When James Howard plays, he takes his time, savoring each word in every lyric, stringing the notes along as he goes. He's a compelling guitarist, composer, singer, producer, and artistic presence. On 'Celebrate Life' his passionate electric blues guitar weaves in and out of an impressive variety of song styles. Howard wrote nine of the ten songs on "Celebrate Life" with the tenth song being an electric guitar blues instrumental of "Amazing Grace" done in the way that Stevie Ray Vaughn covers Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing". The CD covers the ground of Santana's Latin Rock in the title track, "Celebrate Life", to the funky blues of "Path of the Mystic", to the psychedelic rock of "Still Small Voice" to the Latin/Jazz/World sounds of "Lemuria" and "Eastern Sky" with James on the nylon string guitar. "Higher" has a feel good pop/.rock feel and "The Greatest Love" is an acoustic/singer/songwriter ballad. Live, James and his band tear it up with a jam band improvisational approach to the music breathing new life into the songs. James Howard has been in love with playing music since the age of five, when he picked up his first instrument, inspired by his grandfather, an acoustic guitarist from Hawaii. Howard played his first professional gig at fifteen and has honed his talent and developed his career as a blues, rock and acoustic guitarist, composer, vocalist, bandleader and recording session side man of choice for over thirty three years in clubs, festivals and recording studios from his native San Francisco, California to his current home in the Seattle, Washington area. He has opened for artists including Robin Trower, John Waite, UFO and Greg Kihn and as a teenager he played house parties with legendary bassist Cliff Burton. Over the years, Howard has garnered numerous fans with his dynamic, expressive playing, his thrilling, dexterous technical skill and his casual, gracious manner on stage, consistently playing to sold out houses, from B.B. King's Blues Club in Hollywood, to the Highway 99 Blues Club, in Seattle, where he has been playing a regular, popular monthly gig with his band for the last three years. Howard's eclectic musical tastes span blues, rock, jazz, Latin, acoustic folk and country. He also has a strong interest in mysticism and spiritual growth. One can hear all these influences hybridized in his music and lyrics, giving him his own unique, compelling sound and style.
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