James Curley | Manufactured Meaning

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Manufactured Meaning

by James Curley

True American musical literature - Jackson Browne meets Steve Earle and they hang out with Richard Thompson writing songs about post 9-11 life in the USA.
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Poet Laureate
4:21 $0.99
2. TV or Not TV
4:03 $0.99
3. Lay Down Big Easy
4:38 $0.99
4. On An Ordinary Day
4:09 $0.99
5. Never Been to Memphis
3:57 $0.99
6. My Last Silent Night
4:01 $0.99
7. Radio Fade
4:07 $0.99
8. Ebb and Flow
5:08 $0.99
9. Our Lady of Rogers Park
3:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"James's writing truly upholds everything good, right and true about American Roots music. Like Kristofferson, Prine, Goodman and Zevon, James Curley is a visionary way ahead of today's mainstream songwriters." - Timothy Edward Jones, journalist and author of 'Country Conversations'

This record is a very listen-able collection of nine songs about seeking and making meaning in current American life, from meditations on the Iraq war, 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, to the absurdity of contemporary television and the soft clash of traditional religious beliefs and post-modern Weltschmerz. Despite the 'serious' subject matter, the music is engaging, rhythmic, melodic and beautifully performed by James and his supporting cast of musicians. Produced by Larry Clyman and featuring songs with horn and string arrangements, finger-pickin'good acoustic and electric guitar riffs, soaring background vocals and even a traditional Mexican waltz.

A true 'album' rather than just a collection of songs, Manufactured Meaning takes the listener on a journey across the patchwork mental and emotional landscape of contemporary America, starting with the 'world-changing report' of the events of 9-11-2001, and ending three blocks from the songwriter's house, where an apparition of The Virgin of Guadalupe was said to appear in a tree trunk, and the story made the national evening news.

The album's length of only nine songs is reminiscent of the heyday of 33 1/3 RPM records, when a single 'album' was forced to take the listener on a musical voyage in under 45 minutes due to the limitations of vinyl. It's an enjoyable change from the current trend to load CDs with 15 or more tracks requiring over an hour of the listener's time to hear, sort through and decide which tracks to sync to the iPod.

Performance Credits:

James Curley - acoustic guitar, vocals
Larry Clyman - acoustic & electric guitars, bass
Tony Markellis - bass (except 'Ebb and Flow')
Todd Hanhurst - drums, percussion, vocals
Nancy Walker - vocals
Bill Holloman - horns and horn arrangements
Tony Perrino - Hammond B3, piano
Sara Milonovich - violin, mandolin, octave violin
Rick Rourke - vocals

James Curley is a singer, songwriter, son, father, husband, sibling, entrepreneur, impresario, tall-tale teller, Celtic descendant, lapsed Catholic, neo-Buddhist, post modern persona housed in the great Prairie Metropolis on the shores of Lake Michigan. His songs are forged from living in Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado and Illinois with occasional travel offering California and New York ingredients. Fond of stews, James prefers a very eclectic range of subjects for his songs with the exception of broken hearts and unrequited love, which are already covered in vast quantity and diversity by virtually every other songwriter.



to write a review

Ann Raven

Manufactured Meaning
This album is contemporary and very well-balanced in the variety of musical styles that sustain a listener's interest while still maintaining an overall coherence because James Curley fearlessly attacks themes that concern all of us here in our 21st century chaos. You will love the complex lyrics combining humor, outrage, compassion, some nostalgia and not a small portion of literary and cultural sophistication that will make you want to play this album again and again. ANDjames, the music is upbeat and hummable!

Jim Orr

This guy is smart, talented, and witty. Moreover, he makes the quantum leap into your living room with the assumption that you are equally adept at catching the allusions he so casually casts out there. "Polonius on the Ponderosa!", man what a line. His versatility from song to song, ageless voice, quality songwriting, and genuine warmth of spirit make this CD a must have. And if you like this one, check out his previous--Tom's Cafe. Kudo's to James Curley!