Taking the signature solo acoustic work found on his first CD (1999's "Sanctuary") one step further, bluesman J.L. Stiles has released Solo Sessions, featuring all solo acoustic, original material performed uncut in the studio. The CD showcases his rootsy fingerstyle guitar and his tasty harmonica that together frame his story-telling vocal style which will leave you "thinkin' while you're drinkin'". Stiles uses both 12- and 6-string guitars to raise the acoustic blues flag to another level, as he builds upon the legacy of blues masters that have gone before. Check out "Nothin' Here For Me", "I Ain't Gonna Wait" and "Renewal Song" for some prime examples of Stiles hittin' his stride as a lyricist and a performer.
Growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut, it was six months before his 18th birthday when J.L.painstakingly and brutally learned to strum some of his favorite songs on his brother Erik's "Frankenstein" (a classical guitar strung with steel strings). He later got a better instrument, and through diligence and a dose of stubbornness, as well as the unflinching criticism of his immediate family, J.L. slowly developed his playing, writing and vocal style into what it is today. A move to New Orleans led J.L. to soak up that city's musical gumbo while playing local venues, both as a solo artist and in full ensembles. Finally, he wound up in San Francisco, plying his craft on Shoeless Records.
Where songwriting is concerned, Stiles has only one principle: Don't try too hard because then you'll be a fake.
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