The British folk club scene is a fairly huge and unique underground institution. At anytime since the early 1960's you would have been able to find a thousand or so weekly or monthly clubs gathering in all sizes of pub rooms around the land and in the Universities and colleges. In the great majority of these the guitar has been the commonest instrument; picked, strummed, thrashed and caressed in a multitude of styles and levels of competence. Fashions and fads come and go, but certain players have such a widespread influence that their own styles become part of the mainstream.
When I heard the tapes of this album it impressed me as the essential John James. Probably because he was a working musician, "live" that is, I never felt that his earlier studio albums (except for "Sky In My Pie" with Peter Berryman) did him full justice. His recent Kicking Mule debut "Descriptive Guitar Instrumentals" was probably the first to really showcase what a lively, fluent, creative and dynamic player he really is. This one not only does all that but really catches the essence of a John James performance. I'm a great believer in albums which truly represent the artist and if you've never seen John "live" you can take my word for it that this one does. What's more, it has a real cross section of the favourite tunes and songs from his stage repertoire over the past decade, plus a selection of newer goodies to join that company. – Ian Anderson/FolkRoots
Track Listing: Picture Rags, Opus 18, Silver Swan, Suitcase Shaped Like That, Black And White Rag Rosebud March, How Can I Tell You, Pickles And Peppers, Ragtime Millionaire, Head In The Clouds, Coconut Dance, Victory Rag, You And I Across The Water, B Minor Run, Tears and You Got Something There