James Maddock recommends Louis Armstrong

James Maddock and Louis Armstrong

James Maddock (photo by Mary Ellen Matthews) and Louis Armstrong

James Maddock’s artist recommendation: “Louis Armstrong is my musical hero. Every time I listen to him, I’m filled with wonder and amazement. Songs like Struttin’ With Some Barbecue or Memories of You are unforgettable.

For me, Louis is the pinnacle of music. Phrasing, tone, invention, imagination, excitement. No one touches Armstrong. 50 years of recording genius, from the beginnings of jazz and recorded music through to the 1970′s, Louis has seen it all and had been the father of modern music.

Ken Burns said “Armstrong was the sky under which all modern music lives.” I love that image and hold it to be true.”

Not familiar with Louis Armstrong? James suggests you start here: “I would highly recommend starting with Louis Armstrong: Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man 1923-1934. It’s a box set and has great notes on each song so you can read along as you listen. Or, see if you can get the You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy album, which is Volume 7 in the Columbia recording series. That’s a wonderful collection too.”

James MaddockAbout our guest author, James Maddock: The time just feels right for James Maddock’s break out moment. After fronting the successful UK band Wood (who had several songs featured on Dawson’s Creek) and the release of a string of critic and indie radio fave solo albums, Maddock now offers up his latest collection, Another Life, produced by jazz heavyweight Matt Person (k.d. Lang and Joshua Redman). To get an idea of Maddock’s style, give a listen to the album’s title track (video below). You’ll hear the easy, rustling melody that would sound at home on a Nanci Griffith record, a distinct vocal croon that’s easy on the ear, and most importantly, a sincerity that makes you feel like you’re talking to an old friend that’s opening up a piece of his world to you. Maddock’s authenticity has won him a loyal fan base that helped his Sunrise on C Street record win the 2010 NY Music Award for Best Americana album and to secure a popular residency at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall. Maddock’s high quality output has also earned him the right to share the stage and recording booth with other elite New York area rock poets, namely Willie Nile, Garland Jeffreys and Bruce Springsteen. Maddock has proven himself as an A+ artists and we look forward to seeing the next impressive bullet that is sure to be added to his already stellar rock resume. Be sure to check James’ tour dates to see where he’s playing near you.