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James Summerfield - hailah, hailah

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 17 / 10 / 2004



James Summerfield - hailah, hailah
Label: Bearos
Format: CD

intro

Bluegrass-inspired debut album from Birmingham's James Summerfield, which proves to be "an honest and very welcome easy-on-the ears addition to UK’s singer-songwriter section"


Birmingham boy James Summerfield has divided up this – his first release – into three chapters. Though why some of the tracks are ‘Road trip songs’, some ‘Painters songs’ and some ‘Sleepy songs’ is not always entirely clear. This is especially true of the four songs in the final category. These may be catchy and country tinged acoustic numbers but they are hardly sleepy. Summerfield is responsible for pretty much everything on this album: writing all bar one of the songs, producing everything except the drums and playing most of the instruments as well. There is a distinctly bluegrass feel to most of these songs but there is also an occasional hint of some kind of Celtic influence to several tracks. It is sometimes hard not to think of Summerfield as Damion Rice’s long-lost Yankee cousin. Sometimes 'Hailah, Hailah' can be slightly cloying. ‘Whistling for Christmas’ is undeniably humable but also quite twee, especially as it is placed next to the world-weary gem ‘Tired of Life’. Even these forays into slightly self-indulgent saccharine songs can be forgiven however as this fundamentally an honest and very welcome easy-on-the ears addition to UK’s singer-songwriter section.



Track Listing:-
1 Saltwater Running
2 The Way
3 Mrs. Charlton The Second
4 Lightning Oak
5 Whistling For Christmas
6 Tired Of Life
7 The Devil In Me
8 Why Do We?
9 This House I Pass
10 You Saved Me



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