In this week's episode we're featuring the self-titled, debut album from Texas City native Jason James: "Jason James" (2015). After latching on to his father's love for traditional country music and leaving a fledgling punk band on the shelf, he began making recordings and demos for personal use. His mother got ahold of some of those recordings and began sending them out to labels - lo and behold, a major player in the world of independent music in New West Records got wind of it. And so was born our feature album. Jason James has a vocal style that wonderfully blends Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, Sr., Mel Street, a little Dwight and (the overarching influence for this reviewer) George Jones to create an unmistakably country lilt, which, when applied to these thirteen original tracks is one of the freshest takes on the traditional country genre in years. Recorded over three and a half years between ages 26 and almost 30, Jason James has a sense for classic country that defies his age. Highlights are plentiful, but you'd do well to check out the big single in "I've Been Drinkin' More" (and you'd better wait til the very end); The Derailers and Buck Owens-esque "Here Comes The Heartache"; the hard-edged and twangy-as-all-get-out "Hot Mouth Mama" and a Jim Lauderdale co-write in "Walk Through My Heart" where Lauderdale duly lends his harmony vocal to proceedings. This is one album I can promise you will not regret adding to your collection.