The Original Ivor James
Ivor was born on the 22nd July 1943 in Derby, England. His mother was a talented singer and pianist who supplemented the family income by playing and singing in pubs and clubs, rehearsing daily at home. From this childhood filled with music, Ivor was caught up in the great Rock n' Roll and Skiffle boom in the 50s. He learned the guitar and formed a skiffle group with three school pals.
Ivor's working life caused him to move around the country fairly frequently in the 1970s and '80s, and this resulted in him leaving a trail of bands behind him as he progressed. Ivor then decided to try his luck as a solo artiste, and he quickly found that this suited him and his semi-nomadic life style as he was able to transport his act from one area to another without the complication of starting another band. In 1993, he struck out as a fully professional performer, specialising in his first love, Country Music.
The album reviewed here is a compilation of his own self penned songs, recorded at Pete Haywoods studio in Derbyshire between 1995 and 1999.
The opening track on this 12 song album, "The Driver", is a song that tells of leaving home for work on a monday morning to return on a friday, and is no doubt influenced by the fact that his father was a truck driver. This is followed by "In My Minds Eye", a slow country shuffle and "Rain" a story of love gone wrong before the very catchy midpaced "Fair Weather Friends".
Linedancers are catered for with "Having You Around", "A Line At A Time" and "Take Me Dancing", while living a nomadic lyfestyle is the theme for "The Traveller".
is a song Ivor describes as his protest song.
Other tracks on this album are "Clock On The Wall", a song that has him recalling past memories with a rythm akin to a ticking clock, and the slow love ballads "Just Because I love You" and "Catch Me If I Fall", the latter enhanced by some fine Saxaphone playing from Steve Beighton.
It's alway's good to see British artists writing their own material and this is a fine album of self penned songs from Ivor James. Althugh I have yet to see him live myself, I have no doubt that Ivor is a popular artist on the club and festival circuit, (his wife and children are actively involved in organising country music festivals) where he does a mix of covers and originals.
I would imagine the album is only available at his gigs, so if if he's in your area get along and see him, and I'm sure he will be only too pleased to sell you a copy.