Early James

Tickets can be ordered online via this link.

Early James

Sunday - Jun 26, 2022 7:00PM

Tickets: $15

Only 60 tickets will be sold, this will sell out quick!

Local favorite Laurie Anne Armour will open the show!

Some people are good singers, says the Black Keys Dan Auerbach, who decided he needed to produce the singers debut album at his Easy Eye Sound studio after watching just two seconds of a video of him performing. And some people are better than good singers, they just have this great form of expression.

James voice conjures a centuries worth of American barkers and crooners, from Alan Lomax field recordings to mid-century iconoclasts like Billy Holliday and Howlin Wolf to ghostly late-century interpreters like Fiona Apple and Tom Waits. But James wasn't simply born with such a voice; he's entirely uninterested, in fact, in that myth. I hated my voice for a long time, he says. I didn't used to believe my voice when I heard it. It sounded like me, and I know Im a liar, so I couldn't believe it.

Using prickly-poet heroes like Apple and Waits as inspirations, James realized he could arrive at a greater emotional truth if he just tried to conjure up the voice he heard in his head. Long before he ever discovered his own voice, though, Early James soul was full of music. He can hardly remember a time when he wasn't obsessed with song. As a young child growing up in Troy, a small community in Southeast, AL that James says was plagued with Walmart disease, he would start singing Take It Easy by the Eagles to strangers while waiting in the checkout line with his family at the grocery store. His life was changed forever when, at age six, he witnessed a local musician who'd been hired to play covers perform at a family function at his grandmothers house.

His life changed once again when, as a preteen, he discovered the music of Hank Williams Sr, whose music he began to sing in the shower every night. Then came the teenage years: grunge, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana. After asking for a guitar for Christmas several years in a row, his Aunt finally gifted him one at age 15. His uncle taught him how to play \Mary Had A Little Lamb, and James was off to the races. I just didn't stop, he says of his high school years spent locked away in his room playing guitar.

As soon as he was old enough, Early James moved to Birmingham, where he's become an integral part of the city's thriving music scene over the past half-decade. Everything in Nashville is so competitive and clique-ish and cutthroat, he says, But Birmingham is the greatest fucking scene in the world. Its a weird melting pot. In town, James plays in like five other bands: bluegrass outfits, folk collectives, alt-country groups. I just try to convince people to let me play guitar for them.

James diverse experience in the Birmingham scene has helped mold him into a singular talent, an artist whose sound remains entirely uncategorizable. The biggest compliment we get, James says, Is, I was confused by your set. I don't really know what genre to put ya'll in.




Laurie Anne Armour

Laurie Anne was raised on the shores of Mobile Bay in the Hollinger's Island community. She found her love for performing and writing before the age of 20.