Barely into his 30s, Hill has already made a career out of knocking worlds against each other. His technical prowess on ukulele is achieved through attacking what is mostly regarded as a lowly folk instrument with the seriousness and nuance of technique usually associated with the highest levels of virtuosity on, say, classical violin or piano. His entertaining and unpredictable solo concerts have a world-wide audience that would be envied by many wannabe rock stars and his inspirational music seminars have made him something of a ukulele-based motivational speaker. Anyone lucky enough to have seen one of Hill’s recent live shows might also be familiar with his hip-hop influenced forays into heavily percussive, beat-driven prepared-ukulele “sound sculptures”: John Cage meets Chalmers Doane via Kid Koala.
With the release of Man With a Love Song, James Hill, recognized as one of the world’s foremost ukulele players, stands poised and ready to take his place in the ranks of today's best young songwriters. Here, seemingly in a single blast, Hill’s songwriting has grown to rival his prowess as a musician. From the soulful big-band jazz of “What Would You Have Me Do?” through the barrelhouse-bluegrass of “Hand Over My Heart” and impeccable barbershop of “Lying In Wait” to the spoken-word-and-junkyard-percussion of “Soap and Water,” Man With a Love Song is an album that fills you up and keeps you coming back for more.