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Sounds Like Down Home (2013)

sounds like down home, Jim’s sixth CD, is a collection of thirteen lively country-folk songs ten years in the making that reference his experience – musical and otherwise – of growing up in the rural Scots/Irish farming communities near Thetford Mines and Lennoxville in Quebec’s Eastern Townships region.

Jim’s music grows out of the oral and musical traditions of these communities and sounds like down home owes much to their practice of passing along these traditions from one generation to the next. You’ll hear echoes of the gallops and jigs their ancestors brought here from Scotland and Ireland, and also the sounds and values they identified with and embraced in the American folk and country music they heard on the radio. 

“As a kid I was drawn to and learned to play the kind of popular country music we listened to during the 50s and 60s on Sherbrooke’s CKTS radio station. It was American music – from Appalachia to Texas to Bakersfield – recorded by the likes of Ray Price, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. When it came to recording sounds like down home, co-producer Jason Lang (the McGarrigle Sisters, Roch Voisine, France D’Amour ) and I decided to adopt this period style of instrumentation and have included fiddle (Guy Gagner), pedal steel (Jean-Guy Grenier) & accordion (Bob Stagg) on several tracks.”

From the opening strains of the rolling hills of megantic county to the feel good danceable what are you doing sitting there,let's dance and moe's river shuffle on through to the driving rhythms of stuff like thathe rocked the place and hired man, the songs on sounds like down home celebrate not only some of the vanishing traditions of the rural life of Jim’s childhood but the ways in which music has always had the capacity to blend the past with the present and imbue the updated version with the values we wish to recover and preserve for the future.