James Chen — “Taiwanese Folk Style” CS
7 / 25 / 2016
Walking home from school around 1962 in Chia-yi, Taiwan, James Chen heard wild guitar noises reverberating from a nearby building. Compelled by its tone and sound, he stumbled upon a local musician playing guitar and immediately inquired for a lesson. In the ‘80s he began to write songs at home, talking about cicadas molting in the summer, the pleasures of leisurely sipping tea, blooming Poinciana flowers and a wistful longing for his family after living in the States for many years. Lovely, personal works.
Cut to present day, James’ son Hewson (The New Lines) took his father’s tunes and alongside his bandmate Davis White, fleshed out the production adding additional guitar, synthesizer and drums. Hewson titled this Taiwanese Folk Style because growing up around his fathers music, this is what he thought traditional Taiwanese cultural music sounded like. Over 30 years in the making, this inter-generational collaboration is as beautiful as it is sublime.