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Review THE OC REGISTER by Robert Kinsler: James Grant "Mythology"(independent) -
James Grant's latest CD, "Mythology," is filled with technically perfect guitar work in the spirit of the '80s and '90s efforts by Joe Satriani.
However, to draw simple comparisons with that pioneering player's approach would not paint a complete picture. Grant has the soul of a bluesman, notably on "Rainmaker" and "Oasis," on which the guitarist's work recalls Gary Moore's fretwork on "Still Got the Blues."
Irvine-based Grant plays with incredible skill, wrapping expressive solos in textured arrangements that blend elements of progressive rock, modern jazz and electric blues. You might like if you enjoy: Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Gary Moore
From the CD Mythology, "Patong Beach" was aired on an ABC TV's primetime show called "MD's",behind a segment that featured Macy Gray. Also "Jade" received airplay from radio station CFOX.
Located in Southern California , James Says " I have the heart of a blues guitar player but have always been interested in opening up other harmonic territories and exploring sounds that can take people on a journey through their own emotions. For example "Rainmaker" has been described as "Pink Floydesque" and "Jade" as an example of how to make a guitar cry.
"Patong Beach" probably gets closest to a traditional minor blues pattern but then the "double stop" bends are reminiscent of Roy Buchanan. And "Darkstar, " with it's drop D tuning has a lovely brooding vibe to it, which I have a great time superimposing funky, spiky riffs on top of. When I'm asked what to call this music I don't have a quick snappy response.....it's real...it's heartfelt.... it's different. Regarding the title of the CD" it was inspired by the writings of Joseph Campbell the great teacher of Mythology. We are all, every one of us on a mythological journey ...the Quest or the Hero's Journey..... these archetypes lie deep within the spirit. When you listen to this music you will feel my journey.....it's my sincere hope that it inspires others on theirs." James is originally from Montreal, where his father had been the first violinist in the Montreal Symphony. At five years of age he exhibited signs of interest in playing the guitar by taking his father's violin, flipping it over and plucking it like a six string.
After a move to the west coast to Vancouver, he spent years in the A circuit playing and building a reputation that culminated with a blues rock quartet called "Small Mercies".
This group,(which played Jame's compositions) was comprised of John Howard on vocals and bass, Frank Dato on drums and Dave Webb on Hammond organ and keyboards, won radio station CFOX 's yearly talent contest where they competed with hundreds of bands. From this they were chosen to play at actor Lou Gossett Jr.'s wrap party for the movie "The Inspectors", being filmed at the time. The songs "So Many Nights" and "Jade" also received substantial airplay from CFOX. From there James made his way south where he played with many blues based artists throughout the Austin Texas area.
It was also here that his "Mythology" project took shape. Here was where he built the computer based studio and developed the programming
and engineering skills necessary to complete his vision.....an album of guitar instrumentals steeped in soulful, lyrical playing infused with a bit of techno, modern loops, grooves and ambiences.