11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

James Apollo is one singer-songwriter unafraid to take things to extremes. While the Libertyville, Arkansas native’s music settles into a rough approximation of the Americana alt-country scene of the new century, it’s far gruffer, more tactile and genuine than many who service the field. Apollo sings as an on-the-ground reporter, unafraid to get himself dirty, his scratched larynx providing a weathered, windblown tone to all he observes. From the opening cut, “Where All Love’s Pilgrims Come,” he’s groveling in unrestrained voice, allowing a pump organ to run him into the ground. When he slows things to a crawl for “Beauty Bird,” he begins in a whiskey-soaked whisper that steadily grows into a full-bore husk, sparking comparisons to Paul Westerberg at his hung-over best. “Don’t Hurt Yourself, Baby” has a sweet nightclub swing in its Tex-Mex step. “Fate” has a dirty, graveyard piano pounding behind its obsessive blues pattern. The dirt under his fingernails makes for compelling listening throughout.

EDITORS’ NOTES

James Apollo is one singer-songwriter unafraid to take things to extremes. While the Libertyville, Arkansas native’s music settles into a rough approximation of the Americana alt-country scene of the new century, it’s far gruffer, more tactile and genuine than many who service the field. Apollo sings as an on-the-ground reporter, unafraid to get himself dirty, his scratched larynx providing a weathered, windblown tone to all he observes. From the opening cut, “Where All Love’s Pilgrims Come,” he’s groveling in unrestrained voice, allowing a pump organ to run him into the ground. When he slows things to a crawl for “Beauty Bird,” he begins in a whiskey-soaked whisper that steadily grows into a full-bore husk, sparking comparisons to Paul Westerberg at his hung-over best. “Don’t Hurt Yourself, Baby” has a sweet nightclub swing in its Tex-Mex step. “Fate” has a dirty, graveyard piano pounding behind its obsessive blues pattern. The dirt under his fingernails makes for compelling listening throughout.

TITLE TIME
5:26
4:25
3:43
3:59
3:23
3:32
3:46
3:44
3:35
3:16
1:24

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