James Maddock affirms his status as a fixture in downtown Manhattan’s folk and Americana scene with ‘Another Life,’ his new album out July 23rd on Jullian Records. As NPR says of the British transplant, “his timeless songwriting style, which seems to draw from great songwriters of every era, conveys quiet confidence and lovely intimacy.”
Nodding to ‘70s rock with shimmering acoustic guitars, an understated rhythm section and flourishes of fiddle, mandolin, piano and dobro, ‘Another Life’ bridges the mainstream appeal of songwriters like Jesse Harris and Norah Jones and the quirkier sensibility of Loudon Wainwright. With funding entirely from fan contributions through PledgeMusic, Maddock worked with producer Matt Pierson, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (who’s played with Bob Dylan and Levon Helm) and bassist Tony Scherr (who plays with Norah Jones).
The 13 songs on 'Another Life' paint a portrait of a man reaching the midpoint of his life, a natural progression from themes in Maddock's earlier releases. He’s looking back on roads not taken, and isn’t always sure he chose the right one. On the title track, Maddock wants an extra 50 years to try “acting, white-water rafting,” “some illegal substances,” even having a kid or three. “I’ve Been There Too,” built around an indelible guitar riff, shows Maddock’s knack for instrumental hooks as well as lyrical ones. “Don’t Go Lonely,” in a well-timed moment of levity, hints at reggae with dub bass, bubbling organ and the chorus’s entreaty to “go get high, go get found, go crazy on this town / don’t go lonely.”
After fronting the Columbia Records band Wood, whose debut ‘Songs From Stamford Hill’ was featured prominently on TV shows such as “Dawson’s Creek,” Maddock moved from England to New York City in 2003. His 2009 album ‘Sunrise On Avenue C’ won a New York Music Award for Best Americana Album, while follow-up 'Wake Up And Dream' ranked among the top albums of 2011 in WFUV's (NYC) Listener Poll. He's performed with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nile, Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) and David Immergluck (Counting Crows), sang on an album with Susan McKeown, and is a resident artist at Rockwood Music Hall. According to radio legend Vin Scelsa, Maddock's "heartbreakingly beautiful and exquisitely crafted" music "touches the soul."
A seasoned live performer, Maddock will play songs from 'Another Life' at shows in New York City and across the Northeast this summer, as well as at festivals in the U.S. and Europe.