James Overbee The Old Way.

If the old way was to get a guitar, strum along to some songs and entertain folks, then this album is aptly named. From Kentucky, Overbee has forsaken his band The Talking Machine (their last album, Stayin’ In Touch is a fine slice of Neil Young/Rich Hopkins guitar laden rock) to deliver eleven songs that flow ever so well in a folky manner. Accompanied only by David Vaughn on bass, Overbee sings, plays guitar, drums and blows his harp on a selection of his own compositions that recalls more innocent times. His delivery, particularly with the harmonica present is reminiscent of Neil Young in his folky form, think of Long May you Run and you’re halfway there. Overbee’s voice has an attractive worn way with it and this is heard to best effect on the ballad So This Is What You Wanted, a little gem of a song. There is a naïve, untutored quality in his singing that takes a bit of time to get used to but its used to fine effect on Song For No One and Do You Think I’m A Fool, a pair of songs that reach back to the likes of Woody Guthrie and old time folk Americana. Do You Think I’m a Fool in particular is almost archetypal and one can imagine it having been sung by Hank Williams or Michael Hurley.
The album ends on a high note with the delightful folky froth of Mistaken, a simple song that buskers everywhere should learn. Simple, homespun and heartfelt, if you like your folk woody and plain give it a go.


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