Manitoba songwriter James Struthers sings blue eyed soul and sings it fine on his new self-titled CD. April’s Bell Media Emerging Artist had a hit single in December 2011 by covering “Blue Christmas.”
The first track “ What Are We Waiting For,” is a slice of pure pop. There is a little Backstreet Boys/ N Sync 1990' boy band sound and underlying soul as well.
He has a pleasant, poppy voice, but adds his own twist to it by playing ukulele on a couple tracks including “Together Again.” and by adding Oh My Darling’s Allison De Groot on banjo throughout the seven track CD.
He also has a knack for a quirky lyric on “Speed On Home,” in which he breathes unusual lines like “I miss you like Superman misses his cape and miss you like a gardener misses his rake and miss you like miss you like a hippie misses his wake and bake and miss you like a hockey players misses his skates.”
Quirky numbers like this stand out from a spate of low key ballads with falsetto vocals like “Forever Girl.”
He ends the CD on a high note, the more rocking “Wake Up” which is reminiscent of fellow Manitobans Keith and Renee.
He’ll be playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge May 18, so check him out.
CD: James Struthers
Artist: James Struthers
Record label: indie