Interview with Jimmy James of King James and the Special Men

       James is a fascinating musician with one of the greatest neighborhood regular gigs around: Mondays at BJ's.  That band plays great R'n'B music from all across the time span.  The band does not come off like a museum piece at all but does give the feeling that you are outside time in another blues world.  Get right to the interview here...

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       As Jimmy explains here the driver of that is a comfortability and fascination with all kinds of music since he was four years old.   And "all kinds of music" is really what it means- Chinese Opera to Muddy Waters, Kurdish music to Kiss.  He sees connections everywhere but really seeks to communicate with people and be in line with the sort of energy that will give them what they need on their night out.

    Jimmy plays saxophone, bass, piano, guitar, piano and has a natural feel on each.  How does this happen?  Check out this interview with a musician who is currently picking up pace in the local scene and, probably has a lot to say to it. 



      Part 1  -Origins; how he came to be in New Orleans; must have a guitar; KISS; Band of Gypsies, Tutti-Frutti (first record), and acquiring a 45 collection; getting into the blues; symphony work; simultaneous punk phase; getting to bass; Nervous Dwayne; Augie Jr blues band; Carl Le Blanc; Sun Ra; Sheik Rasheed; Kidd Jordan; The Photon band; life happens!; Jesse Mae Hemphill; coming to The Special Men; Junior Kimbrough; blues songwriting and knowledge of the terminologies and meanings


      Part 2  How the special men started; moving to Alabama; Jesse Mae Hemphill; difference in solo expression from group; fat possum; original material; John Rodley; Tuba Fats; Palmetto Bug Stompers; music development; the Rainbow Fanny Pack; Bruce Brackman; Robert Snow; choosing BJ's; quitting the piano; trance music; starting a new Mardi Gras Krewe; doom; meditation metal; heading to Lincoln Center; thoughts on change; Tim Green; moving forward with The Special Men; deal with Domino Records; recording at The Parlor; gig merchandising; is the hard copy worth anything?

     The interview, in line with the rest on this site, is informal but informative.  You will hear the sounds of BJ's day shift in the background as well as words from harmonica player Bobby Lewis.