04/19/2013

Got Country? Reviews 'Time To Get Right'

Jessta James is not your typical country artist. His is a distinctive blend of country and hip hop and classic rock. Think Jason Aldean meets Colt Ford meets a little AC/DC. All the while it creates a feel the a Midwest town with a swinging door saloon, tumbleweeds and horses hitched to posts. Jessta, a Montana boy whose name is play on the word ‘jester,’ started songwriting at 24 years old and began playing around Montana while still doing his day job.

Jessta and his now wife, Chandra, eventually moved to the West Coast. He didn’t feel his vision was being met until he hooked up with Atlanta based songwriter and producer Dan Hannon. Together they incorporated the influences from Jessta’s parents: outlaw country, classic country, rock and southern rock, plus that of today’s country like Brantley Gilbert and Big & Rich. Infuse that with some Colt Ford and it makes for some darn cool listening.

 Hannon and James wrote their music and came to Nashville. They recorded with some of Music City’s top musicians and created the sound on Jessta James’ soon to be released new album, Time to Get Right.

 The first cut “If That Ain’t Country” has a Jason Aldean sound for me. I really like the intro and the hip-hop sound. This one is gonna be good for singing along and dancing! Jessta describes this as the song that “tells who he is.”

 ‘Outlaw Heaven’ is of many of Jessta’s storytelling songs.  I wasn’t too sure about it at the get-go but when the chorus kicked in and I started paying attention to the descriptive lyrics, I began to get into it.

 ‘Cowgirl Boots’ is rowdy and catchy. Girls will wanna strut their stuff on the dance floor to this one and show that they are, in fact, that “girl with the cowgirl boots.”

Another one for the girls is ‘Ride On.’ It subtly sexy with an Aldean sound. Some nice sounds on this from the band.

I was not too keen on the intro to ‘Rock n Roll Angel.’ But once country up-and-comer Dana King joined I really enjoyed it. The tone of the song completely changes for me when the song becomes a duet. I like this style of Jessta’s songwriting skills. He states that this one is a tribute to his wife and her dedication to his career. It is always nice when an artist acknowledges the support of those at home. This song is significant for the many couples that have to spend time apart in today’s world.

Several songs on the album reflect Jessta’s faith and family values but maybe none better than ‘Better Man.’ This is about his relationship with his dad and the relationship he looks forward to having with his own children as they grow. There is a good message here and good advice but the song itself didn’t have the country feel I am used to.

Made in the USA’ had some nice guitar and a cool strong opening.

The danceable and sexy song ‘Bow Chicka’ reminded me of old Van Halen and maybe some lyrically sounding Toby Keith with its catchphrases.

For me ‘Back in the Day’ was a country song. Definitely something I could see getting radio play and I was singing along to this one. There were moments in the chorus where it had a Tim McGraw feel.

Time to Get it Right’ is heartfelt and stems from the loss of Jessta’s brother to addiction. Sadly, many of us have been touched by similar experiences. This is a very relatable song and you can feel the power of the lyrics.

The next cut, ‘Let’s Ride,’ was difficult for me to connect with, I didn’t get a country vibe here. It was too close to the heavier rock that I have strayed from with its lyrical style being too rough and aggressive for my more gentle country nature.

Yet again, I was wonderfully surprised by the softer side of this tune. “I Can’t Stop Loving You.’ I love the feel of this one. It is a romantic song that got me swaying gently as I listen to the words. A song I could totally appreciate. The rap/hop hop portion of the song did not distract at all from this pretty tune and actually lifted it. I like this side of James’ songwriting ability.

Last one. ‘Run, Sinner, Run’ is catchy and has a gospel edge while giving off a bit of a sinister and dark vibe.  It definitely reflects his spirituality without being preachy.

I enjoyed the newness of this songwriter’s style and I think after another listen or two it will be an album I will continue to appreciate.

See the full articl from Got Country? HERE.


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