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“If there’s a betting pool for next big singer-songwriters in Austin, James Hyland’s name floats at the top. Celestial Navigation clearly sets his course for the stars with wonderfully crafted Americana. Hyland is well in command of an evocative writing style.”
Margaret Moser – Austin Chronicle
Over the last decade James Hyland has had it so musically good as the central singer and songwriter of the popular and lauded South Austin Jug Band. So what to do for an encore? Go back to the essence of his solo career with the magical musical assistance of his old Jug Band cohorts, and, at the same time, enhance his own artistic brand that, as Performing Songwriter raves, “possesses a hypnotic power and an intensity that is emotionally captivating.”
And Celestial Navigation is just the sort of mesmeric album to firmly make that mark, rich with the above qualities among many other Hyland musical merits. The album is marked by what one might call a “Lowcountry Sound,” from the title of Hyland’s lovely and loving homage in song to his South Carolina coastal roots. Praised by East Bay Express for creating “a kind of joyful noise that seems made of pure sunlight and moonshine,” on Celestial Navigation Hyland weaves his spell this time out from the moods and vibes of twilight and nighttime. The result recalls Neil Young’s classic rural music rumination Harvest and the sepia-toned Americana of The Band, and also plays as if Nick Drake were from the American South or Elliot Smith might have made a roots record. Yet just as Hyland did with the South Austin Jug Band, the album’s sound blends genres and inspirations to become something all its own.
“What a beautiful pop country gem”
William Michael Smith – Lonestar Music Magazine
Michael Corcoran – Austin American Statesman
“hypnotic, haunting, beautiful and deep”
Jim Pipkin – No Depression
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