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Learn About Song Choices for James Reams' “Rhyme & Season”

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Behind The SongsAfter finishing his college degree, James decided that the Big Apple was the place to be if he wanted to make it in the music business. So he hopped on a Greyhound bus with 2 cardboard boxes and headed off to NYC. Once there, he was immediately drawn to the music scene at Greenwich Village. Fortunately, he was taken under the wing of Tom Paley from the New Lost City Ramblers and even cut an album with the legendary performer.

It wasn't long until James met up with Tina Aridas, his long time partner and soulmate. It was with her help that he moved from being a small local act to a well-known regional band and then, with several record deals, to a nationally-known artist. Recovering from the grief of losing Tina to cancer was a long and arduous journey for James and one that would take him across the US to get a fresh start.

"Behind the Songs" provides a chance for you to look into the song choices for this album and experience the intricacies of storytelling that James used to convey his message of hope, love, loss, and redemption. Watch for the next "Behind the Songs" when we present two more cuts from Rhyme & Season as well as insights into the reasons James put together this concept album. Be sure to let your local bluegrass DJ know that you want to hear more from Rhyme & Season!

Click on the graphics below to hear a short clip of each song. To get the full CD, order from CD Baby (DJs can download the album from AirPlay Direct). Enjoy!

Long Gone Out West BluesMany a life has been changed by taking a leap of faith. Sometimes that works out for the best and other times, well, it can get messy. James remembers, "For me, Long Gone Out West Blues captured that leap into the unknown that I took when I left behind the memories of my partner and soul mate, Tina Aridas, and her losing battle against cancer. I just put my career on hold and headed out west to be with my ailing mother."

Losing his mother only a short while after moving to Arizona, James poured himself into his music and found peace. Piecing together a new band, while maintaining ties with his east coast buddies was a challenge, but the results were sure worth it.

It was especially significant that James recorded this song with his long time east coast band members that he had waved goodbye to when he left for Arizona. Far from pulling them apart, the move has brought them even closer together.
SongbirdSongbird seems to wrap it's arms around the whole album and give it a big ole bear hug! Rhyme & Season is about the journey, about acceptance and about redemption; the lyrics from “Songbird” capture all of these aspects and the melody saturates everything with hope for tomorrow. "It's hard to pick a favorite of mine from this album," said James, "but I'd have to say that “Songbird” is right up there in the top 3!" As the liner notes suggest, the song reminded James of the love of family for the wandering soul in their midst.

This was actually the first song recorded for the album and it features James' west coast bandmates.

This brand new release, Rhyme & Season, (3/29/16) from bluegrass veteran and lifetime IBMA member, James Reams and his band The Barnstormers, represents so much that is good about bluegrass music. James took a risk when he decided to put out a concept album that focuses on the resilience of the human spirit and particularly on those who are disenfranchised and marginalized by society. However, the song choices that James made for this album are uplifting and encouraging rather than depressing. A masterful compilation, Rhyme & Season presents a complete story while allowing each song to stand on its' own.

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