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James Rider

Four Twenty a.m. – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Tamara Bunnell

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CDs by James Rider

On this independently released CD, James Rider and his band, the 420 Turnaround, document the solitary thoughts of the heartbroken and drunk. This 10-song collection is folksy tavern rock, peppered with Celtic fiddle and bluesy harmonica.

Penned almost entirely by Austin-based Rider, these are songs which represent those sad and disaffected souls haunting the bars of every town, whose heartbreak is always the worst in the room and whose glass is always drained first. The melodic structure and straightforward lyrics work well in spots, as in the lilting "Dancing Girl," strongly emotional "Wastin' My Time," and defined and depressing secret and unnamed last track, but the overall effect is one which lacks emotional depth. Nonetheless, Rider and accompanying musicians are talented and strong players, and the diverse instrumental blend works well with each song.

In today's over-produced musical climate, James Rider resists the mainstream Big Sound and presents us with a stripped down, easily digestible style. ( E-Mail:, 215-342-3435)