Interview: Jo James
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Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based out of Austin Texas. The Live Music Capital of the world. It’s a beautiful, creative city full of so much talent and passion. Just the vibe of this city is influencing.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
I played at a place called the 04 Center here in Austin and it’s in a Church. The acoustics and the magic of that place just make for somewhat of a religious experience.
Also, every time I play at the Continental club feels like the best show ever. Worst show would have to be when I played a venue in Temecula California and got a little too confident and stood up on my amp and fell hard.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There are so many great ones but here are a few. The Continental Club, Saxon Pub, Geraldine’s, 04 Center, Antone’s, The Coach House.
I would love to play are the Moody Theater, The Paramount Theater, C Boys heart and soul, Empire Garage, The Troubadour, and would just love to get on some festivals.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Paul McCartney, Allen Stone, Jonny Lang, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Layla Hathaway, Jose Stone, Soulive, Black Pumas, and so many more.
And for my independent local artist it would be Dave Scher, Ruby Dice, Tameca Jones, Zach Person, The Reverent Few, Erica Michelle, Lewis Christian, Aaron Stephens, to name a few.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Make sure to make time for you and your loved ones. Don’t get too wrapped up in everything to the point where it just becomes a “job”. Make sure you take your time, enjoy yourself, and BE YOURSELF. Don’t do it for anything other than to be creative and get your voice heard.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Keep your head up, don’t worry about what others say, just be you, love you, and keep God in the middle of the music.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It would have to be two songs. One song called “Here’s To You” that I wrote for my beautiful wife. Paying tribute to her amazing and beautiful soul. She is my rock, my light, and my night and shining armor.
And a song called “Find My Way” that I have yet to release. A song about going through the storm and fog of depression but finding your way out of that storm. And it’s a message for those who are going through a tough time, and just letting them know that the storm will pass even if it doesn’t feel like it. The storm will pass. You’re never too far gone to find your way.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I like playing all my songs. But a song called 6th Street always gets requested for some reason. People really dig that song.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Life inspires me. It’s not one specific thing. But there are two things that inspire me more than most and that God and my wife. But really just driving down the road to a beautiful sunset will strike some melody in my head.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
A message of love, acceptance, and knowing that you are not alone in whatever fight you may be facing. I just want to bring joy to myself and to others.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Sure. I think it’d be weird if we didn’t have some type of disagreement. I think that sometimes makes for a great song having a small amount of tension and passion there. For me, it usually just ends up us mixing the two ideas we wanted into the song as a whole and the song winning in that situation.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’ll just keep writing music, playing music, and spreading true love into this sometimes not so loving world. Remember to love one another and be good to each other.