JAMES MADDOCK TRIO:
Outstanding at the Outpost
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

James Maddock is a British singer/songwriter based out of New York City. James has established himself as an American artist who crafts timeless tales told in a raspy croon. His most recent record Another Life (2013) has been described as poetic storytelling in a blend of ballads, pop and rock roots.

James Maddock Trio: Outstanding at the Outpost
James Maddock returns to Montclair, New Jersey and the Outpost in the Burbs.

Maddock is on tour for the spring of 2014 which led him to a stone church in Montclair, New Jersey also known as Outpost in the Burbs. SoundPress.net had heard many accolades about Maddock from our good friend Pat an avid Springsteen fan. After seeing James at the Outpost on March 28, 2014, we can see why Bruce's following would like him. James is not imitating Springsteen but his lyrical lines combined with his gruff vocals are appealing in a real life way like Bruce.

"Hello, hello," greeted James as he opened with "Leicester Mist" a tale filled with vibrant imagery. On this night, James handled rhythm guitar and harmonica as he was supported by an able lead guitarist also on an acoustic and a bassist. Next they meandered into the up-tempo "Better On My Own" a sentiment that many can relate to.

"Step into the Water" flowed on snappy strumming backed by deep bass lines. The tune had a catchy hook that washed over the attentive audience as it moved into an animated acoustic duel. "Living A Lie" was lively and lyrical also. The trio was personable and their music persuasive.

James Maddock Trio: Outstanding at the Outpost
James Maddock on stage at the Outpost in the Burbs.

James chatted between songs, at one point sharing that he was terrible at sports such as cricket. Maddock was witty and his British accent added to his charm. "My Old Neighborhood" was a look back on childhood with layered instrumentation enhancing the nostalgic mood of the song. "Stars Align" was stark at the start as it subtly expanded instrumentally and vocally.

A person shouted out "Beautiful Now", which the band played beautifully. "Don't Go Lonely" presented life options in a poetic format. "Arizona Girl" was a musical muse that has a bit of a western feel to it. James thanked people for coming out along with a shout out to the sound guy. They progressed through more tasteful tunes with the encore declaring the idea of keeping your dreams. Thus, Maddock ended his show with a message of hope.

James Maddock was outstanding at the Outpost in the Burbs. James' music was emotional and engaging. His set was a good mix of new material along with fan favorites. At the start of the show, the announcer said "he brings us into his songs" and that was exactly what we experienced at our first James Maddock show. After the concert, James was available to meet fans and sign autographs.

James Maddock Trio: Outstanding at the Outpost
Local singer-songwriter Michaela McClain kicked off a fine night of music with a nice opening set.

Opening for Mr. Maddock was Michaela McClain a singer/songwriter reminiscent of the folk/soul stylings of artists such as Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse. Michaela fronted a three piece band. During her set Michaela played keyboards then a ukulele and an acoustic guitar. McClain was supported by a bassist and a drummer.

Michaela had a wide range and incorporated varied vocal inflections into her songs Her presentation was a mix of originals and covers including a creative spin on The Everly Brothers "Bye Bye Love" on ukulele. The trio's take on Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" was also strong. McClain's own songs were interesting and reflective.

Since 1987, Outpost In The Burbs has hosted an impressive list of musicians such as James Maddock. Outpost is centrally located in Montclair, New Jersey where there are restaurants and shops to explore before an event. Up-coming shows at Outpost include Paul Barrere & Fred Tacket, No Fuss & Feathers, Forever Ray, Indigenous and Spiritual Drumming (on select Sundays). Please visit www.outpostintheburgs.org for the Outpost's complete list of concerts and community service opportunities.

James Maddock Trio: Outstanding at the Outpost
The Michaela McClain trio live on stage at in Montclair, New Jersey.

Related Links: For more information on JAMES MADDOCK and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - James Maddock | Michaela McClain | Outpost In The Burbs

(Originally Published on March 31, 2014)

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