From a tree top in his backyard, singer/guitarist Jim Pelz could just make out the John Hancock Tower in neighboring Boston. Perched in the shadow of that music-loving city, he began to absorb the influences that would later define him as a musician. It was all there: jazz, blues, and rock ’n’ roll, and later, country and bluegrass. Jim started on the piano, to be abandoned for the trombone, and then, ultimately, the guitar. That’s where he found his own unique voice.
In his younger years, Jim sharpened his musical skills at every opportunity, touring around New England playing reggae, blues, rock, and jazz. After relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio, he co-founded Hickory Robot, an acoustic Americana ensemble with bluegrass leanings. Since then, it’s developed a strong regional following and recorded two CDs. Each release showcases his fleet guitar work and character-driven songs, all hewn from the heartland of America.
We’re happy to announce the release Loser Angels, Jim Pelz’s debut solo CD. It documents the divinity found in surmounting life’s low moments: temptation, failure, the existential despair of war, and loss. It’s the rumbling of a barfly stumbling his home in “Faded”, and the poignant uncertainty of a female soldier in “Sand In The Machine.” It’s also redemption found through music, as in “Soul of a Song,” or simply letting go, as in “I Can’t Hold On,”
Loser Angels draws inspiration from the music of the latter-day Byrds, the lyrical tautness of Rodney Crowell, and the grit of Jason Isbell. The guitars bend and twang, and the melodies linger.
It’s a long way from the tree in the shadow of Boston to bars and concert venues of America, but Jim continues to look up and push beyond the boundaries of his own backyard.