KINg JAMES & THE SPECIAL MEN Act Like You Know
Ace N’awlins dance band applies fresh coat of paint to city’s rich legacy
King James & The Special Men are among NOLA’s busiest R&B neotraditionalists, ripping through the classics in various local watering holes while the horn players moonlight as in-demand session musicians. On debut album Act Like You Know, the nine-piece combo applies its members’ vast knowledge and deep feels to a half-dozen originals penned by singer/guitarist Jim Horn (a Utah native) in the spirit of his idols. Unexpected touches such as the surf-guitar riffs in “Special Man Boogie”, the free-jazz freakout that climaxes “The End Is Near” and the blistering Memphis-style coda on “Tell Me (What You Want Me To Do)” keep the performances from becoming overly predictable.