Skiffle Update

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and hopefully you are getting out to see some great live acts in your own area of the country.

Last night was my first weekend off in 4 months so I am now finding time to let ya’ll  know about my whereabouts.

On the tour dates page at http://www.WarrenJamesMusic.com I will shortly be adding a number of new dates for 2014 and 2015.
I am pleased to be able to announce that among my solo performances we will be including a few more trio and full band shows in 2015 – this is very exciting as I love working with other musicians equally as much as working on my own, so I hope people will be able to make it along to a show.

We had a great time at Upton Blues Festival a few weeks ago, my musicians all played incredibly well and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer crowd of music lovers to cheer us on – the organisers have built a wonderful event and deserve much praise for their hard work, over 100 bands, in as many venues, a free event and everyone gets paid – my kind of organisers!! In fairness, we should be playing at many more festivals but we’ve found that those who do the event bookings are often very difficult to deal with, they’re not always the warmest of people to talk with nd leave you wondering how they ever get anyone on the events, but the ones that we have done in 2014 including Upton and the Acoustic Festival of Great Britain have all been fantastic events and our most sincere thanks to those organisers. To those festivals that haven’t booked us I say this: “__________ ”

The other little bit of news for everyone, I have agreed to do a few more dates with Roger Dean’s Johnny Cash Story. Those of you that got to know of me through the Johnny Cash show will know that I took time out to establish my solo act having toured the world for almost 6 years with the show… I will be back doing my electric lead guitar licks again with the show during 2014 and 2015 – there’s around 15 special dates and having become far more selective about where the concert tours we happy to just visit our most favorite venues around the UK.

All of these dates will be going up onto http://www.WarrenJamesMusic.com tonight, whilst typing with one finger and eating my Chinese meal with the other hand. You can follow me and see pics and updates at facebook.com/WarrenJamesSkiffleStar or even twitter @AcousticWarren.

In the meantime please stay well, enjoy the summer and keep smiling folks.

Love and best wishes to everyone

Warren James

Summer skiffle on the road

Warren James

Turbo Charged
Acoustic roots, rock-a-billy, skiffle and blues

Moving swiftly into the summer and it’s great to see the word spreading with so many venues contacting us to book Warren. The responses to date, “great music, upbeat, energetic and happy performed by a real pro who clearly understands entertainment!” Wonderful comments and kind responses from all of the venues with audience reactions to match and re-bookings for 2015 already starting. So with an epic month ahead, plenty of giggin’ and pickin’, good weather, another bank holiday around the corner – who can complain?

We’ve received kind media reviews and look forward to seeing a short article on Warren and his music in the popular R2 magazine and more recently folk rock legend Billy Bragg along with Martin Carthy broadcast a great review about the music on BBC TV.

Tour update below
Autumn / Jan 20015 is filling, venues should book autumn dates now!
Check http://www.WarrenJamesMusic.com for availability. 
To add your venue just call Warren’s manager (Paul) on 07779 553746 or email him: NabardProductions@gmail.com – track the tour on Bandsintown app and Ents 24

MAY 2014
Thurs 1 – OAKENGATES, Crown Inn, Market Street, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 6EA
Tel: 01952 610888
Fri 2 – LEAMINGTON SPA, Grand Union, 66-68 Clemens Street, CV31 2DN
Tel: 01926 888278
Sat 3 – EARL SHILTON, Red Lion, High Street, LE9 7LQ
Tel: 01455 843356
Mon 5 – LEOMINSTER, Grape Vaults @ 3pm, 4 Broad Street, HR6 8BS
Tel: 01568 611404
Thurs 8 – SWINDON, Beehive, 55 Prospect Hill, SN1 3JS
Tel: 01793 523187
Fri 9 – DROITWICH, Gardeners Arms, Vines Lane, WR9 8LU
Tel: 01905 772936
Mon 12 – LEAMINGTON SPA, Somerville Arms, 4 Campion Terrace, CV32 4SX
Tel: 01926 426746
Sat 17 – FALDINGWORTH, Memorial Hall, LN8 3SE
Tel: 01673 843036
Fri 23 – MATLOCK BATH, The Fishpond, 204 South Parade, DE4 3NR
Tel: 01629 581529
Sat 24 – COVENTRY, Wyken Club, 219 Ansty Road, CV2 3FL
Tel: 024 76 453881
Sun 25 – CHURCH STRETTON, Housmans Restaurant & Bar, 27 High Street, Shropshire, SY6 6BX
Tel: 01694 724441
Fri 30 – DORSET, Greyhound Inn, The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham, BH20 5EZ
Tel: 01929 480205

JUNE 2014
Sun 1 – UTTOXETER, Acoustic Festival of Britain, Racecourse, Wood Lane, ST14 8BD
Tel: 0333 9000 919
Wed 4 – BURFORD, Cotswolds Arms, 46 High Street, OX18 4QF
Tel: 01993 822227
Wed 11 – GLOUCESTER, Cafe Rene, 31 Southgate Street, GL1 1TP
Tel: 01452 309340
Sat 14 – WARMINSTER, Yew Tree, 174 Boreham Road, BA12 9HD
Tel: 01985 217731
Fri 27 – KENILWORTH, Pomeroys, 48 Station Road, CV8 1JD
Tel: 01926 852300
Sat 28 – MACCLESFIELD, Cat & Fiddle Inn, A537 Buxton Road, Cheshire, SK111 0AR
Tel: 01298 78366 –  high altitude at 1690 ft above sea level

JULY 2014
Tues 1 – RUGBY, Merchants Inn, 5 – 7 Little Church Street, Warwickshire, CV21 3AN
Tel: 01788 571119
Fri 4 – MALVERN, Great Malvern Hotel, Graham Road, Worce, WR14 2HN
Tel: 01684 563411
Sat 5 – CROYDON, Oval Tavern, 131 Oval Road, CR0 6BR
Tel: 0208 6866023
Sun 6 – COLCHESTER, Victoria Inn, 10 North Station Road, CO1 1RB
Tel: 01206 514510
Thur 10 – TWICKENHAM, The Fox, 39 Church Street, TW1 3NR
Tel: 0208 8921535
Sat 12 – MARTLEY, The Crown, Berrow Green Lane, WR6 6PA
Tel: 01886 888840
Sat 19 – UPTON UPON SEVERN, Blues Festival, WR8 0HQ
Tel: 07582 601460
Sun 27 – LEDBURY, Prince of Wales @ 4pm, Church Lane, HR8 1DL
Tel: 01531 632250

AUGUST 2014
Sat 9 – WALTHAM ABBEY, Woodbine Inn, Honey Lane, Essex, EN9 3QT
Tel: 01992 71050
Sun 10 – WINGHAM, The Anchor @ 4pm, High Street, Kent, CT3 1BJ
Tel: 01227 720392
Sat 16 – TEAN, White Hart, High Street, near Uttoxeter, ST10 4DY
Tel: 01538 722153
Sat 23 – ALBRIGHTON, Harp Hotel @ 5pm, High Street, Shropshire, WV7 3JF
Tel: 01902 374381
Sat 30 – COVENTRY, Wyken Club, 219 Ansty Road, CV2 3FL
Tel: 024 76 453881
Sun 31 – EVESHAM, The Fleece Inn (Blues Festival), The Cross, Worces, WR11 7JE
Tel: 01386 831173

SEPTEMBER 2014
Thurs 18 – DARWEN, Number 39, Bridge Street, BB3 2AA
Tel: 07849 369798
Sat 27 – STAFFORD, Market Vaults, 4 St. Martins Place, ST16 2LA
Tel: 01785256126

OCTOBER 2014
Thurs 2 – PLYMOUTH, The B-Bar,  Barbican Theatre, Castle Street, PL1 2NJ
Tel: 01752 242021
Fri 3 – SWANAGE, Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, BH19 3LF
Tel: 01929 439229
Sun 5 – RINGWOOD, Framptons, 48-50 High Street, Hampshire, BH24 1AG
Tel: 01425 473114
Fri 10 – CHOBHAM, Red Lion, 15 Red Lion Road, Woking, GU24 8RG
Tel: 01276 537413
Sat 11 – WARWICK, Wild Bore, 27 Lakin Road, CV34 5BU – guesting with Matt Hernandez
Tel: 01926 499968
Fri 17 – NEW BRIGHTON, Floral Pavilion, Marine Promenade, CH45 2JS
Tel: 0151 6660000 – Guest guitarist with Roger Dean’s Johnny Cash Story
Sat 18 – COVENTRY, Wyken Club, 219 Ansty Road, CV2 3FL
Tel: 024 76 453881
Fri 31 – DORSET, Greyhound Inn, The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham, BH20 5EZ
Tel: 01929 480205

NOVEMBER 2014
Sun 2 – COLCHESTER, Victoria Inn, 10 North Station Road, CO1 1RB
Tel: 01206 514510
Sat 8 – NEWBURY, The Lion, 39 West Street, RG14 1BE
Tel: 01635 528468
Sat 15 – CHARLBURY, Rose & Crown, Market Street, Oxon, OX7 3PL
Tel: 01608 810103
Sat 29 – ALBRIGHTON, Harp Hotel, High Street, Shropshire, WV7 3JF
Tel: 01902 374381

Warren James, On The Road 2014

Hello all, just wanted to pop an update to you all.

The new year isn’t so new anymore and I’m pushing the miles good and hard whilst travelling the length and breadth of the UK. Performing my one man show at a diverse range of venues nationwide whilst entertaining such varied audiences is simply a pleasure –  although sleeping in the car some nights is less ‘glam’ 🙂

My tour dates are regularly updated at http://www.warrenjamesmusic.com – they’re filling incredibly and will continue to do so be sure to visit regularly – alternatively you can join me on facebook where it’s a lot more social and easier to keep in touch.
http://www.facebook.com/warrenjamesskifflestar

Tomorrow night I’m performing at Huntingdon Hall in Worcester, a wonderful venue, lots of character and history so if you live or know of anyone near by then come along – remember that you can call the box office and get in for just £5 if quote the discount code “Turbo5” otherwise it’s £15 – spread the word folks.

Having received a second review for my performance at Salford’s Lowry last month I thought I would share it with you as it’s lovely and rare to get such kind remarks, it really makes you feel like all of your hard work is worth it – thanks for your support and hope to see you on the road.

Warren James – The Skiffle Sessions

Resident in the Midlands but originally hailing from the Delta Blues not so hotspot of Warrington, Warren James would appear to be an unlikely champion of that particular musical genre. But thanks to exposure to his grandparents’ tastes in music, here he is entertaining the Lowry audience with a selection of hot blues, country and folk, heading back to the early days of the music. Billed as a skiffle show, James is at great pains to point out that the term skiffle relates not just to comedy songs about dustmen but to a whole area of DIY blues music stretching back a century to the Deep South of America and the culture of slaves before being picked up in a commercial sense.

Leading a three piece band with young guitarist Tom Wright, Steve Barr on a very battered double bass and James himself playing guitar, banjo, and a bass drum (his drummer, he tells us, called in sick this morning), his show is a brief education in the history of American folk music. Drawing heavily on the music of Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie, the first half of the set goes right back to the beginning of the genre with a sharp, clear, bluesy sound, only usually heard these days under the heavy crackle of old vinyl.

The trio make a very tight band of fine musicians and James’ English midlands speaking accent is replaced with such an authentic sounding American twang to reconstruct the songs, it’s easy to forget his own roots. After the interval, the more commercial and better known sounds of the genre come to the fore, with songs like Black Betty and Worried Man Blues as well as a frantic, tongue in cheek version of Lonnie Donegan’s Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour? all helping to bring the evening to a very satisfactory conclusion.

All through the show, it’s evident that Warren James is a man in love with folk and blues music and the culture behind it, and this shines through in his performance. A performance that would have even people with no experience of this music, clapping and singing along to this pleasantly entertaining evening of Americana.

Reviewed Iain Sykes on 26th January 2014 – Public Reviews.com

Review: Warren James, Skiffle Sessions – The Lowry, Salford

Review: Warren James and his Skiffle Sessions Band – The Lowry, Salford

By Clive K Hammond
SalfordOnline.com rating: 4 out of 5

Kicking off his skiffle revival crusade on Sunday 26 Janurary, Warren James guided the Lowry audience through an engaging masterclass as he performed a string of contagious folk-driven numbers.

Originally born in Warrington, Warren grew up on a diet of crackling Lonnie Johnson records which his grandparents used to play him and as opposed to pretending to play the air guitar to Guns’n’Roses tracks like his class mates, he began playing the banjo.

And since his debut show on BBC Merseyside in 1994 it is a love affair which continues blossom.

Sparsely lit and the compact audience settled, Warren and his Skiffle Sessions Band picked up the battered instruments which scattered the stage and dived straight into a number of fast-paced pieces.

Backed by Tom Wright on lead guitar and Stevie Barr on double bass, the trio moved quickly in time whilst performing traditional American classics such as Buffalo Gals and John Henry with Tom’s quick fire acoustic melodies blending perfectly with Stevie’s playful bass lines and Warren’s unique vocal tones.

With Stevie’s jet black hair slicked back and his fingers plucking on his black double bass, the ensemble fittingly looked like they had just finished a stint performing in a Johnny Cash tribute band.

Warren’s ability to dynamically shift the atmosphere of the room was impeccable as he would waltz between upbeat acoustic numbers and sombre, heart wrenching ballads before regaling well planned anecdotes on the icons his grandparents brought him up on.

From skiffle king Lonnie Donegan to influential American blues artist Leadbelly, Warren’s clear passion for the often-maligned genre was as endearing as it was infectious and the audience’s knowledge of the movement was broader for it.

Although the group consisted of clearly talented musicians, the trio’s greatest strength lied within their capacity to deftly layer the music they were displaying.

Through reimagined covers of pieces like the Carter Family’s Keep on the Sunny Side, the group would stab their instruments simultaneously, giving Warren the perfect backdrop to powerfully pour the lyrics out on.

And with each song allowing Tom at least 16 bars to strikingly cut through a perfect solo, the easy-going nature of the genre filtered out to the audience who would regularly sing at Warren’s demand.

As the opening section of the performance consisted mainly of the roots of skiffle, the second centred itself around the more well-known numbers that cemented the genre’s influential status.

Stamping on the pedal of the sole bass drum, Warren began the final half with a grooving rendition of Lead Belly’s universal classic Black Betty.

This was followed by another Belly classic Cotton Fields and by this point the audience were visibly moving and shaking in their seats.

To be able to flood the music which was initially conceived by American slaves over 100 years ago with so much joy and genuine excitement is a testament to Warren and his companions.

Perhaps the commercial machine that dictates the broad musical tastes of the public isn’t ready for a fresh bout of skiffle music.

However, for people such as Warren who have sincere emotional ties to a genre that has been so influential in the development of popular music, perhaps it is better it stays that way.

And with Warren nestled at the front of the skiffle revival, it has to be said the movement is in safe hands.