At the IBMA World of Bluegrass conference, I had a chance to sit down and talk with Darwin Davidson, DJ for WERU radio in Bangor, ME and host of the popular Bronzewound Bluegrass Show. We had a great time chatting about the album, bluegrass music and the music industry. The show just aired but in case you missed it, you can click here to listen in: WERU Interview. As a bonus, you’ll get to hear 3 songs from my new album, Rhyme & Season! Enjoy!!
I want to let you know about a charity event that I will be participating in this December. It’s called the Cure GM1 Charity Concert. The folks that have organized this event, and some of those participating in it, have young children that have been diagnosed with a rare, and fatal, disease called GM1. Those living with GM1 must watch as their children lose the ability to walk, stand, speak, even swallow. Their vibrant lives are cut drastically short. But there is good news. A cure may be on the horizon thanks to promising research from Auburn and UMass Medical Schools. All that’s lacking to gain FDA approval is the required testing. I know that you can’t all drive down to Tucson, AZ and support this fundraising effort, but you can donate online. Please consider the Cure GM1 Foundation as you plan your holiday giving. Every little bit helps move them closer to possibly having a cure by 2017. Thank you and God bless.
I was just sitting down with a cup of coffee and the California Bluegrass Association’s July newsletter when I saw the article about James Reams & The Barnstormers! I remembered giving the interview to Dave Berry shortly after our new album, Rhyme & Season, hit the streets…but honestly, I had forgotten all about it! What a nice surprise (and great article too!). I thought I’d post it here in case any of you are interested in checking it out.
The Good Ole Coffeehouse at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn was packed this past weekend as we rolled out our new album, Rhyme & Season. It was a great time for all of us and wonderful to hear stories about seeing the band in the early years and even about catching one of my solo performances before there even was a band! The night was filled with lots of laughter and joy as we celebrated the CD release with food, friends, fun, and – of course! – fantastic music. Musician friends who played with the Barnstormers in the past and promoters all agreed there’s something special about this longtime band of friends and I couldn’t agree more! Thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate!
When those boxes were unloaded from the UPS truck, I just couldn’t help getting excited. I was like a kid at Christmas opening them up and getting my first look at the completed CD that I’ve been working on for over a year. First thing I did was unwrap one and put it on to play. Making an album has a lot of magical moments, but none can compare to the first time you hear the finished product. I’m just pleased as punch and hope you are too!
Rhyme & Season will be available for online purchase on March 29th. Here’s what a couple of the early reviewers had to say:
“James Reams’ bluegrass may not be everyone’s, but there is little chance of it being labeled generic: it’s rough around the edges, solid to the soul! Bluegrass concept albums remain rare, and on this wide-ranging collection of singular songs, Reams and his Barnstormers have crafted an intense and sympathetic portrait of turbulent times. Reflecting the forgotten, disenfranchised, discarded, and troubled, “Rhyme & Season” is a mighty powerful return to the recording studio for one of bluegrass music’s most independent and evocative visionaries.” – Donald Teplyske, Country Standard Time
“Listening to James Reams’ “Rhyme & Season” is as comfortable as returning home after being away. But that sentiment belies the more serious and sincere undercurrent running throughout the album. The album definitely has the James Reams ‘stamp!’ this album is a credit to his existence.” – Brian McNeal, Prescription Bluegrass
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be appearing LIVE on the Lee Michael Demsey Show on Wednesday, July 15th (3PM EST). I hope lots of you will be able to tune in online at www.bluegrasscountry.org. We’ll be talking about the new album, Rhyme & Season, and even plan to preview one of the songs! It’s going to be a grea time and I’m looking forward to telling you all about it after the show wraps!
Hey folks! I’m just so excited about this new project. Everything is coming together and we’re getting ready to begin the recording phase. That’s when the expenses just get to be more than my pocketbook can manage. So, I’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help fund the production costs associated with completing the album.
Check it out! You’ll notice that I’ve put together some enticing rewards for you, but more than that, I hope you’ll take pride in sponsoring an album that hopes to raise awareness about the homeless. I have to raise $5,000 by May 31st or the project won’t fund. Please help me get the word out by contacting your local bluegrass association, DJ, newspaper, friends…well, you get the idea! Thanks so much!
Walter Hensley would have been 80 years old on March 18th. For a bluegrasser, he would still be in his prime. I sure do miss him and wish he could be a part of this new album that I’m working on. He always had a magic about him that infected the rest of us when we were recording. It was such a thrill to work with him. He wrote “Upper Elk Creek” for our self-titled CD “James Reams, Walter Hensley and the Barons of Bluegrass” and he wrote the title track for our next album together “Wild Card.” I hope you’ll contact your local DJs and ask them to play a tune or two of his in honor of his memory.
What does your Thanksgiving table look like right before everyone sits down to feast? Is it groaning under a perfectly browned turkey or ham with those little pineapple rings and maraschino cherries? Is it stacked high with sweet taters, green bean casserole, cranberry relish/sauce (I’m not getting into that debate!), hot rolls dripping with butter, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream waiting in the wings? And when you gather together, will you share what you are most thankful for this year?
I recently had someone ask me to sum up Thanksgiving in one word…and I said, “Grateful.” Then, of course, I had to clarify that I didn’t mean the Grateful Dead, that would be Halloween! But, in all truthfulness, I am grateful for so many blessings that have come into my life. I am grateful that I survived vocal chord paralysis many years ago and can still do what I love best…sing! I’m grateful for all the new friends that I’ve made since moving to Arizona. I’m grateful for the opportunity to perform with so many talented musicians. And, of course, I’m grateful for my family and loved ones!
But it’s even more than that…I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here on this earth and the opportunity to make a difference if only in one person’s life. A smile, a kind word, a helping hand…that’s the giving part that often gets overlooked in this holiday season. So when you’re looking at a mountain of leftovers after everyone has pushed back from the table, box ‘em up and share them with the homeless in your area. It can be a great teachable moment for kids as well as a blessing for everyone involved.
I hope your Thanksgiving is full of thanks and opportunities for giving as well.
I am just so excited about the upcoming 15th Annual Park Slope Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Jamboree. The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture will be hopping with all that we have going on. Starting with the kickoff concert on Friday night, featuring yours truly, the weekend will be jam packed with all things bluegrass. This year we’ll also include the NY premier of the documentary “Herschel Sizemore: Mandolin in B” with a Q&A by the director/producer Rick Bowman. Lots of exciting workshops are planned plus a new one that I’m leading this year “Jam Camp for Kids.” I hope this one becomes a permanent addition! And our concert performances on Saturday night feature bands from NYC as well as Colorado and Virginia. Don’t forget the Brown Jug Award…this year’s winner is a hot item on the awards circuit. So come on out to the best little festival in NYC! You’re in for a real treat! For more information click on the Jamboree menu on my website.