Monday, 4 October 2010

James Bowman III - The Experience Continues... - 2010 - JB3/Madison Avenue Records

James Bowman III is an independent artist who has already graced us with a number of inspirational sets of note, and 2010 sees his latest release aptly entitled "The Experience Continues...". Having an illustrious background working with the likes of Brian McKnight, A Special Blend, Virtue, Mervyn Warren of Take 6 fame and bassist Eric Essix, he has also performed onstage with the likes of BeBe & CeCe Winans, Commissionned, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and the legendary Edwin Hawkins. This artist has great pedigree and plenty of talent, more than audible on this latest release via CD Baby. Although this is very much a musical ministry, much of this release will appeal to secular ears such as mine and will have a much broader appeal as a result. James has a great ear for a tune and track one is an excellent slice of soulful gospel crammed with great vocals and an 80s flavour that would not be out of place, say, on a Kingdom album. The keys are dreamy and the sax and live drums work greatly with the haunting synth. As far as opening songs go, this is a good'un.

The following track is SUPERB! "The Clock Is Tickin'" again contains plenty of real instruments and a haunting synth. This has a great mid - late 80s feel and a melody that reminds me of what Leon Ware was doing around that point in time. Cannot recommend this enough, and can also give a big old thumbs up to the superb "I Can't make It Without Your Love" complete with gentle rhodes keyboards and drunken guitar. This is superb, and lyrics aside i cannot stop playing this gem of a song. James covers a few songs too and does a fairly decent job too on Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" and R Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly", but it's on the original songs that I lay my money..."Stop Frettin'" really is a corker and the smooth vocals and synths come together perfectly. What James Bowman also does on here, rather than just expose his faith is to tell the story of his humble background and how he worked hard and made himself the life he wanted. This is a positive message no matter which deity you make your preference and good news stories are always welcome in my world. I recommend this set and suggest you visit the gentleman's site and check out the aforementioned songs.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe