"Great poetry...don't be surprised if other poets start swiping his prized lines..." Pete Seeger "Powerful, deeply moving, poignant, funny, marvelous..." Studs Terkel, WFMT "The city's most chilling songwriter..." Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun Times "Rattles the bones..." Cliff Furnald, Dirty Linen \'...one guy managed to get it all down in one album. Succinct, to the point and with great warmth and humor.\' Jeff Ritter, Broadside What can you say about this James McCandless character? Geographically speaking, he was born out west and raised in Chicago, so he really doesn't know if he's supposed to be a cowboy or a gangster. He has played guitar and studied, taught, performed and recorded music since the age of six. Other than that, he hasn't worked a day in his life. Ever since the time Studs Terkel told him that Federico Fellini said, "All art is autobiographical", the door flew open for Jim to confidently write about any damned thing he wanted to. His music has been recorded by Kat Eggleston, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Jimmy Moore, Sean Keane, Arty McGlynn, Nollaig Casey, Bell & Shore, Susan Shore & Don Stiernberg, Dan Bern, and Body Parts; he has worked with Julianne Macarus, John Williams, Hayes & Cahill, Larry Nugent, Gan Ainm, Liz Carroll, Buddy Mondlock, Frank Tedesso, Jano, Andrew Calhoun, Victor Sanders, Brian Anderson, Jim Craig and Tom Dundee. Jim has also performed with P.J. Hayes, Greg Brown, Joan Baez, Odetta, Chris Smither, Sean O'Driscoll, Claudia Schmidt, John Fahey, Tim O'Brien, Jim Post, Natalie McMaster and Tom Paxton. "There's a tightly-knit new wave of Chicago singer-songwriters who might be loosely classified as street intellectuals. The heavies in the group include Frank Tedesso, Dan Bern and James McCandless, the last being fortunate enough to display his craft on a splendid debut record, "Faultline." McCandless has a resonant voice that sounds like Johnny Cash and Roger Miller. His approach is set within the keen Chicago style of topical, country-folk songwriting pioneered by John Prine and Steve Goodman. What McCandless songs like "Kareem and Me" may lack in melody, they make up for in wit: "Kareem and me goin' bald together, it's almost an honor when I think of it in that regard." Or, the honky-tonk saga of "You've Gone Hollywood": "You think your britches are bigger than they really are, you'll prob'ly swallow Quaaludes from a Mason jar." McCandless can also be a desperate romantic in material such as "Waiting Out The Morning," a haunting tune basted in country soul, and the ambitious title song, which reminds us how close we are to the edge..." Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun Times.
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