Exposé Online banner

Peter James — Footnotes to Fairytales
((Not on label) PJ0711, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

Footnotes to Fairytales Cover art

Bearing an intimate and individualistic style rooted both in folk music and minimalism, Bay Area (by way of England and Hong Kong) guitarist, singer, and songwriter Peter James has appeared on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere. With a passion and gentleness that evokes a deep-rooted and honest lyrical sensibility, his music conveys a strong sense of cinematic imagery, stark and shimmering, haunting and dynamic, like some surreal journey through an inner world of variegated emotions while never leaving the warmth of your fireplace. His music is at once introspective and outward in its appeal, casting the imagination far beyond the realities of everyday life. An accomplished guitarist, he plays six, eight, and ten-string acoustic, yet his playing is mostly supportive and not overtly showy. But it’s James’ compositions and voice that give the eleven tracks herein their unique far reaching character. By comparison, some might be reminded of Nick Drake, Duncan Browne, or even David Sylvian; certainly he is in superlative company there. Supporting musicians include David Lofton on guitars, piano, and backing voice, and Daniel Panasenko on Chapman Stick, bass, harmonium, and keys, with additional players on drums, cello, and tabla. Overall, Footnotes to Fairytales is a remarkable debut, one that in fact doesn’t sound like a debut at all, but instead the work of an accomplished veteran. My highest recommendation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Peter James

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Secret Oyster - Vidunderlige Kælling – While listening to this album, I find myself often comparing it to Camel’s Snow Goose. For one thing, there is a certain stylistic similarity, as they are both keyboard-centric instrumental rock...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues