Seth James - That Kind of Man

Country music has always had a large tent for which artists and albums have fallen under the bannar.  Add Texas roadhouse blues Rocker Seth James to the list with this album, his national debut. 

"Thing for You" starts off in a chugging groove reminiscent of Steve Wariner's "Katie Wants a Fast One," paired with a playful hook of "I got a thing for you, you got a thing for me." It's followed by the easygoing "Leaves of September," heavy on the electric guitar and Hammond organ. The slow, augmented-chord waltz of "Cigarettes, Anger and Wine" smolders with emotion, selling the age-old tale of a brokenhearted man rather convincingly. That same melancholy carries over to "Again," which finds him begging for "one more night with your heart against my chest." 

Not that all the other songs are brokenhearted; indeed, all he wants in "All of You" is his lover. "Slow Roll" is an easygoing road song that does just that, with a warm lyric about heading back home to the one he loves. "Honky Tonk Saturday Night" cuts loose on a Delbert McClinton-esque groove, and indeed it'd be a great song to blast on a Saturday night. 

The album loses a little steam on the last three tracks. "If the World Was Mine" is the same sort of "if I were in control, I'd tilt everything in your favor because I'm in love with you" theme that I have yet to see anyone inject any originality into. "Two for Tuesday" starts out as a very solid road song about blasting down the road while listening to some good songs (perhaps a Seth James album?), but the storyline and hook are a little confusing (what does "two for Tuesday" mean in this context?) and the song drags out just a little too long. The acoustic closer, "That Kind of Man," tries to be an anthem about that strong, influential kind of man that everyone knows, but its lyrics are just a little too broad-stroke to give a clear picture of its subject. 

Seth has a rather distinctive voice, recalling the slight grain of T. Graham Brown at times, with occasional dashes of Bob Seger. The production is lean and rough, relying heavily on a fuzzy Hammond B-3 organ and some loud, crisp guitar work: no compression, no swelling string section, no layered background vocals. That Kind of Man isn't quite perfect, but its high points make a very convincing argument that Texas music shouldn't have to stop at the border.