Steve James
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If STEVE JAMES is well known in the world of contemporary folk, blues and roots music, it's not because he has a high-power publicist.  He has toured internationally and extensively, performing at festivals, concert venues and clubs and offering a variety of music workshops for the sizable "hands-on" contingent in his ferociously loyal audience.  In addition, he's created numerous instruction books, print lessons and articles, DVDs and on-line tutorials for guitar, slide guitar and mandolin for Acoustic Guitar and Homespun.

His touted playing, singing and song-craft have been featured on several solo albums.  For these, he's been joined in the studio by musical cohorts including Bad Livers, Bob Brozman, Cindy Cashdollar, Ruthie Foster, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Gary Primich, Ann Rabson, and his frequent duet partner Del Rey.  As a sideman, on stage and in the studio, he's played with Howard Armstrong, Bo Diddley, Kinky Friedman, Lum Guffin, Buddy Guy, John Hammond, Furry Lewis, James McMurtry, Maria Muldaur, Jesse Thomas, and Sam The Sham.  He's often been invited to jam onstage with the likes of Hot Tuna, Tommy Emmanuel and Chip "Wild Thing" Taylor, has recorded soundtrack music for film director Richard Linklater, and has had his original tunes covered by a slate of artists which includes his early hero and friend Dave Van Ronk.

Steve has guested on many syndicated radio broadcasts worldwide.  These include "A Prairie Home Companion", NPR Morning Edition, Mountain Stage, and BBC's Paul Jones Show.  (He might have been on TV too, but wouldn't know it since he doesn't have one.)  In recent years, he has also served as an Arts Envoy for U.S. embassies in Bulgaria, Finland and Guatemala.

"That's where I keep my stuff.", Steve remarks acerbically of his long-time base in Austin, Texas.  He maintains a second home on the road.

Steve James...b. NYC 15 July, 1950.  Early exposure to blues/folk/jazz through father; record collector and amateur guitarist.  Self taught on guitar from age 12.  Grad high school and worked outside music and for guitar maker Michael Gurian.  Res. in E. Tennessee early '70s.  Infl. by area musicians incl. Sam McGee.  Res. in Memphis '75-'77.  Hosted radio show on WEVLfm, performed solo and as acc. for Furry Lewis, Lum Guffin, others.  Res. in Texas '77-present.  Performed solo and led small combo (incl. saxophonist Clifford Scott, drummer Bobby Irwin) at area clubs, concerts, festivals.  Rec. regularly after '88 and toured U.S., N. and S. America, Europe, Australia, etc.  

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"Steve James is a great instrumentalist, a prolific composer, and a dynamic stage presence.He is one of the few contemporary songwriters to manage the neat trick of working within older traditions while consistently producing lyrics that sound fresh and smart rather than cute or nostalgic. His singing conveys both the depth and the humor of his material, and his live shows have a crackling energy that is light years away from the museum-style presentation of many acoustic blues revivalists. It's a hell of a show."

Elijah Wald

musician and author of "The Dozens" and "How The Beatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll"

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"Steve James is an excellent Arts Envoy and Ambassador for his country.  He is easy to approach and audiences everywhere talked with him after the visits...he always had time to talk with the youth.  Despite a heavy schedule, which included travel almost every day, he never complained, was always on time and in good spirits." 

 Heidi Day  Cultural Affairs Officer  U.S. Embassy  Helsinki

“Old-timey yet in the moment, traditional yet innovative, Steve James’ guitar playing and songs will take you to places long gone as well as destinations you’ve never been to…and you don’t even have to leave your chair to go to take his musical rides ”

 Jody Denberg DJ at KUT Radio Austin

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