Transcending any and all genres, James’ songs speak as much to these tremulous times as they do the eternal human condition. Steeped in mythology (the fearsome a cappella which opens “Orpheus”) and America’s dark past (the deep delta blues of “Burn the Witch”),
The Guardian Collection represents James’ musical effort in stripped, acoustic form. Featuring favorites from his last album, The Dark & The Light, James’ new release features four unreleased acoustic tracks and covers, including “Like A Stone” by Audioslave and “Rake” by Townes Van Zandt.
Regarding his cover of Townes Van Zandt’s, “Rake” Shawn says, “Rake, although not one of his more popular songs, has always been my favorite by Townes Van Zandt. There’s something about the sorrowful reminiscing lyrics comparing his current self to who he was that provides context to the haunting tone and delivery of the performance that always hit me differently.”
Watch the stunning and powerful video for “Rake” shot at the famed Chop Suey venue in Seattle, as a nod to the #SaveOurStages movement:
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Shawn James’ voice is a force of nature. It’s a combination of the gospel choirs he sang with as a child, and his training in classical music and opera. His timeless sound is steeped in blues legends like Robert Johnson and Son House, forever at the crossroads of damnation and redemption, the two inextricably woven into the fabric of his songs.