First Listen: Leela James and her band find the "Truth"

(March 25, 2019) Leela James is a force of nature. She’s been on the national music scene since 2004, when she was just 21, and has made six highly regarded albums. You explore her resume and find yourself saying, ‘wow, she’s been around a long time.’ Then you hear that husky, powerful and rangy voice, and the first reaction is, ‘man, she can’t be that young!’

Those pipes, soaked in honey, liquor and life, have always sounded well beyond her years since we first heard them on her debut album, 2005’s A Change is Gonna Come. That is still the reaction many have when they hear James – who at a still very young 35 - has dropped the first track from her upcoming EP, Are You Ready, while fronting the hard driving blues/rock band Leela James and the Truth Band.

(March 25, 2019) Leela James is a force of nature. She’s been on the national music scene since 2004, when she was just 21, and has made six highly regarded albums. You explore her resume and find yourself saying, ‘wow, she’s been around a long time.’ Then you hear that husky, powerful and rangy voice, and the first reaction is, ‘man, she can’t be that young!’

Those pipes, soaked in honey, liquor and life, have always sounded well beyond her years since we first heard them on her debut album, 2005’s A Change is Gonna Come. That is still the reaction many have when they hear James – who at a still very young 35 - has dropped the first track from her upcoming EP, Are You Ready, while fronting the hard driving blues/rock band Leela James and the Truth Band.

The tune, titled “That Woman,” is a straight rocker of the type that legends like Tina Turner would have torn up back in the day or that a James contemporary such as Liv Warfield sings right now. Well, James proves that as a rock singer she can stand toe to toe with anybody. The raspy growl that she displays as she tears through this anthem of defiant self-worth is on par with any you have heard from any female rocker. The track finds James breaking it down to a man who needs to be educated on how to treat a woman.

Now, a little about the band that performs with James on “That Woman” and the other four tracks on this EP: James scored top flight musicians who tour with A-list talent such as the late, great Prince, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande and Gwen Stefani when she joined forces with guitarist Jairus “JMo” Mozee, bassist Eric Ingram and drummer David “Dae-Dae” Haddon.

Says James: “I was most excited to join forces with The Truth band in creating this Are You Ready project, because I knew it would become something magical. We pretty much recorded the project over the course of two weeks and it was effortless, because the music just flowed naturally. It felt good to work on music and not be inhibited in the approach. I’m constantly evolving as an artist, not to mention I love all kinds of music, always have and always will, and I think this project is the beginning of showing just that.”

Check out the video here.

By Howard Dukes

 Leela James & The Truth Band
"That Woman"

 
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