For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen - Reviews



For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen - Samuel James

"When in the hands of killers like Mississippi John Hurt, Taj Mahal, Corey Harris, Ceephas & Wiggins and many others, acoustic blues with a heavy accent on story telling just drives us white boys that like things from around the edges crazy. James brings it all forward to today’s ears and tastes, but he doesn’t shy away from tales of lynchings and other problems unique to the black experience that whitey doesn’t encounter much. In the tradition of black ‘folksingers’ like Josh White and John Lee Hooker, this is the sound of a guitar, a stomping foot and anguish that comes from experience. James is a blues master that’s simply not to be missed."

Midwest Record Recap
October, 2009 


"Samuel James puts the boogie to the blues with a voice like a horn blowing rhythmic sounds. The man is an artist at his wildest, both musically and lyrically."

-John Shelton Ivany
September, 2009 


"Some blues purists will say that the blues were meant to be played and sung by a single gentleman or woman, and arrangement-wise, to be kept stripped down as much as possible - which was the preferred method in the genre's dawning days. If you're one of these aforementioned music buffs, then Samuel James is the bluesman for you. As evidenced on his 2009 release, For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen, James follows the same musical template he laid down on his previous release, Songs Famed for Sorrow and Joy. Think blues from the '20s with a modern-day production, and you're not far off from what lays within For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen. Once more, James has assembled an album's worth of authentic blues ditties, especially such standouts as the album-opening Bigger, Blacker Ben, as well as Joe Fletcher's Blues and Wooden Tombstone -- the latter of which is comprised solely of James' voice and what sounds like the tap of his shoe keeping the time. Few modern-day blues revivalists get it right, as more settle for mere regurgitations of licks popularized by Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But Samuel James is certainly an exception, as heard throughout For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen. "

-Greg Prato
All Music Guide
September, 2009