Singer/songwriter James Maddock isn’t a household name but the 53-year-old New York-based musician has earned kudos from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Willie Nile. Maddock’s latest effort, “The Green,” is a rollicking affair with universal appeal.
“This is my best album,” Maddock insists of the 10-track follow-up to 2013’s excellent “Another Life.” “It’s an upbeat record with really strong songs and a lot of surprises. It all happened really naturally. I just listened to where the songs were going and allowed my self the time to give each one a proper sonic home.”
The platter is bookended by a pair of gems in “Once There Was a Boy Part 1” and “Once There Was a Boy Part 2.” The former has a spirited gospel/folk feel, while the latter is more subdued with a reliance on elegant strings. Additional standouts include the terrific title track, as well as “Speaking for the Man,” “The Old Neighborhood” and “Too Many Boxes.” This one’s worth a visit. (Jeffrey Sisk)