James Houlahan’s shadowy world is worth a visit. On his latest self-released album ‘Multitudes,’ his folky poetics will remind one of obscure Tom Waits tracks. Now that is an endorsement!
The first track. “Fiery Mercy” will lure you in and the second, “Delta Heart” will make you want to stay for a while. “Delta Heart” sounds renewed and raw like it may have been recorded in one take, but once the horn section arrives you will want to waltz and sing along with the chorus. “The Rogue Song,” a Steve Earle inspired song if there ever was one, will make you stomp and romp with Mr. Houlahan in some secret speakeasy somewhere. By the time “See Me Through” downshifts the mood, you will believe Mr. Houlahan was born to do this.
Houlahan is one of those gifted songwriters which has to write, has to play and has to sing. It doesn’t matter if anyone’s listening or not. He going to sing for himself first, if there are ten, 100, or 1,000 listeners in front of him even better. He’s going to sing his songs regardless.
The songs on ‘Multitudes’ reassure us that there are still some serious songsmiths keeping the art of Americana alive. Pay attention to this artist and pay for his record to make sure he keeps writing and singing.
A review by King Cliché