James Adkins: Brokedown Free Man Blues

By Lisa Waugh

James Adkins is one of those singer songwriters who was born to do it. He started his musical life learning how to sing and play guitar from his father and he’s made it look damn near magical ever since. But the source of his talent is not magic even though Brokedown Free Man Blues sounds like the music rolls out of Adkins like so many hills in his native Virginia. Adkins works at his passion like his life depends on it.

On Brokedown Free Man Blues, Adkins pulled the tracks from his real world and then spun them back out again to create a nearly perfect record. He revisits certain places and times taking us on a journey from his early days in Pensacola to his new home in Ohio.

Adkins is one of those charismatic people. The artist truly knows how to spin a yarn and make it relatable which gives the music a beautiful ease. He also brings that lived-in feel to each track. This is Adkin’s talent. His love for the craft personified.

“This album is a collection of songs that I wrote over a transitory period in my life. A couple of the songs came from where I grew up and started my professional musical career in Pensacola, Florida. Another couple songs came from the Tidewater area of Virginia where I worked with some of my best musical friends and cultivated my songwriting style. Most were written from my new home in Northwest Ohio, and still others were written from the road in between. This album was originally born from my relationship with two great Songwriter/Producers from Malmö, Sweden who I met at a songwriting event in Nashville and who have now become great friends. Anna Edström and Jonas Ruldolf were living in Nashville when we started working on the album and have since moved back to Sweden.” — James Adkins

Brokedown Free Man Blues Track List:
1. Don’t Say Goodbye
2. Oh Lord Virginia
3. Brokedown Free Man Blues
4. Mountainside
5. You Are So MINE
6. Ghost
7. Hard Road to Go
8. On My Mind
9. Madly On (Mad Leon)
10. Goodbye Trouble

Musicians:
James Adkins – Vocals, guitar
Brandon Bostic – Dobro, pedal steel, lap steel
Ashby Frank – Mandolin
Tim Crouch – Orchestral instruments, mandolin, banjo, percussion
Scott Vestal – Banjo, synth banjo
Anna Edström – Harmony vocals
Dale Lazar – Drums, percussion
Steve Lazar – Electric bass, acoustic bass