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Review of a live performance at Kulak's Woodshed in North Hollywood, CA.....

James Hurley, the next performer to hit stage, is a name I've been reading on house concert and other schedules for a while, though I never really had any particular feeling for what his music was all about. Well now I understand why! What do you say to describe a force of nature or a mirage of an enigma? How do you relate something you've never experienced before? James has to be one of the most unique performers I've ever seen. It may start with his anti-star appearance, seemingly middle-aged and balding with some of the most extreme sideburns you'll ever see. But his music almost defies description at times, acoustic guitar and vocals that remind one of a diverse palette of genres from Hoagy Carmichael to OingoBoingo to Delta blues and all points in between. He is both a reviewer's delight and nightmare to try to describe. His songs range from the perfectly over-the-top "The Vampire Song" where he sings about the vampires of Southern California or "Mushroom" where the real house of horrors comes with a hefty mortgage! But just when you think you can pigeon-hole him as a hopelessly quirky escapee of the Dr. Demento Home for the Musically Insane, he hits you with a song like "Mountain" a driving blues riff that is a scathing indictment of the damage done in the name of "progress" and the "nuisance" of conscience. Or one like "To Carry On" an inspirationally uplifting ballad urging us to strive through adversity. This is no "novelty" act though he is loaded with personality and quirkiness. James is an amazing guitarist, both in a technical and creative sense and his voice has so much personality that you might overlook how GOOD it is, pitch perfect over a wide range, with an emotional depth. At the night's end I paid James my ultimate compliment, I bought his CD, partly because John told us how good it was. We enjoyed listening to it on the drive home, as good and unique as his performance.

Live Music Alliance

James Hurley at Butler's Coffee - October 16th, 2009 Have you ever gone to a really good show, you smiled, laughed, enjoyed the music, and you felt really great because you had a chance to get out and really enjoy the evening? Well, this is how I felt after seeing James Hurley perform at Butler’s Coffee on Friday, October 16th. James Hurley was just pure entertainment value 101… He had my attention, and the audience as well, from start to finish. This is a performer that was as nice and as appreciative of a person as you would ever meet. His talent is second to none with his very unique, tight and clean guitar phrases that varied from Rock, Folk, Blues, to advanced style Classical Guitar passages. Hi voice and style has many flavours that I could comfortably state is unique to James Hurley as well as great interaction with the audience interjecting humor and commentary. I could go on with James about his technical aspects, voice and performance, but all that really needs to be said is that I really enjoyed the show and I haven’t been entertained to the point of laughing, tapping my feet, and leaving feeling great that I was present in quite some time. Great Show James Hurley! Jack Miller – LMA Street Team Member