James Hill has made a career as an award-winning ukulele player and songwriter who "gives the ukulele its dignity back without ever taking himself too seriously" (Songlines). His JUNO and ECMA-Award nominated album The Old Silo (2014) sees him charting a course into deeper, rockier waters with producer Joel Plaskett at the helm. The record has an edginess and swagger unlike anything Hill has ever recorded: the thundering baritone ukulele riff in She's Still Got It wouldn't be out of place on a Black Keys album and the grinding slide ukulele in Tie One On would make Jack White proud. Catchy, energetic cuts like New Moon, Pomenade and Lovebirds would be at home at any outdoor summer music festival.
But it's not all sex, drugs and ukulele. There are moments of stillness and striking beauty: the haunting strings in For So Long, the fragile intimacy of I'll Never Know, and the country ballad If Wishes Were Horses show that Hill hasn't entirely lost himself in growling amps and pounding drums.
The Old Silo Reviews:
"Brilliant. Hill's most mature album to date... a career highlight." - Country Jukebox
"If you thought James Hill was simply the ukulele wunderkind, his latest album will convince you that he is also a great songwriter." - Penguin Eggs
"Hill has built a portfolio that stamps him as a singer-songwriter and all-round musician of the highest calibre." - Rhythms
"Catchy folk songs with great lyrics... a storybook-like presentation of James Hill's musical ability." - The Permanent Press