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James Adkins explores love and loss on ‘Brokedown Free Man Blues’ (Review)

Love and loss, home, and manhood are some of the standout themes from ‘Brokedown Free Man Blues’.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist
James Adkins' cover art for Brokedown Free Man Blues
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

If the pickup truck on the cover of Findlay, Ohio-native James Adkins wasn’t enough to tell you that he’s a country boy, you’re hard to please. After listening to ‘Brokedown Free Man Blues’, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on tracks that piqued my interest the most. Here are my thoughts.


‘Oh Lord Virginia’ has a singing style, present on the chorus, that’s catchy.

The title track and ‘Mountainside’, in my opinion as a Northerner, gives a general description of Southern living and culture. It’s simple, which is something that is attractive to a woman like me, who has been there and has done that.

‘Ghost’ is my favourite song on the entire album. Its vocals are isolated, allowing us to enjoy the singer’s voice. It isn’t competing with the strings of the guitar or any other instrument.

Motivation was my take away from ‘Hard Road To Go’. Difficulties and challenges are inevitable in life, but staying focused is the only way to push through.

Next, ‘On My Mind’ touches on long-distance relationships. Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? They’re hard, but as we’ve learned, sometimes, the heart wants what it wants. Trust is a huge part of those types of relationships. Once it’s lost, the relationship isn’t the same—if there is one.

Finally, ‘Goodbye Trouble’ acknowledges the Lord and asks him to eradicate the singer’s troubles. As a Christian-born individual, the concept of putting the Lord first when you’re in distress is the best thing to do. It is a clean way of transferring and refocusing energy.

Love and loss, home, and manhood are some of the standout themes from the Southern singer-songwriter James Adkins’ latest album, ‘Brokedown Free Man Blues’. What I liked most, is the heartfelt songwriting. Hear the ten-track LP below.


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is part of the Complex Day Ones, an exclusive community to help make the Complex experiences even better.