To Raise An Army for Love
In a time when popular music can tend towards the bland and impersonal, a human musician of Michael James' quality and candor is both unheard of -- and a must hear. James' last album 'Everything We Used to Be' is a moody collection of lush songs about love, loss, and hope. One reviewer said it was like Michael 'jumped inside of me so I could feel everything that was being said. That is powerful stuff and it does not happen that often.' Rising above a range of influences such as U2, Dashboard Confessional, David Gray, and Damien Rice, Michael James creates songs filled with rich landscapes of hook-driven melodies and textured guitars. But underneath the masterful performance of his songs, Michael's heart is what drives those very songs straight to his audience. Prior to 2003, James toured and recorded as the front man of a band in his native Colorado. With indie label backing, Michael polished his textured guitar playing and heartfelt vocals. However, music has been the focus of his life since long before then, and it shows in his evolved songwriting. 'I started writing songs the same day I picked up the guitar.' Michael says. 'My first song was called 'Can't Have it All.' I think I was mad because my mom wouldn't buy me a Pink Floyd T-shirt.' Michael laughs. Building on his previous musical experiences and a passion for life that is at the center of his music, Michael James recorded his debut solo EP Loft Sessions in 2004. The EP began to put Michael on the map receiving heavy airplay on East Coast college radio, as well as significant spins all over internet radio and stations in Denver and throughout Colorado. While Michael recorded Loft Sessions with little more than a guitar and his voice, his last album, 'Everything We Used to Be', brilliantly broke out onto a wider market in 2005 with more fully produced and realized songs. As James professes, '(it) represented a more complete vision of what I intended the songs to be.' The 8 song album was released to enthusiastic reviews. It has scored regular rotation on independent radio throughout Colorado and is being played on numerous internet radio stations everywhere from LA to New York. 'Everything We Used to Be' was nominated for a Kweevak.com Music Award in 2005 and the video for the first single from the album, 'Room to Breathe,' was showcased at the 2005 Planet Ant Film Festival in Detroit, Michigan and spent time in regular rotation on several independent music video programs. Since the release of Everything We Used to Be, Michael has brought his emotional song-craft to audiences everywhere from colleges and clubs to festivals and conferences nation-wide. Shortly after the release of 'Everything We Used to Be', Michael was a showcasing artist at Diversafest 2005 in Tulsa, OK. In 2006, Michael James was asked to perform at the Hyperactive Music Festival in Albuquerque, NM, the 10th annual Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA and NXNE in Toronto, Canada. In 2007, Michael was invited to be a featured performer on the Emerging Artist's Stage for the Virgin College Mega Tour '07. In the last several months, Michael has been hard at work on the follow up to 'Everything We Used to Be.' 'I really feel like I've grown as a writer and as a singer since my last album. I want that evolution to shine through on the next one.' This time around Michael has teamed up with Grammy winning producer John Seymour who has worked with artists like U2, Santana, and Dave Matthews Band just to name a few. 'Working with John has been awesome.' Michael says of his experience. 'I have always thought that collaboration is the way to make great music. After making so many records where I was the only one leading the charge, it is refreshing to work on the vision with someone else.' Michael has plans to focus on recording over the next few months and he hopes to release the new album by the beginning of 2008.
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