Jazz Festival Reviews – Colin James June 25th Theatre du Nouveau Monde

June 25th – Theatre du Nouveau Monde

Colin James – Acoustic Sessions


Colin James seems like a kid …

Following a quarter century ( yes – a quarter century) as a professional musician, James is no longer a kid. He is on his way to becoming a seasoned Blues-man.

Friday night, James and his touring band proved it. Aside from a couple of reminders ( Why’d You Lie, Freedom ) of why Colin made it as a songwriter and guitarist in the first place – James showcased a more mature stripped – down version of his continuing Blues education.

Canada’s Michael J Fox of music – has indeed traveled ‘Back to the Future’.


‘ Just A Little Love’,Heart’s On Fire’ , ‘Heartbreak Road’ ( Bill Withers’ cover) all from James’ latest album Hearts on Fire proved James’ is on a musical adventure.

Displaying the new ( old ) songs live is not an easy task for any artist yet with James’ seemingly easy transitions from crisp acoustic to  turned -up electric, the new and old blended as simple as a chameleon in a tree. As simple and as complex as the Blues. As simple and as complex as Colin James.

James’ banter between songs, short – sweet and minimal. 

Aside from tales of  busking in the Metro and winning fifty dollars (twice) for playing music at Concordia while living in Montreal, insights into James’ psyche non existent. A great musical tale was told of a young James being offered some tracks as a young man and in being ‘full of Vinegar’ – he passed them on. ‘Clapton did them … ‘ Was Colin’s funny take on it …


Maturity appears to be leaking  into James’ boat although only within the music as the waves of  James’ enthusiasm for playing music remain like a giddy teenager about to lose his / her virginity. When Colin speaks about music, his age ( fifty) arrives at the forefront and that is not a bad thing.

A melancholy theme stays with his latest songs on ‘Hearts on Fire’, a wistful looking back amid tales of loneliness and heartache. These tales remain throughout the evening in a Colin James show. Along with the proper injection of upbeat rhythms every now and then – Acoustic Sessions becomes a treat. Sadness  in life is good occasionally and James’ set-list is not only good – it borders on great with effects of excellence riding the crash like a drummer’s blissful groove.



 Two Guitars and vocals. The Hammond keys. A Bass and Drums.

Just A Little Love‘, ‘Honey Bee’ and ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me Baby’ were the highlights in a show that contained no low-lights. A cover of Dylan’s ‘Watching the River Flow’ was a beacon for that colossal ‘cover’ ship that loomed in the distance. A vessel with U.S.S Van Morrison scrolled on the side. With drums placed back and every member on  stage in the right moment – Colin James brought Le Theatre du Nouveau Monde …

Into the Mystic

Colin James plays his last show on the 27th of June 

Click Here !






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