Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Episode#16: Kalu James

Kalu James, a Nigerian-born singer-songwriter whose musical journey has taken him from New York to Los Angeles, has attracted a devoted following with his open-book approach to lyrics and a cool, laidback demeanor on stage. A recent Austin transplant, Kalu found a home at well-known open mic spots, such as Ruta Maya. He lists his biggest influences as Jeff Buckley and Tracy Chapman, and it becomes clear why when you watch his full band play. Kalu and company have a pretty good feel for that slow-build to big-yet-smooth-crescendos dynamic that made the title track off Buckley's watershed album Grace so brilliant. With two albums and only a year in town, Kalu James is still fairly new to the scene, but he has a lot of promise. Keep an eye out on the "smiling man from Rochester" (as he's sometimes called). He's been getting increased local media attention lately for a reason.

Filmed on October 16, 2008
Venue: Antone's on 5th St and Lavaca St
Songs: "Hurts" / "Blanket" / "Move On"