Jeremy James and the Villaineers
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Jeremy James and the Villaineers

Albany, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2017

Albany, NY
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Rock Folk


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"Radioio Acoustic"

Jeremy James has a very unique style I found quite charming...tasty tunes and heartfelt lyrics. - Zoe Montana

"Metroland 6.7.7"

Jeremy James CD-Release Show

Valentine's, Sunday

Singer-songwriter Jeremy James will celebrate the release of his third album, Landlocked, with a Sunday-night show at ye olde Valentine's. James' country-flavored songs are startlingly direct, and straightforwardly catchy. The Arkansas native, long since relocated north, sings about heartland-style subjects; songs on his new disc have titles like "Home," "Old Man Winter," "Thruway" (we listened to that one on his MySpace page, and it is indeed about the New York State Thruway) and "The Sober Light of Day." The lineup also includes two local acoustic duos, the hard-gigging Almost Awake (as in, they play a lot of gigs) and the just-back-from-a-hiatus Bookdrop Bees (as in, they took a break from playing out at the end of 2006). This show is about the quiet and gentle, so act accordingly: No darts-playing! - Metroland

"Times Union 6.7.7 - Greg Haymes"

Albany singer-songwriter Jeremy James plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and some organ, too, on his fine album, "Landlocked." James was joined by several other musicians (including Casey J. Chapman and Dave Shaver of Almost Awake) at Blue Sky Recording Studios, and the result is an excellent collection of songs, beginning with "Home," which nimbly takes the blue state/red state tug of war from the political to the personal battlefield. James celebrates at Valentine's in Albany on Sunday night with Almost Awake and the Bookdrop Bees opening the show. - Times Union

" 6.13.7"

“Landlocked” by modern folk artist Jeremy James is an album with a deep-rooted purpose. Uplifting and inspiring, Jeremy pulls at the heart-strings of listeners with songs like “Home” that summons tears, passion, and hope all in the duration of a three minute song. “Old Man Winter” stands out as potently emotional and lyrically crafty. Moreover, Jeremy’s vocals are best described as pacifying and contagiously hopeful. “Landlocked” hails no fewer accolades in the area of instrumentation with its catchy lead acoustic guitars and occasional organs. What’s more, this record carries with it production that many artists strive to obtain. Modern folk fans of bands such as Nickel Creek will find this assembly to be a well-worth-it investment that will undoubtedly yield renewed hope and optimism!
-Xavier P. for RadioIndy -

"Northeast In-Tune"

Jeremy spoke in class today and everybody should be listening. This country folk singer from Arkansas who now resides in the Northeast (NY) has a lot of political views about the homeland, the president, and religion. Throw in some emotion-filled songs with strong lyrics and you’ve got a raw artist waiting for his voice to be heard. His music makes it feel like the 60’s protests in which artists spoke of their views and not of their cash, money, and cars. James has some things you should hear.

In songs like Allegiance, James has a strong point of view in his lyrics. I like the hook; it works and is catchy. He likes using political America as his motivation to sing and write. His acoustic guitar play is simple and smooth but it does not override the words.

The Back Row is a song that has lyrics that are meant to be heard and this is where the focus remains. Jeremy’s a very opinionated artist with this anti-war song in which he also ties in religion. With lyrics like “Like that man in the White House/waving his flag in the air/and I'm sitting in the back row/thinking I ain't got a prayer.” Raw music and he pulls it off. But once again the lyrics and his definitive tone express his true feelings and the message he wants to send out.

Christmas in September has some simple acoustic guitar but gets away with it. He’s the type of singer who wants the vocals to play the part in his music. A female voice (Joely Schwenk) joins him on this track and they blend quite well together. His raw voice mixed with her strong vocals make the refrain come alive.

Jeremy James is an excellent acoustic artist with lyrics that impress. If you like some raw music with an opinion this is the guy. Music that makes you think with a message for everyone. - Dan Rondinelli

"The Daily Exploit 3.12.7"

I compare his music to Ani's, even though Ani is not as nice as he is. - The Daily Exploit

"Radioio Acoustic 2"

You loved his "Wasted Youth", so you'll be happy to see he's no less offbeat with his latest release! My fave here is "Allegiance" - simple: boy, guitar, message, hook. - Zoe Montana

"PostStar 12.8.5"

Jeremy James’ name is a hallmark of songwriting talent. His naked power-folk is a boon to the Albany scene. Featured on local radio station WEQX, James is also listed as an “essential pick” by Internet radio’s RadioioAcoustic.

An Arkansas native, James settled in the Capital District after high school, and became Albany’s new favorite son of acoustic music. His second album, “Grey Gardens,” was officially kicked off by a CD release party Saturday at The Muddy Cup on Madison Avenue.

James embraces folk music. Picture a sedate Hammell on Trial fused with Elliot Smith. His lyrics are a callback to folk’s storytelling roots. In “Allegiance,” the opening track of “Grey Gardens,” James makes a political statement muted by the anecdote, “In my hometown there is but one lonely courthouse and there are 26 churches that want to save my soul.”

James’ use of bare guitar rhythms further highlight the artist’s lyrical power. Love songs like “Mr. Rochester” leave the listener feeling privy to an inside joke when James poses, “You could be my Mr. Rochester and I could be the crazy lady in your attic.” James is an old soul whose new release is more colorful than its name suggests.

With a voice like Loudon Wainwright’s and lyrics like Joni Mitchell’s, this one-time country boy is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. - CE Skidmore

"PM Entertainment Magazine - 9.6.7"

Originally from Arkansas, prolific singer-songwriter Jeremy James has a history as interesting as his music itself: he hails from the same county as legendary bad boy Johnny Cash, and he's a direct genetic descendant of a legendary bad boy of another variety, Jesse James. Now happily living in Upstate New York, James' south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line roots have nevertheless proven to have had a long-lasting influence on his music-- as he acknowledges in "Home": "You can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take my country from me". "Home" is the opener for "Landlocked", the fourth album from this young, self-described modern alt/folk artist. It's a catchy (to the point where you'll likely be singing along-- or at least clapping along-- after a few listenings...) intro to the album in which Jeremy recalls some of the more memorable images from his southern, Red State upbringing (the smell of honeysuckle, a picture of Jesus on the wall, a rusty old pickup truck on concrete blocks in the yard, etc.). The song also features some inspired lyrics like, "When look back on my Red State line, I can't help but to romanticize it; watching two worlds collide, and I'm in a Blue State of mind!". The angelic guest female vocals, courtesy of Casey J. Chapman, add an interesting touch.

Throughout "Landlocked", Mr. James sounds youthful but knowing, he conveys pain without whining, and his music proves to be incredibly earnest-- without "overdoing" it, always a danger with folk music. Despite flawless production, James keeps it pure, which is one of the reasons why "Landlocked" stands out as a highlight album by an out 'n' proud artist in 2007. We may live in an age where there's an explosion of interest in queer culture in the media, including LOGO, but none of our advances will ever replace our own real-life stories and life experiences. We don't question that James' lyrics and feelings came right from his heart and soul. Despite the earnestness and homegrown feel, the music on "Landlocked" is rich in symbolism and meaning: acceptance of yourself and others, tolerance, justice ("Best Defense") , change ("All the Things We Knew"), and religion ("Home") are among the themes he explores. It's amazing what Mr. James can do with just his vocals and a guitar (like on the final track, "Measure Up")--or just his vocals and a mandolin, for that matter. On "Waiting", he plays that distinctively American instrument so energetically that the listener worries that he may break the strings (I'm "waiting" to hear that one live!). Jeremy recruits his friend and fellow indie musician Namoli Brennet for some guitar and harmonica on "All the Things We Knew", a soothing, somewhat haunting, almost ethereal piece featuring some provocative lyrics. This track, along with "Sober Light of Day" later on in the album, lets Jeremy give the audience the full range of his vocal ability. James displays a more mature side of his persona with "Old Man Winter", a track which features James' voice taking on a gravelly tone, and lyrics that are especially hard-hitting, even moreso when you realize that they are likely biographical. And, anyone who has ever experienced an Upstate New York winter will know how the harshness of the season can be a fitting allusion to how harsh relationships and life in general can be. "Thruway", a song about, yes, the New York Thruway ("I've been driving all night long, I've been driving my life away; Rain is pouring on the windshield, tonight on the New York Thruway..."), is a hybrid of road song and campfire ditty, featuring more of James' mandolin skill. Although the lyrics reveal it's a song about an anticipated trip to meet up with a romantic interest, any musician who spends a great deal of time on the road (like James himself) will relate immediately. "The Sober Light of Day" is yet another provocative track, which features some exquisite piano work by Namoli Brennet. "Landlocked" closes with the somber "Measure Up". It's possibly his most personal song, if the listener can be convinced (This listener wasn't!) that Jeremy James' self-esteem would ever be challenged by a romantic rival. Nevertheless, the closer packs an emotional wallop.

What is amazing about "Landlocked" is how much energy, heart, soul, and meaning that Jeremy James packs into the nine songs on the album. If Mr. James is able to get so much inspiration from places he has been to, and is able to bring it back to the masses through his music, then let's hope he keeps right on travelin'!

Jed Ryan, PM Entertainment Magazine , Sept 6, 2007
- Jed Ryan

" 9.6.7"

I wasn't prepared to like the country boy whose latest CD, Landlocked, pictures him in a plaid shirt leaning against a red barn. But Jeremy James won me over with cleverness and barefaced storytelling. I was prepared for cowpoke ditties jangling with twang, girls and whiskey. Instead, what you get with Jeremy James is pure, simple takes on life. Folktales spun out on clean and clear lines, merry melodies and clever lyrics. I love "Home," which sums up Jeremy's migration from Arkansas to New York with a clever wordplay. "When I look back on that red state line / I can't help but to romanticize it / I'm watching my life unwind / And I'm in a blue state of mind." -


Landlocked - June 2007
Lost Souls - September 2006
Grey Gardens - December 2005
Wasted Youth - May 2005

Wasted Youth and Grey Gardens were both selected as essential picks on RadioioAcoustic internet radio. Jeremy's songs "The Back Row" and "Allegiance" have been featured on independent radio station WEQX which broadcasts to Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.



Jeremy James and the Villaineers are an indie rock band from Albany, NY. Their new record, The High Road, is coming out in August 2017