By: Myles Herod April 1, 2013
There are no frills with a Colin James show.
Riding solo as Canada’s most acclaimed blues guitarist, his nearly sold-out Lee’s Palace gig on Thursday proved just that, with wall-to-wall baby boomers swooning to his meat-and-potatoes brand of rock.
Touring in support of his latest album, Fifteen, the 48-year-old James gave the Canadian Music Week audience a selfless serving of fret firing action with a side of gusty vocals.
“It’s good to be at Lee’s Palace, I think it’s my first time,” James quipped with a genuine smirk.
Opening with Saviour, from his ’95 album Bad Habits, he dished out a slew of cuts from Fifteen, including ‘I Need You Bad’ and ‘Sweets Gone Sour’ – adequate musing on the blues genre that he has honed for so many years.
As a spectator, my report is rather biased – Colin James is not an artist I’d seek to listen to on a regular basis. However, James’ wizardry on the guitar — rumour persists that he had 22 on hand that night — was a captivating treat, beginning to end. More than anything, it proved that the man can make his instrument wail, bringing it to life like I have rarely seen.