Young James Long "Orogeny" LP
It is with great fanfare that we proudly announce the return of the esteemed improvisational chainsaw blues trio Young James Long.
Young James Long formed in Dallas in 2003 with a weekly residency at a local (and appropriately named) dive bar called Muddy Waters. PW Long (guitar, vocals) and Kirkland James (guitar) had known each other socially since the 90s when Long was fronting Quarterstick Records’ Mule, and James was playing with Tenderloin. Long would go onto make a series of incredible solo records under his own name and that of PW Long’s Reelfoot and James would play with Alejandro Escovedo (among many others) before their paths finally crossed again. They recruited Taylor Young (Hi-Fi Drowning, Young Heart Attack, The Polyphonic Spree) on drums and a raw, blues-punk-rock-and-roll band emerged fully formed, songs flying out of them with enthusiasm and ease.
However, here we are in 2023, so what happened? Answer: geography - the age-old enemy of creativity. One member left Texas and the others (being the extremely able and skilled musicians that they are) were perpetually wooed away to play in other bands. Everyone’s got bills to pay, right? And with that, things just kind of fizzled out. Long even insists he quit playing music around 2010. One of the most recognizable voices in underground music: out of the game. Incredible. Inconceivable.
Orogeny sounds live and thrillingly immediate, as though all obstacles between their delivery and your ears have been removed and discarded as irrelevant. There is no filler, no treading of water at any point. Amps buzz, songs teeter on the edge of collapse, you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of the band as they play and it’s a sweet place to be. The album contains a whopping 17 songs, most under 2 minutes long. They don’t want to waste your time, or most importantly (after sixteen years away), theirs.
If you’re familiar with Long’s previous bands, you’ll know he has a rare gift for pairing extreme volume with extreme tenderness and it’s thrilling to find that gift present and correct after over a decade away. And that voice – holy shit, that voice. He can go from a Beefheart howl to the sweetest country baritone in the space of a single line. In James and Young he’s found the perfect foils, a power trio of instinctive and soulful musicians able to conjure shining gems of magic out of the grit and the dirt. Young James Long is risen from the ashes – it’s a miracle!