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James Talley is a country/americana singer-songwriter with an original vision of the American experience. Originally from Oklahoma Talley later moved to New Mexico. Encouraged by Pete Seeger, Talley began writing songs that drew upon the culture of the Southwest United States. These early songs emerged on 'The Road to Torreón' a saga of life and death in the Chicano villages of northern New Mexico. In 1968, Talley moved from New Mexico to Nashville to try to get his songs released. Over the years Johnny Cash, Gene Clark, Johnny Paycheck, Alan Jackson, Hazel Dickens, and most recently Moby, have recorded his songs.
Talley's recording career now spans over several decades. Jerry Wexler signed Talley for Atlantic Records. Talley subsequently moved to Capitol where he released four albums during the mid-1970s: Rolling Stone, and other music publications, have declared these albums American classics in the field of outlaw country music.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Talley recorded four further albums, which were released in Europe by the German Bear Family Records.
In 1999, Talley started his own artist's label, Cimarron, and released Woody Guthrie and Songs of My Oklahoma Home (2000), his only album that covered someone else's songs; Nashville City Blues, (2000) followed and was named Amazon.com's Folk Artist of the Year 2000. In 2002, Touchstones, a fresh retrospective of the songs from his early career was released. It was recorded in Texas with the help of old friends, Joe Ely and Ponty Bone.
In July 2008, Talley simultaneously issued two albums in digital download, Journey: The Second Voyage, the remaining songs for the original live Journey recordings, supplemented with five new songs, and Heartsong, an album of fifteen new songs and a re-recording of his song "She's The One," which was covered as "Evening Rain" by Moby.