At the risk of talking about myself, I have opted to create a bio that is a little
more personal, off the cuff and will not contain the words, "incendiary", "triple
threat", or "burst on to."
Oops!...........there they are. Now on with it.
I was born at home in Regina, Saskatchewan and much to my parents chagrin, (if they
didn't want it this way, they shouldn't have planted those electrodes in my head),
I started to show a serious interest in music at the age of eight or nine. I got
my first electric guitar at around ten and have played it since, except for a small
sojourn into mandolin territory from the age of thirteen to fifteen. Blessed with
a lot of wonderful people around me who took the time to show me how to play, I
soon realized I was probably going to make a go of it.
My first band, The Hoodoo Men, played their first show in a coffeehouse in Winnipeg
when I was about sixteen. I was badly hooked to the blues and I wouldn't listen
to anything else. Things started rolling that same year when I opened up for George
Thorogood and John Lee Hooker and got a couple of okay reviews. It wasn't long after,
(unless you call a bunch of cockroached apartments across Canada not long) that
I got a break opening up for Stevie Ray Vaughan for two shows in a row. I got some
great press and moreover got to meet my biggest hero, Stevie Ray and his band Double
Trouble. On those shows he got me up on stage for his encores which pretty much
blew me away, especially considering it was my hometown. They were super nice to
me and a year later when they came through Canada for a second time I got the gig
to open again in two different cities. At that point I had a different band at every
show, no manager, one guitar and the hope I could turn this into a real career.
Anyway, after this, things really started heating up and record companies started
calling. My first worldwide release was on Virgin America in 1988 with the self-titled
album. The album took off in Canada, had two number one videos, number one songs
and some serious chart action n the U.S.A. where we embarked on tours with Steve
Winwood, Keith Richards, and Little Feat.
The follow-up album, Sudden Stop, produced by Joe Hardy, (ZZ Top, Steve Earle) scored
my highest U.S. chart topper to date( #2 AOR). a great review in the Rolling Stone,
an appearance on Late Night With David Letterman, and a tour with ZZ Top and subsequent
tours in Sweden, Germany and France.
After this we pulled an about face and did something extremely strange. We released
a record of early rock and roll chestnuts and jump blues named Colin James and the
Little Big Band, ........ that surprised, bewildered but obviously pleasantly pleased
some people enough to keep us on the road for the next three years with appearances
on Late Night with Conan O'Brian and opening slots for the Rolling Stones. This
record allowed me to play material I loved at a time when musical tastes had shifted
to "grunge" and what would soon become known as alternative rock.
In 1996 with the coast a little clearer I recorded Bad Habits with producer Chris
Kimsey (Rolling Stones). With a little help from Mavis Staples and Lenny Kravitz
this was my first full rock record in three years. This got me back over to Europe
and gave me the opportunity to play some slide guitar.
From there my next record, National Steel, was something I had always wanted to
do. In a home studio we had just built, I, with the help from Colin Linden, one
of Canada's best slide guitarists, made a record of rare delta blues by the likes
of Muddy Waters, Bukka White, etc. We played folk festivals across the country,
which exposed me to a brand new audience.
1998 saw the second release of a jump blues styled album called Colin James and
the Little Big Band II. Original Huh? Next thing you know swing was everywhere.
New bands, movies, commercials and the timing was good. The record sold well, so
well it kept us on the road 'til now.
Which brings us square in the face of the present....... my new album Fuse. As much
as I love old Rhythm and Blues, it really seemed time to create a record that was
original and that would again take me in yet another direction. Teaming up with
Craig Northey, writer/guitar player and front man from the great Canadian pop band
Odds, we began writing a record that would return me to my rock roots with a funkier
more soulful sound. By writing with Craig, using the production skills of Joe Hardy
and drawing inspiration from artists such as the Meters, Al Green, Sly (and The
Family) Stone, Macy Gray and The Rolling Stones, I was able to create one of the
most enjoyable recording experiences of my life.
So thanks for coming along so far, I sincerely hope you enjoy the record and try
to come see us live!
Noteable Entertainment & Events is a Vancouver based booking agency
, party rental, entertainment services and event production
company. If you are interested in booking Colin James please contact us