Thursday, 5 February 2015

Anthony James Q&A

Your name: 
Anthony James.

Where are you from? 
Central Pennsylvania by way of Baltimore, MD.

Who else is in your band? 
Just me and a guitar, and occasionally a harmonica. The album I'm working on will have some extra instrumentation though. 

How would you describe yourself and your music? 
Folk, blues and soul, singer/songwriter stuff. Stories about the people and neighborhoods in Baltimore where I spent time growing up. 

Who are your main influences musically? 
Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello are the three biggest.  I love that they've got pretty much every genre and style covered between them.  More under the radar, Perry Keyes is another big one; he's from Australia and sets all of his stories in and around Sydney.  Sam Cooke, Craig Finn, Don Covay, Patsy Cline, the list goes on.  

What do you hope to achieve in music? 
Connecting with people, having them relate to or take something away from my songs. I write about Baltimore because I have a history there, it's where I came of age in a lot of ways. But I like the idea that if you change street names or neighborhoods, they're stories that can take place anywhere. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why? 
A musician from central Pennsylvania found me online and asked if he could cover one of my tunes in his live set. I wasn't familiar with him so I did some research, turns out he's a fantastic singer/songwriter in his own right with a hell of a resume. That was hugely flattering. 

And what’s the moment you want to forget? 
Nothing yet. Even the bad moments make for good stories later on. 

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why? 
"Leaving on the Train" is a pretty straightforward love and heartbreak story with a hint of redemption at the end. I'm not always sure my characters get as completely sketched out as I'd like but I think "Train" does a good job. 

Where can we listen to it? 
There's a live version here: 

Where can we find out more about your music?
I'm not much for an online presence but a Facebook and website are in the works:

Anything else you’d like to say about your music that I forgot to ask? 
My debut full-length 'Lost in the Nightlife' is due out in 2015, and I'm hoping to release "Leaving on the Train" as a single with two B-sides in time for some spring tour dates. In the meantime there are some live videos on YouTube. And if you're ever in Baltimore, skip the touristy Inner Harbor in favor of Fell's Point. Have a few pints of Oliver's ale at the Wharf Rat bar then sit in Broadway Square and watch the world go by. There's no better way to spend an afternoon. 

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