Album review: JAMES WHITE & THE WILD FIRE – Live at Saffron Hall

JAMES WHITE & THE WILD FIRE – Live at Saffron Hall

Facebook [Release date 19.11.21]

James White & The Wild Fire formed in 2020 and musically are a blend of country, bluegrass, indie and Americana, hailing from Saffron Walden, Essex. The group consists of James White (vocals and guitar), Brooke Bond (double bass), Ed Goldsmith (banjo) and Lee Dorrington (cajon – a box shaped percussion piece).

Despite being unmanaged and unsigned, the band topped the charts on both the Folk and Country Albums charts on Amazon with their debut EP, ‘Making Tracks’, in the summer of this year. This live album was recorded at a sold out home town show.

It is a musical jamboree, hitting political targets on the feisty ‘Democracy Hypocrisy’ – channelling Levellers meets Ferocious Dog – through to an all-out rocker in the shape of ‘Citizen Of Nowhere’. The one song where he can wig out on guitar. ‘Take Me Home’ and ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ would appeal to fans of the Dead South, a band these would be a perfect support for.

Frontman James White is certainly a confident chap and works the crowd well, as well being self-depreciating like when introducing ‘Can We Come Back To This One’, the band’s only love song and written for his now ex.

‘Meet Me At The Creek’ rounds the live album off in a flurry of banjo and a fast paced rhythm. Loving the banjo playing of Ed Goldsmith and the way the music slows down midway through before ending in a rising crescendo.

Oh and the album cover photo was taken by sometime GRTR! writer Martin David Porter, another good reason to check this out then!

James White & The Wild Fire would be a sure fire hit come next year’s festival season, get them booked festival promoters! In the meantime we can enjoy this live offering of a band definitely on the up. ***1/2


Review by Jason Ritchie



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