A new full-length album from J Candeed touches on a bright and warming array of acoustic instrumentation that feels welcoming like a hug from a loved one. The record has a way of reaching into inner thoughts and monologues pulling them out turning them into song and making memories of your own pop into your head.
The Road to Joy album is riddled with heart and passionate performances that tell vivid stories that become pictures painted with this gorgeous canvas the artist uses.
While mandolin and acoustic guitars flow the words depict characters and situations from different perspectives that let you soak the story in. This was a very cool and particularly detailed album and not just in terms of lyrics but also in terms of musicianship, arrangement, and songwriting.
This album was wonderfully woven and there was so much thought put behind each and every song that they each stand on their own two legs, almost like they have an existence of their own outside of the album.
However, listening to the full album, itself is definitely the way to go because although it's not a concept album exactly, but it feels like a book that you're reading.
You kind of go through the chapters and in the end, you have a great picture of everything as a whole.
Vocals are impactful but subtle in a way. They boast soul and definitely some emotional drive as well, but nothing is really over the top honestly. And I think that that's the way it should be with music like this which is a great rustic folk approach but with additional sort of subgenres that peak in and out or hide beneath the surface.
You do get this wonderfully one-on-one, personal feel to these songs and that's because a lot of them were most likely written from personal experience and so they mean something to the artist and that comes through in the music itself for the listener.
This was absolutely beautiful and for anyone that really has a soft spot for meaningful music, that makes you think or feel, then J Candeed is certainly for you.
Plus, you get a little bit of that classic old school Folk feel to it as well which is extremely enjoyable.
With the release of such a lush record, we wanted to have a sit-down with the artist to see where this album actually came from and what might be next for him.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with the Road to Joy album. This record had a very beautifully performed Country rock tonality! Where did this album come from?
In 2019 I moved from south Mississippi to Raleigh, NC and this album centers mostly on dealing with the reality of that move and the reasons that I was driven to make it. I've been playing bluegrass, blues, and country in other bands for a long time and this was my solo take on those influences. Buzz Slayers: When did this all start for you? When did you fall in love with music?
I started taking piano lessons (against my will) in 3rd grade and have basically been surrounded by music my whole life. I fell in love with music in high school and really began to be able to express myself through music in college.
Buzz Slayers: What inspires you to write a song?
Pretty much everything. I figured out that expressing myself through music is one of the few ways I'm comfortable expressing how I think and feel so basically throughout my day as things happen, I'm thinking of ways to write it into a song. Specifically though, I'm usually inspired by an interesting idea I've read about, (love, addiction, struggle) or an unique interaction with a stranger. Buzz Slayers: This record has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences?
Some of my top musical influences are David Grisman, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Junior Kimbrough, John Hartford Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I still have a day job, but other than that I'm usually hanging out with my girlfriend, going to see live music or travelling Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
John Scofield - "Country for Old Men" Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
Yes, I have one more gig this month in Richmond, VA, and my schedule gradually picks up in February and March. Buzz Slayers: This album feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming bands out there?
Learn as much as you can about the process so you can better craft the sound you want. That and be as thorough and prepared as possible before going into the studio. Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
I am currently recording another album with hopes of getting it released before the end of the year. I also plan to do a few short tours and a lot of shows in the North Carolina, Virginia region.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you for the support and there is a lot more to come!