JAMES PAYNE is an indie soul singer from Alabama and he’s been on the scene for some time now. Coming up through the Southern gospel circuit, James has worked with groups like the Mobile Soul Stirrers, the Singing Sons, U Can’t Touch This, The Apollo Blues Band and Blues Unlimited. In his own right he’s released something like seven solo albums and he’s currently re-promoting his latest effort – a nine tracker with the grandiose title ‘Incredible’ that first came out in 2007.
It’s up to you whether you agree with James’ adjectival titling but what you need to know is that the album is a workmanlike Southern soul album that owes much to the singers Mr P cites as his influences… Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton and Marvin Sease. However on the album’s two best outings (to these ears at least) our man sounds a lot like dear old Tyrone Davis. The cut’s I’m referring to are ‘Let Me Love You Right’ and ‘Two Places At The Same Time’ (a great Southern love triangle dilemma song). Both are melodic easy-on-the-ear, mid-tempo rollers on which James shows off his gospel credentials.
Elsewhere, ‘Crusin” and ‘My Kind Of Girl’ are Southern flavoured ballads and will have more longevity than the faster items like the funky ‘Some People’ and the throw away ‘Let’s Get The Party Started Right’ .
A diligent interest search will allow you to investigate further and then you can make up your own minds just how “incredible” Alabama’s James Payne is.