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James King

Bed by the Window – 1998 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by James King

Bluegrasser James King sings of sorrow and the ravages of time and old-age. King's rich voice is like a serious cup of the blackest coffee. He pours his soul deeply into every song - all of them penned by others, but they have become his own. The CD is the first to feature the James King Band, his regular touring group - mandolinist Kevin Prater, bassist Jason Moore, banjoist Adam Poindexter, and fiddler Owen Saunders. They also receive help from fiddler guest Bobby Hicks.

The songs "Bed By The Window," "Sweeter Than The Flowers," and "Called From Potter's Field" deal with the loss of loved ones, and the waning path of life. King has the power to add the deepest emotional quality to these songs.

The remaining cuts feature well-played standard bluegrass fare of love and sorrow which vary nicely the flow of the disc. The ability to pair the sorrowful country songs and the driving bluegrass fare shows that the band's versatility.