I think Canadians just might be better at Americana than Americans. Just in time for the Nor'easter we're currently enduring, I'll be featuring a polar vortex of Canadian folk singers. You already heard from Mo Kenney and there will be a few more on the way. Both musicians had their album produced by Joel Plaskett. As a sidenote, I think it speaks to Plaskett's talents that neither album sounds alike. (T. Bone Burnett chooses amazing people to work with, but then he ends up making all of them sound exactly the same.) Clearly, Plaskett is more interested in showcasing individual artists' strengths. This is something James Hill has in spades.
Hill is known as a ukulele virtuoso (move over, Hawaiians) but I think he deserves to be known for his songwriting. This album is brimming with warmth -- even on the sad songs. Hill takes pride in his work and it's well-deserved. These songs deserve to be canon somewhere -- they communicate complex ideas and emotions efficiently and simply, but without cutting corners. In other words, Hill hits the target every time. If you have enough sense to read this blog, you should go ahead and buy this album. Get it for everyone you know -- they're guaranteed to find something to love about this infectious (but not in an Ebola way) album.
James Hill -- Official, Stream the album for free on his site, Facebook, Purchase on iTunes