The Honest Mistakes and Susan James

The Honest Mistakes “Get It Right”

Baltimore band continues to push out great music, lead by Joylene Dalia and guitarist Chris Ehrich.  The strong chords and catchy beat dominate the opener “This Is Where I Gave Up” and Joylene hits it out of the park with an emotional chorus. Her vocal inflections on “Get It Right” are distinctive, alternating soft and powerful here. “Don’t Leave Me Alone Too Long” is a lyrical treat about dealing with relationship problems before they get worse.

The songs settle into a comfortable groove with long jangling guitar rhythms on “Sun Tea” and “Free,” but they pick up the tempo on “We Used To Be Friends” and then “It’s Hard,” with it’s simple message “it’s hard to know what we do this for…” Another terrific song is “Anybody’s Girl.” While the harmonies are kept to a minimum, and the arrangements are pretty simple throughout, its anchored by Joylene’s powerful voice. Definitely worth repeat listens. If you would like to see The Honest Mistakes LIVE, they will be playing Power Popaholic Fest this September!


Susan James “Sea Glass”

Susan James musical influences are from a variety of strong singer-songwriters from Joni Mitchell to Tori Amos. Her delicate ethereal vocal and angelic harmony is what stands out in “Posiedon’s Daughter,” a folk pop tune about a mermaid’s plight, as this message is all about saving our seas from pollution (“Is there nothing you can do for her?”).

“Awful Lot” is another bittersweet story, but the magic really starts with “Hey Julianne” using a Brian Wilson styled composition, full of beautiful orchestration courtesy of Sean O’Hagan (High Llamas). The Spanish “Ay Manzanita” is another highlight about female empowerment, and “Tell Me Cosmo” is a wonderful psychedelic tribute to the hippie era with its shimmering chords and echoing chorus. Overall a highly recommended folk pop album that impresses with each listen.

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