James has started a new project, he's built an unusual instrument, a 2 string slide bass, which was invented by the late Mark Sandman, of the band Morphine, you can see the some of the building of that bass and other instruments he's made modified or repaired, on the luthiery page, (click here), (there's also a link on that page to even more about that instrument), and the start of a transcription project of Morphine's music, for people interested in learning it, viewable on this page: Morphine transcripts.
Another new project, other Bass lessons/tablature, etc, visit this new page for that, I have a Mick Karn transcription up there now, an instructional video will follow eventually, along with other bass lessons. Click here.
Najarian CD(new MySpace page.)
Mason Vincent CD I played on one of Mason's discs. gigged extensively with his 4 bands, Cannibal kings, Primatek, Conjurman, and the Happy campers.
Colleen Sexton I played on her debut release.
In the years that followed, James worked with a number of musicians and upstart bands, most of whom didn't become world famous mega wealthy rock stars. Also, huge throngs of voluptuous groupies failed to emerge and demand James run away with them, even briefly, however, what did happen, is that after every performance, people would consistently come up to him and tell him how amazed they were to hear anyone do such things on a bass guitar. By the time he started playing in clubs with Purple Planet, it was unusual if after a show no one told him he was the best bassist they had ever heard, this is not boasting, James is quite humble, but swears it's true. Someone from another band said to him once "our bassist is scared of you"
In his last year at Berklee James met John Karr and formed Slugbunny with Eric Paull on drums. They recorded a lot of material, and got some of it played on the local radio, an expanded version of the band performed at Berklee including Makiko Hirabayashi on violin (now a noted jazz pianist) and several others. After graduating James joined Purple Planet who performed at every major and most minor rock clubs in Boston and eastern MA, including Bunratty's the Paradise (twice), the legendary Rat, the Channel, Necco Place, Club 3, and many many more venues. James left Purple Planet to move to Japan for half a year, nearly joining the Moors just prior to leaving, but he already had his flight booked and paid for. At Berklee, he nearly joined the Blake Babies as well, classmate Juliana Hatfield's band. James did not collaborate with classmate Paula Cole, who went on to considerable success, nor with Thaddeus Hogarth, (still a friend), James has nearly joined a number of bands who went on to some notoriety, so many he started to consider offering not to join bands to ensure their success, for a small fee. In Japan, James worked with a few musicians, performing in the subway (somewhat illegally), as well as in clubs, with a coterie of international musicians.
On returning from Japan, James joined world pop outfit Najarian, and shortly thereafter started working again with Bob M. from Purple Planet, on a new project, M3, with drummer Greg Mag, and through him, started working with Mason Vincent's various projects. Najarian became one of Boston's premiere acts, packing the Middle East downstairs nightclub in Cambridge on Friday and Saturday nights, one of the best gigs in town. Their CD was released to critical acclaim, their career highlights included a performance at the Hatch shell, and they received airplay on WAAF, among other stations, playing live radio concerts and at innumerable venues in the Greater Boston area. Playing a variety of instruments on the folk scene James met Colleen Sexton early in her career and offered to play bass for her, which he did on her first recording and on a number of gigs.
Najarian disbanded, eventually M3 decided to call it a day, but a few years later reformed as "supergods", and finally as "Mojoceratops", trying out a number of drummers before realising no one other than Greg was crazy enough to play this kind of music. James continues to work with them playing music written by himself, Bob, and the group, and recently performed as guest bassist on ocassion with Celtic Breton band TrouzBras which featured Sharynne NicMhacha, of the Moors, on voice and woodwinds, with whom he has also perfomed as a duo (James on Cittern).
James played electric and acoustic guitar with violin bow and E-bow, in the orchestra (which consisted of him, a percussionist and a six string violinist only), for Theatre @ 1st's spring 2009 production of Shakespeare's Winter's Tale.
James also does the ocassional solo acoustic performance of something he refers cryptically to as "Folk music from outer space" on a variety of stringed instruments. Currently building a new fretless bass in his luthiery studio, he is much more famous than there is any evidence to suggest.
And now some words directly from James himself, in case you are actually still reading and have nothing better to do;
Ok people say nice things about my playing, but this whole thing is a lark really, my bandmates and I are all quite humble about our abilities, in spite of the praise people heap upon us routinely. In fact I'm the most humble person in the history if the universe if I say so myself. seriously though, on my first day at music college I learned there are always people who are "worse" than you, and there are always people who are "better" than you, or as I like to think of it, further along on their particular path, but I don't subscribe to the notion of superiority among artists.
Different people have different ways of making art, no one is inherently more valuable than another. Things only have the value you assign to them. Hopefully, you will assign a value of about $15 (US) to our next CD so I can stop risking my hands every day fixing up people's homes and concentrate on making more music. Fewer staircases and shelves. That'd be nice. Or perhaps you'd like a tattoo, I do those now!
When I was 6 years old, I saw a black Hagstrom Bass which belonged to Brian Fox, who was my older brother's best friend from 3rd grade on, and for all intents and purposes my other older brother. I wanted to be cool like Brian and play that thing, plus it only had 4 strings. So it seemed it would be easier to learn than guitar. which has 6, normally. Now of course I play 6 string bass, so, -so much for that, but I'm not one of those frustrated guitarists who couldn't hack it as a guitarist, I always wanted to play bass.
I was about 14 when I got guitar lessons, since we had one in the house. I learned G major, "Michael row the boat ashore", and "Sundown", by Gordon lightfoot. I also figured out Barracuda by Heart, (the band Heart, I mean.) But I wanted a Bass and next year got one, thanks mum and dad! :) I immersed myself in the music of Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke and Mick Karn, and never looked back. uh, whatever that means. I stopped checking out other hot bassists after a few years because I didn't want to be influenced by anyone else anymore, in the search for my own voice on the instrument.
I will actually add more to this later, believe it or not, in spite of popular demand! Cheerio!