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5 Facts About Singer/Songwriter Joshua James

August 21, 2014
Joshua James

Joshua James (right) and his band will perform on Sept. 21 at Stage Door Theater.

Joshua James needs no introduction for some of you. The singer/songwriter’s fans know he’s a gem of a storyteller and a soul-stirrer along the lines of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

James comes to Charlotte on Sept. 21 for a performance in the intimate Stage Door Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $18 and general admission. Click here for more information on the show. 

Like Dylan and Young, James uses pop tunes to deliver vivid, haunting stories that crackle with raw emotion. Check out the video for “Esperanza,” which James wrote and sings in Spanish for a soundtrack based on Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa.

Here are five facts you need to know before you go to the show:

1. Born in Nebraska and raised in Utah

His parents are Mormon, and that upbringing led to many battles over rock ‘n’ roll, James says. He’d buy albums (The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Heart) and his folks would trash them. He would buy them again. James, once a skateboarder, moved back to Utah and has a huge farm Check out his Instagram posts for a good look at his home life.

Listen to an interview with James on NPR’s World Cafe in 2010 about his formative years.

2. Once dubbed “one of 22 up-and-coming artists you ignore at your own peril”

In its 2008 Best of What’s Next issue, Paste featured James as one of the 22 artists/bands to watch. Also on the list: Samantha Crain, Langhorne Slim, The Everybodyfields, Ben Sollee. In the nod, Paste said James is great “for fans of… Brett Dennen, Ron Sexsmith and Ray LaMontagne.”

3. “Sons of Anarchy ” + Joshua James = Match made in heaven

If you’re a fan of the FX show (10 pm, Tuesdays), you have likely heard one of the seven songs by James that have been featured. Read a “Behind The Scenes” report for Entertainment Weekly by Bob Thiele Jr., SOA’s Music Supervisor, on why “Coal War” was perfect for the opener.

Here’s “Coal War” from an extended montage for the Season 4 opener of “Sons of Anarchy”:


4. James’ songs are even more palpable in real life. Watch and learn this fan-shot video of  “FM Radio” from a performance at The Evening Muse in NoDa.


5. Like Dylan and Young (again), he’s not afraid to get personal.

Check out this Last.FM interview. He also talks about the band paying dues and sleeping in a dugout.

Don’t miss Joshua James and his band on Sept. 21 at Stage Door Theater. Click here to get your tickets now.

Learn more about James on his website and blog (hello, cute family and adorable baby goats!), Facebook and Instagram.


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