handed me their CD,  “The New Black.”

That album sat on my desk for a week, a shame because it was a week lost. Upon listening, it struck me that “The New Black” was one of the funkiest records I had heard in a long, long time. It was love at first listen. A month later, I interviewed the band on my radio show and caught their performance at a local club. I had them play my 50th Birthday Party.

“The New Black” was released in 2008 and like all JDS fans, I have been waiting with bated breath for the release of their new album, “9,” and I have to say it was worth the wait. They open the record with an up-tempo, funky, driving tune, “Touch Away” that I can’t wait to debut on the air. The next cut, “Wonderully,” was actually the first track to be released from the record and showcases James Douglas’s gorgeous falsetto over a soulful track containing a hypnotic tempo and melody that reminds me of a music box -- sweet and soothing.

“Supastar”  highlights the versatility of The James Douglas Show: This rocking cut showcases the musicality of the band with a great bass line by veteran member Zach Fowler, as well as a memorable guitar solo by the newest member of the JDS, Jessie Martinez. Musical talent runs deep in this band, everyone sings, and Delmone Taylor is an amazing multi-instrumentalist.

I’ve seen The James Douglas Show cover different artists’ material and one of their talents is that they can mimic at will the sound of any artist they choose. But this can be a slippery slope when you’re trying to develop a unique sound as a singer and as a band. But as a longtime fan, two things surface from “9”: James Douglas has found his own voice (although one can’t shake whispers of Lenny Kravitz In “Shake It Loose”). Secondly, the body of work on this record represents a distinct sound and feel -- a more mature sound, in part thanks the band’s production company, The Arkiteks, which consists of producer/engineer/keyboardist/vocalist and all around good guy Mike Cee and drummer/visionary and workaholic Marco Nunez.

My opinion on the James Douglas Show record…I give it a 9!

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