Reverend James Elmore Jenkins is a singer, songwriter and preacher who made his solo professional recording debut in 2020. Regular readers of The Static Dive will remember his Side A & Side B EPs from a couple of years ago. Those records introduced a multifaceted artist who specializes in insightful, spiritual and introspective lyrics set to a genre-fluid mix of folk, gospel and indie rock.
Originally from Manchester, Tennessee, Reverend James Elmore Jenkins now lives in South Carolina. When not spreading the word behind the pulpit, you can find him on stage or in the studio with guitar in hand. Since his debut, the prolific preacher has released four EPs and three full-length albums.
Theosis is the brand new album from Reverend James Elmore Jenkins, released worldwide via all major streaming services on March 15, 2023. Throughout the nine-song collection, the reverend delivers spiritual heartbreakers, melancholy laments and hopeful prayers with his distinctive mix of folk & experimental rock with poetry readings. Jenkins has always had a very genre-fluid approach to his music. On Theosis, the singer leans in on an experimental psychedelic rock vibe.
From the Jack White meets Lead Belly feel of “Diapsalmata Blues” to the fabulous wah-wah guitars of tracks like “You Gotta Be Lost (Before You Can Be Found)” and “Visions of Fire”, Reverend James Elmore Jenkins pairs experimental lo-fi approach with some big classic rock energy. Byrds-style 12-string guitars, Hendrixian feedback, and a dose of Indian mysticism are recurring themes that tie the record together.
As a lyricist, Reverend James Elmore Jenkins offers the spiritual guidance and life advice one might expect from a minister. However, he does so with the pen of a self-effacing poet rather than that of a holy man on high. His prayers, like the beautifully understated “Glory Be To God” are humble offerings. They are inclusive and interpretive, like the sitar and tabla-fueled meditation “They Shall See His Face”.
On his new album, Reverend James Elmore Jenkins continues to redefine spiritual music by blurring the lines between genres. Listen to Theosis in its entirety on your favorite streaming service. Check out the “Diapsalmata Blues” video below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below to connect with the good Reverend.