James Dalton | Butterflies and Passerbys

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Folk: Folk Blues Folk: Minstrel Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Butterflies and Passerbys

by James Dalton

a modern minstrel/ traveling bard/Jedi warrior bringing light to dark times.
Genre: Folk: Folk Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Kiss of the Dark Haired Girl
0:27 $0.99
2. Somewhere With You
2:45 $0.99
3. House My Grandfather Built
4:50 $0.99
4. Train From Pula
1:00 $0.99
5. Wednesday Night Mass
4:29 $0.99
6. Senator's Square
2:32 $0.99
7. Alafaya Mama
4:18 $0.99
8. Sprout and Ivy
0:51 $0.99
9. All Across the Cities
3:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Here's a Review of Butterflies and Passerbys by WBJB "The Night" 90.5's Leo Zaccari:

Butterflies and Passerbyes, is the fourth release from New Jersey native, James Dalton, and is his most personal album to date. There are nine tracks in all, including three passionate mandolin interludes which tie together the songs with remarkable poise.

Butterflies and Passerbyes is many things: it is social commentary, with songs like "Alafaya Mama" or "All Across the Cities"; it is a travelers album, with songs about written in or about far away places such as "Senator's Square"; and it is a confessional, with songs such as "Wednesday Night Mass". One of the album's charms is that it gives far away places a familiar feel to them and makes us realize that even if people speak a different language and a different culture, we are all the same.

Dalton plays all the instruments on the album including guitars, harmonica, mandolin, and even a xylophone. The album begins with a brilliant but effortless mandolin piece entitled, "Kiss of the Dark Haired Girl". Dalton's expertise with the mandolin is quite impressive, and adds to the quiet confessional tone of each song. This is followed by "Somewhere With You", a song about feeling alone and alienated, written fittingly enough, in Shanghai, China. The mandolin also turns up later on "Sprout and Ivy", a piece which takes its name from a graphic novel called "Korgi" by Disney animator Christian Slade.

Several recurring themes are hidden in the album. In addition to alienation and remorse, the theme of discovering who we really turns up on "Alafaya Mama". In looking for someone to solve all of our problems, in this case the titular figure of the song, Dalton comes to grips with the bitter realization that he is the enemy, he is the one person who has been stopping himself from achieving his dreams.

"Senaotor's Sqaure" is like the eye of the hurricane, tranquil yet commanding, calm on the exterior, yet packing enough intensity to level anything in its path. This is the story of a woman who lives a lie so she can feel normal. It's a story that we can all relate to, the lies we tell others and more importantly, the lies we tell ourselves.

The album ends with "All Across the Cities", happy yet melancholy tribute to the enduring character of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. Musically, this is the heart of the album, and a fitting track to end with.

This album has a lived-in familiar feel to it and will remind you at times of Van Morrison or Rod Stewart circa Gasoline Alley. However, it's also nimble enough to surprise as it does in the track "Alafaya Mama" with its unpredicted but apt reference to Chuck D of Public Enemy.

The most striking impact of this album is that to its credit, it is an album not aiming for mainstream acceptance. This is quite simply an artist making music because he loves to make music. Butterflies and Passerbyes may not be James Dalton's big breakthrough to superstardom, but it will strike a chord in the hearts of those who appreciate good music. And James Dalton is okay with that.. http://wbjb.org/home.php/2007/04/13/review-of-butterflies-and-passerbyes/#more-8595

And another from Jersey Beat:

JAMES DALTON has a strong, classic singer-songwriter voice, in the way he sings, the way in writes, and the posture he projects on “Butterflies and Passerbys” (aeriarcords.com). His structure, while being “classic” is hardly formulaic, thankfully, which makes this an easy listen. Sometimes he treads on Greg Brown territory (meant positively), but mostly he covers his material with freshness, right from the start, with “Kiss of the Dark Haired Girl,” straight through to the end. There is even a blues thrown in, with “Alafaya Mama.” One of my fave cuts is “Wednesday Night Mass,” soaring through people’s lives. A one-man band (writes, plays), Dalton keeps it simple, exposing as much as is needed, rather than everything he has, which makes for a cleaner, clearer recording.




to write a review

Luna Musings

One Life's Journey
Mr. Dalton carefully crafts tasteful bluesy folk pop Europa/Americana on this handcrafted outing.

Heartfelt balladeering, whimsical reflection, a classic coming of age lyrical realization melded masterfully with harmonica, mandolin, guitar, and melodic but firm vocal statesmanship.

Essential listing for discerning fans of wandering minstrels..

Colie Brice
4:59 PM
April 11, 2007

Mastered by GRAMMY Winner Tom Ruff @ asburymedia.com

John Pfeiffer

down home organic style

SHANGHAI TO MEMPHIS Eight-time Asbury Music Award nominee James Dalton is a singer-songwriter, actor, and sometime cricket match host. That's right, and he's also a mainstay of Jersey's current music and arts scene, making many contributions pertaining to music in our "Soprano"-land universe and way beyond. He has been lucky enough to perform in many different settings ranging from sideman to front man, ensemble member to lead actor, and solo artist to performance artist, all over the US and Europe and as far away as Asia.

Sometimes you run across a performer who just seems to know what he wants and goes out and grabs it.The first thing that impressed me with James Dalton is his apparent lack of fear of success. Fear of success is a common thing among musicians and has led many down the path of least resistance, but not this guy.

Dalton's been known as the long distance runner, a player that gets on a plane and tours Europe on a shoestring budget, usually self-promoted. He is yet another example of an artist that isn't satisfied with playing the same town, state or even continent over and over again without taking a walk on the wild side of the world, touring and playing in real life time.

He also has a one man show to debut in August entitled "Shanghai To Memphis,"or as he likes to call it, "Poorly Remembered, Badly Written Stories Of Music And Love"at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. I told you, this kid likes to travel, right?

Currently on tour with NY's Erin Sax Seymour, Dalton's sideman role has him playing harmonica, mandolin and guitar as they open for The Samples all across America. He called me from the road somewhere in Montana to tell me he was working on a couple writing projects, and developing a tv pilot due out sometime in July so he's never standing still. He's promised to bring back some interesting items and stories from the road.And knowing Dalton, I'm sure it will be good.

Dalton has recently been picked up by AERIA Records and is drumming up support online and on stage for his newest project entitled Butterflies And Passerbys. I recently took a listen and was immediately drawn into the down home organic style of his compositions. Songs Like "Sprout And Ivy,""House My Grandfather Built,"and "Somewhere With You" bring me back to Smoky Mountain memories and Tennessee splendor of a different time. Well done and worth grabbing if you can. John Pfeifer, East Coast Rocker

Richard Skelly

Touring troubadour comes home

Touring troubadour comes home
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 07/13/07

James Dalton is nothing if not resourceful. The 33-year-old singer/songwriter has booked himself to perform in August at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He also has booked himself at coffeehouses, bars and theaters in England, Ireland, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and elsewhere.

In addition, Dalton spent two months performing at a blues club in Shanghai, China, with the help of a New York-based booking agent.

Known on the Jersey Shore music scene as J-Pat, Dalton splits his time between Red Bank and Bay Head, where he was raised, when he isn't on the road. His latest is "Butterflies and Passerbys," released on the Asbury Park-based Aeria Records label.

While much of what he performs is based in the blues, his latest Aeria album reveals his singer/songwriter and contemporary folk singer side.

"I started getting into blues and roots music after a childhood of Crosby, Stills and Nash and ZZ Top," Dalton said. "One day after listening to the Grateful Dead and the Black Crowes, these "gateway bands,' I was in the record store and I saw this record for eight dollars. It was Howlin' Wolf, "Moanin' at Midnight.' Ever since then, I haven't been the same, and I was perhaps 18 at that time."

Dalton describes his latest album (he previously issued three self-released CDs) as a traveling folk album, "but with a blues base to it."

Dalton said patrons can expect more than just blues at Red Bank's Songwriters in the Park on Friday night.

"I won't necessarily be doing Howlin' Wolf tunes," he said. "By this point, I have a lot of original blues and other kinds of songs."