There’s nothing like the sweet sounds of Back Home and all of its familiarity. And of course, let’s not forget about the soulfully reassuring voice of Jo James and his captivating neo-soul sound. The soul/indie rock singer and guitarist will happily release his new studio EP, Back Home, on June 19th, a musically diverse collection of six songs that incorporate the best of blues, new soul, R&B, and funk.
The EP is defined by its smooth grooves and James’ gentle artistic touch, as evidenced by the soulful opening track “Not Just Anyone” or the jazzier, bluesier “Believe Me.” You can hear the honesty in each note of each song with James composing the record as a sort of homage to his wife Chelsea. Last September, Chelsea was dealing with some serious medical issues as a result of the bowel disease ulcerative colitis. James’ motivation in writing Back Home was to help listeners gain an understanding of the severity of this condition and also to offer those stricken with it something to cling to.
Witnessing Chelsea go through the worst of the disease pushed James to a new musical height where he was able to develop his most meaningful work to date. Commenting on what the record means to him, James said, “The new EP, Back Home, means more to me than anything I have written in the past. Each song speaks from my soul to a person I could never live without but was faced with the strong reality that it could have happened. As I sat and wrote the songs and moved on to recording, I laughed. I cried. I was grateful to be alive and that the person that means the world to me is alive! These songs are to honour my wife, bring awareness to Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and give hope to the hopeless. I want to encourage people to take time to love each other and be kind because this life is short. Back Home is a record full of love. Something this world could use more of!”
You’ll be instantly reeled in by the emotional depth of Back Home as it takes you through moments of love, pain, struggle, defeat, and ultimately, triumph. As an artist, James has paid his dues and taken the time to develop his skills at songwriting and performing. Not only has he been a staple of the festival scene, performing with great artists such as Leon Russell, Dr John, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Robert Randolph, but he has also received high regard for his stint as a featured performer on season 17 of NBC’s The Voice. While a contestant on the show, judge John Legend raved about James’ talents as a singer, stating that he had a “lovely” voice to listen to. With Back Home now arriving, Jo James is intent on taking that next step in his growing career and converting more listeners into fans with his vintage brand of soulful tenderness.