You’ll be taken by surprise when you hear Jim Waneka’s voice for the first time. Deep and resonant, it reminds some listeners of Johnny Cash, others of Waylon Jennings, still more of Chris Stapleton. One thing’s for sure is that his voice is full of power and depth, and incredibly flexible – and the songs he writes are absolutely perfect for it. New single, ‘A Different Man’, the follow up to his debut, ‘I Ride Alone’, which dropped in July, is a timely, and somewhat heartbreaking song, which will strike a chord with many, particularly those from rural backgrounds and military families.
Jim Waneka, born and raised in small town Colorado, is rooted in the soil he grew up in, and his songs reflect this, as he writes about and channels the spirits of those he knows. In ‘A Different Man’, he sings about a solider whose life was turned upside down by his time in combat abroad. Waneka artfully conveys the veteran’s deep seated scars – not just the physical, but the psychological ones too.
Set during the conflict in Afghanistan, ‘A Different Man’ takes its inspiration from Waneka’s recollections of previous US interventions, as well as his own family’s recollections. His story is paired with strummed acoustic guitars, B-3 organ, stunning percussion, and choruses sung with gorgeous harmonies.
The video for ‘A Different Man’, shows the band in full flight, completely committed to the song, and to Waneka and his vision. There’s plenty of scenes with soldiers in action, and there’s also the other side, the dreadful consequences of war – smoking guns, coffins swathed in flags, and the distraught faces of family members. Waneka finishes the already powerful clip with a plea to support those non-government organisations who care for veterans, guaranteeing that even the hardest of hearts will be moved.
Find out more about the incredible Jim Waneka and his music online on his official website.