Colin James has juggled his skills as a singer, guitarist and big-band leader so well over the years that diversity seems almost synonymous with his stellar career. He’s also been a restless voyager, traversing genres—from blues and rock to pop and swing and back again. Throughout it all, Colin has always forged ahead, without regard to fads or trends, going wherever his wandering muse takes him.
On Rooftops and Satellites, Colin’s singing and guitar playing has never been more soulful and his new songs are among his most meaningful ever. It’s not a breakthrough disc or a comeback record, because Colin’s an established rock and blues institution who’s never gone away. But it is an album that serves notice that Colin James just keeps on getting better.
Colin has never shied from exploring all of his musical tastes, and with Rooftops and Satellites, co-produced by Colin and Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica), we hear both a softer side and an edgier rock side. It’s R&B flavoured with touching ballads and blue-eyed soul, and yet the rockier side of the album continues on two well-chosen covers: a blistering garage-rock version of Bob Dylan’s early classic “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” and a driving rendition of the Toots & the Maytals’ soulful “Johnny Coolman.” But Colin delivers his most freewheeling number with the relentlessly chugging, first single, “Man’s Gotta Be a Stone,” a song he calls his “Buddhist boogie.”track list