James McCandless | Sea of Freedom

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United States - Illinois

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Folk: Fingerstyle Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Sea of Freedom

by James McCandless

Folksigner, songwriter, fingerstyle acoustic guitarist.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cherokee Bill
3:49 album only
2. Beat the Devil
3:24 album only
3. Springfield
5:28 album only
4. Lily Langtry
3:54 album only
5. Memorial Day
5:36 album only
6. Red Bandanna
2:27 album only
7. Haste to the Wedding/St. Patrick's Day
2:00 album only
8. Michelangelo
3:23 album only
9. Sea of Freedom
3:19 album only


Album Notes
“Sea Of Freedom…three and a half stars…His finely detailed character studies and slice of life vignettes make his music special.” Dan Kening, Chicago Tribune

“McCandless weaves traditional folk melodies, such as “Five Hundred Miles” and “Lonesome Valley” into his songs.” Rich Warren, Sing Out!

“McCandless’ songs evoke images of rural life that are sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, and always somehow personal to the listener.”
Martin A. Bartels, Pioneer Press

McCandless draws on his personal experiences in Montana, Illinois and Ireland, whether real or partly imagined. Who said history has to be accurate anyway? If you say, ”I went to the store to buy a loaf of bread”, what good is that? But if you say, “I went to Blarney Castle to pick some shamrocks and was hit on the head with a croquet mallet and kidnapped by The Royal Family”, now you’ve got something! In other words, Jim is a big bullshitter. But then, so is the 2000 Year Old Man! So, I ask you…who cares?

James McCandless can jibber-jabber with the best of them, and has done so since 1944. His wife of forty years is used to it. Would you like to give it a go?

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.

“Sea of Freedom continues Out West Somewhere’s balance between contemporary themes and McCandless’ continuing lyrical exploration of the Old West. “Lily Langtry” is a vivid portrait of a boy seeing the noted actress eating breakfast en route by train to San Francisco. “Memorial Day” is a melodic, sentimental visit to a l950’s family picnic. In “Springfield”, McCandless traces his own family’s early North American roots. “Red Bandanna” is a simple litany of the uses for such a piece of cloth. McCandless is backed by a band of Chicago’s best Irish session players (including Julianne Macarus on backing vocals, John Williams on accordion, Martin Hayes on fiddle, and Jackie Moran on bodhran), who take the spotlight on a medley of “Haste to the Wedding” and “St. Patrick’s Day\" Michael Parrish, Dirty Linen



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