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James Wayman | Healing Songs

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R.E.M. The Smithereens Toad the Wet Sprocket

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United States - Illinois

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Rock: College Rock Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Healing Songs

by James Wayman

Versatile alternative college indie rock that draws from many sources featuring thoughtful arrangements and lyrics.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Traveling Salesman
5:18 $0.99
2. Landfall
2:51 $0.99
3. Healing Song
3:55 $0.99
4. Adulterer's Prayer [Nothing Happened]
5:42 $0.99
5. Before You
4:36 $0.99
6. Little Lonely
2:35 $0.99
7. If I Can't Find My Way
4:14 $0.99
8. Everything Blooms
3:25 $0.99
9. Most Beautiful
4:01 $0.99
10. I Want to Remember
5:44 $0.99
11. Tail Lights [Bonus Track]
3:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A mid-life crisis normally is defined by a shiny new sports car, exciting toys of status, or even a complete change in life direction; often alienating your wife, family, and friends. Who knows the real reason for the crisis, whether it is feeling the motion of time passing by or feeling just the opposite . . . immobile and maybe even a little cornered. In either position (riding shotgun with the time-clock as it ticks away or trying to muster enough energy to take a few steps through the muck), things aren’t likely to change until you do. Whether you do or you don’t, the time is going past and gaining momentum.

Though the daunting taunting question when it is said and done is “what if?” What if things had been different? What if we had more money, more time, and more resources? What if we did more of what we wanted rather than only what we had to do? What good opportunities and good fortunes have we blown off along the way?

Emotionally speaking, I’d reached a milestone birthday and a nagging doubt as to whether I would ever have a shot at making an album. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I first saw the LP’s spinning in a stack on the turntable in my dad’s home office. The album cover, the picture, the credits, all magical and fun. The music itself was a means of traveling through time and space. Temporary art became permanent memories, as people recall the stories of the musicians as they recorded music, or even of the songs’ significance in their own lives; knowing where and when they first heard that song.

I studied it from the inside (through piano lessons, voice lessons, and nearly a lifetime of playing bass guitar) and the outside (amassing a bulky and diverse musical collection, attending concerts, and reading almost anything I can get my hands on regarding rock and jazz music), in the hopes that one day, I’d get to put it to use.

I always hoped I would make a record in a band context, but I couldn’t wait forever. As they say, there’s no time like the present, and excuses with a quarter won’t even put time on a parking meter anymore… so it was time to get selfish and take action. As one who generally prefers building the parade float to riding on it, it really took some time to get used to this new way of thinking.

And though I found the process to be a little isolating, the motivations and inspirations were anything but. Musically, I got to tip the hat to most of my favorites (particularly the pre-Nirvana alternative rock sound), as their influence found its way on the tracks. Lyrically, I was able to pay tribute to all of the wonderful people in my life, most specifically my family, friends, students, co-workers, and most of the people who spend their time and money watching my bands work. I tried to demonstrate musically just how much they lift me up, and how much they light my life. It’s not all sunshine and cotton candy, but the light of a match is still better than complete darkness.

Taken from many influences, HEALING SONGS is an indie-rock album that works as a bridge between old rock and what's to come. Though I really think the world would be a worse place without bands like R.E.M., XTC, Wonder Stuff, Smithereens, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Mission UK, Guadalcanal Diary, Game Theory, RaveUps, The Outfield; performers like Robert Plant, Tom Jones, Seal, Jeff Scott Soto; and a host of legendary bands like Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, the Beatles. These artists' fingerprints are definitely on individual songs in the collection, but the album itself stands on its own as a wide-ranging fusion of familiar sounds in a new context.

The making of the record also made for more than a few stories; like a VH-1 - Behind the Music for the average man. [Seeing as how a lot of the music was created for its sonic potential rather than for any commercial context.] Some of these stories resemble the acts of a person going through a mid-life crisis. (Priorities, Procrastination, and Possibilities) Fortunately I found my happy ending in the completion of the album, and a productive use of a generally destructive period in many men’s lives.

I can only hope that listening to Healing Songs in the right environment and circumstances will give you the same lift it gave me in making and recording it.



to write a review

Opal Murray

James album is a mix of soul searching, heart wrenching tunes. I love the calming sounds and yet the lyrics really get you to think. My favorite is the Adulterer's Pray. Can't wait till your next album comes out.

Dean Gavney

Healing Songs
Some would say James Wayman is an artist that has forgotten more about rock music than most people will ever know. They would be wrong. He's forgotten nothing and stuffs as much of that rock history as he possibly can into Healing Songs.The album opens with the soulful lament of "Traveling Salesman" and from there the listener is on their way. Wayman hits us up with some classic nineties pop rock with "Landfall" and then turns around and mines early seventies progressive rock, with a hint of acoustic Led Zeppelin, on the excellent "Before You". Throughout the album the lyrics come through as heartfelt and honrst which serve the songs well. The final track, "Taillights" may be the best song here. It sends you off on musical high with a positive view of the album as a whole.
The long and short of it is that Wayman has made a heck of a first album. Here's hoping for more of the same.

Paul Allodi

Spent the morning with James' CD the other day. It was not the first time I played it but it was probably the first time I LISTENED to it. Really enjoyed Landfall (awesome banjo part notwithstanding!), Adulterer's Prayer, Little Lonely, Before You and Most Beautiful.

James' dedication to music, in all forms, is truly amazing and I am fortunate to have him as my friend and musical co-pilot.

John Metzger

Healing Songs
A thoughtful collection of songs and a great first effort. Nice soundscape and variety that will hold the listener's attention. Vocals are growing and improving. Congratulations, James!!!

Larry Kriz

As engineer on this album, I just want to say that this was hands-down the most fun I've ever had in the studio. If I never record another album, this would have been enough.

As already mentioned, James is a walking encyclopedia of musical knowledge. He has managed to craft an album of perfect rock & pop songs that you will never get tired of listening to. The perfect "date" album. Put it on when you want to kick back with your significant other. Put it on in the car when you want to make the rush hour drive seem to fly by. Put it on when you're feeling blue. Put it on when you're feeling happy. It's the perfect all-purpose record. It's round. It's shiny. And it has a hole in the middle. Just like all those big name records that they charge an arm and a leg for (except this one actually sounds good :-)

Buy it now! You won't be disappointed. it's that good!

Adam Franklin

Record Collection
James Wayman touches upon so many different styles on his first full length release "Healing Songs," it reminds the listener of their own vast record colllection. There are big choruses on pop gems like "Landfall," sort of reminiscent of Toad the Wet Sprocket or Dave Matthews, and on "Travelling Salesman" the 'ooh-aas' at the end of the tune bring to mind the classic sound of R.E.M. Later on during the record we get some flourishes of Styx on the song "Little Lonely," and on "Most Beautiful" you hear heavy riffage akin to The Toadies! James is unafraid to try anything on this record, and that unpredictability is what I love the most. You can hear elements of Brit Pop, 60's Soul, 90's grunge, and a lot of classic rock. Maybe even a little David Bowie thrown in for good measure, this record is really fun!