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Music Review - `BY THE RISIN’ OF THE SEA' :` by James Kahn (jm)

James Kahn- BY THE RISIN’ OF THE SEA (click on image to watch video)

 28 April 2022



The tradition of sea shanties dates back centuries but for some odd reason the genre made a surprise reappearance in pop culture recently thanks to Tik Tok, a not entirely unwelcome resurgence for what it’s worth. It makes a little sense then that novelist and TV writer/producer James Kahn, known more for his folk and Americana style of music, would use that once obscure genre to highlight his latest collection of songs about the environment.

Across a dozen tracks, Kahn backed by a remarkable group of fellow singers and musicians, pens modern lyrics to traditional shanties focusing on current environmental crises in the making. A native of California, ground zero for the Earth Day movement in 1970, Kahn was raised to be environmentally minded and even a cursory glance at the dramatic climate disasters that are occurring across the globe at much more frequent interval is a clear inspiration for this record.

“In The Covid Times,” is the shortest, but most impactful track here with the most poignant and direct lyrics yet taking on the global pandemic (“I remember 2020 so well/When the fucking world ran out of luck/And the hinges broke on the gates of hell/It’s the year that Covid ran amuck”). The album closes on the sadly beautiful “Sundown,” another standout track. Deeper into the album he tackles pollution and the refugee crises. The album vacillates between taking a more serious tone and at times a humorous vibe, all delivered via Kahn’s remarkably strong vocals and a music style that seemingly manages to be both nostalgic and timeless at the same time.            


Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here


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