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James Bruce Moore: Soul’s Journey Home

Jim Olin By

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James Bruce Moore is back to pluck his guitar as well as heartstrings with his new album, Soul's Journey Home. Fresh off the success of his debut album Lisbeth, Moore sounds renewed, and ready to share to the world more of his thoughts on life and love.

In Soul's Journey Home, the Toronto-based singer/songwriter croons of love in all its forms in an eclectic collection of tracks. Songs like "Open Your Heart" and "Bridge to Love" are the meat-and-potatoes of the album and play to Moore's strengths as a folk musician, while the jazzy groove of "Gentle Witness" is him clearly having fun with his music.

Most of the tracks in the album are accompanied by Aaron Davis' skillful string arrangements, which elevate Moore's guitar and vocals in songs like "Harsh Light of Day" and "Lovin.'" The message of regret over a lost love in "Harsh" is made more powerful with a string section to back it up, while "Lovin'"s piano solos turn the deceptively simple love song into something interesting and complex. Some might say Moore's lyrics are a bit on the cheesy side, with lines like "Hold your darlings close/Be sure to make the most of the day," but perhaps that's where his strengths lie. He won't be wowing anyone with his clever wordplay anytime soon, but it's that kind of earnest writing that makes his songs more heartfelt, more honest. And the crowning jewel of the album is the magnificent first track, "Soul's Journey." Opening with a soaring orchestral intro, "Soul's Journey" seamlessly transitions to Moore's sensitive guitar playing and vocals. "I start on my soul's journey home," Moore sings with sublime conviction. "I walk that straight road not alone." And you are compelled to follow him wherever his music may lead.

Soul's Journey Home is easy listening at its best and is a fine sophomore album from Moore. If he can produce an album like this even at this stage in his life, then it's safe to say we can expect more great music from him in the future.

Track Listing: Soul's Journey; Lovin'; Bridges to Love; Harsh Light of Day; Roy Benavidez; Gentle Witness; Lovin' of an Evening; Open Your Heart; Sigh Unto the Universe.

Personnel: James Bruce Moore: voice, guitar; George Koller: upright bass; Aaron Davis: Bechstein piano; Rob Piltch: guitar; Mark Mariash: drums; Kirsten Rea: backup vocals; Carol Gimbel: viola/concert mistress; Kathleen Kajioka: viola; Min Jeong Koh: violin; Sarah Nematallah: violin; Andrea Tyniec: violin; Ivan Ivanovich: violin; Alexa Wilks: violin; Rachel Mercer: cello; Rachel Desoer: cello.

Title: Soul’s Journey Home | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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