Nashville-based singer-songwriter James DiGirolamo has extensive experience as a session musician and touring sideman. As a keyboard player, he’s worked with Mindy Smith, Holly Williams, Peter Bradley Adams, Alice Peacock, Robby Hecht, Fognode, The Bittersweets, Judson Spence, and many others. DiGirolamo’s latest solo work, Paper Boats, draws on a wide array of influences including Paul Simon, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Elliott Smith, Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Thomas Dolby, Steven Sondheim, XTC, Steely Dan, Ben Folds, Ron Sexsmith, and to no small degree many friends and peers from his time in Nashville, such as Sarah Siskind. In his words, “These are not always overt, or even apparent, but they’re in there – that’s part of the beauty of the DNA of songwriting.”
The title Paper Boats is a playful combination of the names of the first and last tracks. As DiGirolamo puts it, “in my mind, each of the songs is a tiny boat I constructed, which I now hope to launch across a glassy pond, or -more like it- a turbulent sea.
Today Glide is excited to offer a premiere of the album’s opening track “Same Boat,” a song that comes from a Stevie Wonder/ Paul McCartney-esque place. Hitting you hard with a dangerously funkified groove, the song does an awesome job of showcasing upbeat harmonies alongside tight instrumentals. It would be easy to call this power pop, but here are other dynamics at play and it seems DiGirolamo is intent on giving us a little of everything. There is soul, pop, R&B and a touch of rock and roll, making for a song that feels well suited for sunny days and happier times.
James DiGirolamo describes the inspiration and process behind the song:
“Same Boat is a mashup of styles, a melting-pot of influences, and that fits, ‘cause it is about cooperation. This sort of tune, that being an anthem of sorts, doesn’t usually occur to me. So, I’m glad this just poured out of me. One does run the risk of sounding terribly naive, of course, but I’m willing to look like a fool for hoping to move towards a world where we take care of each other better than we currently do. That has to start at the individual level, and at home, and that is how the scope widens. When I was a kid, I asked my Mom, “If the World has so many problems, why doesn’t everyone stop what they’re doing for a few days to fix it?” Not such a bad idea, really. We can each use our talents to do something in that very spirit every day.”