NoName James – Orange | Album Review

NoName James – Orange

Live Bug Music

CD: 13 Songs, 63 Minutes

Styles: Acid Blues, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock

“This music is not mastered. If you want it loud, turn it up!” Orange is indeed a loud color, as exciting as red without being as fear-inducing. Red is for panic buttons. The latest album from “NoName James” Scios (hailing from Orange, New Jersey) is for partying – loud partying. The disclaimer on the back of the CD cover is completely true. What it leaves out is the second rationale for having fourteen “unmastered” tracks – nine originals and five covers. Both this artist and Jimi Hendrix use instrumentation to induce musical trances, allowing listeners to “get in the zone” or “zone out.” Whereas Hendrix relied upon droning guitar riffs to achieve this effect, NoName James and his companions crank up all the instruments at once so that it’s nearly impossible to discern one line from another. Even more remarkable is that there are only three types involved: guitar, drums/percussion, and bass. This is rompin’, stompin’ acid blues.

Says James: “I have been playing many years (that is a 1976 Strat in the cover photo) I bought new, and played a few years before that. [I’ve] backed up many people, had many of my own bands. Worked thousands of gigs and been to a million jams. This is my third studio CD under NoName James. It has been getting some airplay around the country and here in NJ.” There’s a lot to be said for someone whose musical career has spanned more than forty years, no matter if he’s become a household name or not. It takes perseverance, willpower and a genuine love for blues and blues rock to live the dream of being a touring performer. Hopefully, this CD will catch fire on Sirius XM Radio and stations around the globe.

NoName James does triple duty on guitar, vocals and percussion, with bassist Auturo Baquer and drummer Tom Papadatos alongside him. Mustaffah Mysteriouso guest stars on congas and electric drums.

Right from the get-go, the instrumental tsunami surges. “Hey Baby” features this powerhouse trio pulling out all the stops: “You used to love me, love me, love me, love me, love me once or twice every night. You used to gimme, gimme, gimme anytime, day or night. Now to get a little somethin’, somethin’, I got to stand in line.” Who’s our narrator’s competition? “Some fool on your phone.” Most folks focus on the intro when they want to strut their stuff, but James’ outro will blast one’s speakers to smithereens. Later on come commendable covers such as Tom Fogerty’s arrangement of Bill Monroe’s “Rocky Road Blues,” the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride,” and Paul Anka’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” James’ best original tune is “The Ice Man Cometh,” a sly ballad about getting rich as a bluesman instead of a lawyer. There’s smooth harmony here, but you’ll have to check the included lyrics booklet to discover all the humor in the verses.

“Turn it up” with NoName James and company – just don’t summon the police!

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