Prolific doesn't begin to describe Drawn By Jaymz' James Porter, the East Dallas artist who has obsessively written and recorded his own music since he was a kid. Yesterday, however, marked the end of a certain era for Porter, who released Farewell, his 21st and final proper album under the Drawn By Jaymz moniker. What's more impressive: He's released them all in the last eight years.
"Some people write in a journal," says Porter, "I record stuff everyday."
The 21 albums on the Drawn By Jaymz Bandcamp site hardly scratch the surface of Porter's recorded material. "Those are the ones I have digitized," he says. "I have 30 or 40 more [albums] on cassette tape."
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As a former member of The Tah Dahs and The Happy Bullets, Porter's solo stuff has followed in the same upbeat vein. He's covered multiple genres, from reggae to classical to pop, and they've always been good. But what sets Farewell apart from the others is the melancholy, hopeless feel of the songs.
Porter says the album's dark tinge is deliberate and represents how he's felt looking back on all the work he's put into music. "That's what I feel to have put out all this stuff and nothing comes of it," he says.
While Porter will still record and release a new album every few months, they'll be far more stripped down than his previous recordings -- probably just an acoustic guitar and his voice, not unlike the bummed-out Farewell.
"That project died, so it had a sad ending to it."