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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kiss Me When I Kiss - Whiteboy James and The Blues Express feat. Catfish

Something amazing happens the moment you witness a White Boy James show. You’ll either: Tap your toes maniacally. Dance until the soles burn off your shoes. Or both.

Having just completed their second album, Whiteboy James and the Blues Express are a detonative force to be reckoned with. Since reuniting in 2006 after a five year absence, the crew has reestablished themselves as the legendary band they were during the Southern California blues explosion of the ’80s and ’90s. Whiteboy James brings a mesmerizing, driving and sonic stage presence to the table. Combine that with three gifted, well-seasoned musicians…and chances are, chairs at one of their shows simply won’t be necessary.

James Page was born in Compton, California and spent most of his formative years bouncing around sunny Southern California. As a youngster, he listened to whatever music he could get his hands on. But his musical influences changed radically when he first heard his uncle’s Deep South rhythm & blues and country vinyl. Although “Whiteboy” found it difficult to fit into the Southern California “Beach Boy” culture by which he was surrounded, his heart, soul and ears were dialed into the likes of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Sam “Lightning” Hopkins, and Big Joe Turner – as well as the usual suspects: Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Wills and even Spike Jones.

By the mid 1980s, also known as the peak of the Southern Californian blues explosion, blues bands were forming everywhere — from garages and backyard parties to all night blues jams in various beer-soaked nightclubs. During this time, “Whiteboy” James had several tunes in his repertoire and was willing and ready to sit in, sing, jam, crush and blow some harmonic sounds with whoever had the “cajones” to invite him up on stage. And good thing, too, because his tenacity paid off in spades. A few of the takers included The Mighty Flyers, William Clarke, James Harman, The Blasters (Phil and Dave Alvin), Johnny Dyre, Joe Houston, Little Charlie and the Night Cats, Top Jimmy and Juke Logan, to name just a few.

It was at one of these jams that the original Blues Express was formed. Soon thereafter, this raucous foursome was jamming, gigging and grinding all over the Southern California blues circuit. “Whiteboy” James became quite the buzz on blues stages and dance floors across the southland. People couldn’t ignore this entertaining “jump and jive” madman who, not unlike his boyhood hero Cab Calloway, strutted the stage leading a top blues band, but dressed in a trench coat (as opposed to Cab Calloway’s tux and tails – talk about a dichotomy!) ”Whiteboy” James and the Blues Express continued to play throughout the 1990s and after a well-deserved break, they’re back and as unruly as ever. Simply put, you don’t “listen” to “Whiteboy” James and the Blues Express. You experience it. You feel it. You dance on a lot of broken glass.
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