Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home
[Rating: 3 stars]
Susan James is a West Coast singer-songwriter who’s toured with Bob Weir and earned the praise of Ryan Adams, who tweeted about her “great songs” and killer band. Her fourth solo album, Highways, Ghosts, Hearts, and Home features that same backing band, I See Hawks In LA (which includes Punch Brothers’ fiddler Gabe Witcher and drummer DJ Bonebrake.) The album walks the lie between country and folk, and tracks like “Air Stream Girl” and “How To Fix A Broken Girl,” show off James’ powerful, beguiling voice. “Calling Mr. Zimmerman” is a cry to Bob Dylan for divine inspiration: “Calling Mr. Zimmerman, please help me write this song, I always get it wrong.” But it’s clear from just one listen of Highways that James knows what she’s doing.