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Nathan James

Sound description

Good ol' country blues.

RIYL

Blind Lemon Jefferson, Booker T and the MGs, Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell

Influences

Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mance Lipscomb, Barbecue Bob, Blind Willie Mctell, Booker T and the MGs, Otis Redding, Mable John, James Carr, Shirley Scott, Johnny Hammond Smith, Jack Mcduff

Discography

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Nathan James started out as guitarist for the Blues Pharohs, then joined Billy Watson's band at age 18. He played in bands with Johnny Dyer and Jamie Wood before leaving his native Fallbrook to join the James Harman band, with whom he started touring at age 19.

"I started playing solo at 22 when I was home from the road with Harman. I started working with Ben Hernandez in about 2001 or 2002. This has been my main gig since then, along with still working with James Harman and Billy Watson. In between and recently, I have worked with Johnny Rover, Big Mo' Band, Nena Anderson, Blue Largo, Robin Henkel, Janiva Magness, Gary Primich, Hollywood Blue Flames, and Rick Holmstrom, among others."

James is a master of the the Piedmont fingerstyle, which involves thumbing of the bass string while picking out a syncopated melody with one’s fingers. James learned by listening to old records by Blind Boy Fuller and Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Blake, and Blind Willie McTell. “For some reason,” he says, “all the blind guys were phenomenal pickers.”

He also plays harmonica, and is a foot percussion player. He uses these tools to transform his music into a truly original and expressive sound that transcends well beyond the traditions of his chosen genre.

For an electric-blues guitarist, he tends to lean toward old school playing. “I think the guitar-based blues-rock styles are dead and not original anymore. The over-the-top, never-ending, loud, electric-guitar-driven blues are boring for young people. I think new blues fans are more likely to be drawn to the raw and stripped-down, even acoustic styles — maybe because it’s the antithesis of the over-saturated electronic music of this era.”

With Ben Hernandez, the duo took first place at the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Their album Hollerin’ won Best Blues Album at the 2008 San Diego Music Awards.

James also fronts an Americana band called the Nathan James Trio, with Troy Sandow (upright and electric bass, harmonica, vocals) and Santa Cruz resident Marty Dodson (drums, vocals). In late 2017, he helped record an album from Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Blues and Boogie Volume One, on which he also plays along with locals like Troy Sandow and Marty Dodson.

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Comments
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Can't go wrong with Nathan. =)

Dec. 29, 2016

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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