Colin James and special guest Chris Caddell bring their Up Close and Personal acoustic tour to the Gibraltar Room this Thursday, Oct. 27.
“I’m opening doors for you – walk through them.”
From the prairies of Saskatchewan to sharing the stage with arguably the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time, Colin James still remembers those words of advice given to him by the late, great, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
For every young guitar player growing up in a small town, Colin James’ story is their story – one of drive, passion, ambition and a strong sense that their destiny lay beyond the safe confines of home.
Looking back on a career that now spans two decades, James has walked through more than just a few doors to reach the level of success that he enjoys today.
He continues to record the music that he loves, having just released his 12th CD, Rooftops and Satellites, has sold multi-platinum many times over, and his concert tours continue to sell out coast to coast with hits such as Voodoo Thing, Five Long Years, Stay, Man’s Gotta Be A Stone, Lost Again, Wavelength and Johnny Coolman.
During his early years James was introduced to all kinds of music by his parents who loved to go to coffee houses and music festivals. It wasn’t long before he picked up a guitar and by his early teens he’d hooked up with groups that were considerably older than his 15 years. They were, however, the ones that were serious about their music and he lived for the late night gigs.
By the age of 15 he realized he was becoming more and more removed from his own peer group. While most would consider this a positive step in the right direction, it had just the opposite effect on James.
From traditional roots music, he briefly migrated to punk but soon realized this was not going to be his destiny and after a brief flirtation with the idiom, he came to the rather swift realization that he needed to get out of town and start again.
From Regina he moved to Winnipeg and for the next several years he played the festivals before returning to Regina, forming his first band The Hoodoo Men and snagging the opening slot for George Thorogood and John Lee Hooker.
The blues, it seems, was in his blood – he studied the greats – Ry Cooder, Otis Rush, Albert King, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan to mention just a few – the only thing James knew for certain was this was his music.
It would take just a couple of favourable reviews before James was to get what would become his most significant career defining moment – opening for his hero, Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble. Vaughan took James under his wing, and after several shows over the course of 18 months, the kid from Regina with no manager, one guitar, and a different band for every show – became a much sought after talent.
He has toured the world performing with successive hit albums.
In 2005 Colin was chosen to give a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to his home province of Saskatchewan. Over the years he was worked with a who’s who in the music scene– Bonnie Raitt, Albert Collins, Pops Staples, Robert Cray, Luther Allison, Albert King, Keith Richards, Lenny Kravitz, ZZ Top, Mavis Staples, Roomful Of Blues, Bobby King and Terry Evans, John Hammond Jr., The Chieftains, Carlos Santana, Little Feat, Johnny Hallyday, and Buddy Guy.
In addition to writing his own material, his music has been recorded by the likes of Maria Muldaur, Johnny Halliday and Lucinda Williams.
A consummate professional and a superb guitarist, James is a musician’s, musician who has won numerous awards for his work.
The confidence that comes with maturity can be heard in his voice and seen in his electrifying stage performance. He does what comes naturally – he always has – he knows no other way and no other life.
Tickets to his show are $45 each and available at Margetts Meats and Audio Video Unlimited. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Gibraltar Room.