Now Playing – Cryin Man Blues (Demo)
James Counts – A Promising New Indie Artist Scheduled For MEMG-ECP Production This Summer
James Counts songwriting has often been compared to the likes of Jack White, The Alabama Shakes, The Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews, and Ben Harper by today’s college crowd. But to those aforementioned artists who grew up listening to others before them, they might just say that James Counts has harnessed the raw, powerful, soulful simplicity and socially consciousness songwriting abilities of some of their mentors and music legends such as Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Bob Marley and even the late Chris Whitley. Now envision an amplified and electrifying version of some of those older legends, and you have James Counts.
Though generally considered a somewhat quiet, modest and deeply spiritual humanitarian by most, James Counts quickly puts that perception to rest when he builds to a fever-pitch during his live performances. Whether he’s playing lap steel, a banjo, a sitar or his electric and acoustic guitars….As a soloist, he is a force to be reckoned with…Add a band, and you have an explosion of intense consciousnesses which is hard to escape. Counts relies on this simplicity and raw emotion to convey his artistic vision and is a extremely charismatic performer .
Though somewhat young , James has developed his musical abilities and social sensitivities way beyond his years via a musical career which spans fifteen years and well over 400 professional performances. He has fronted and written music for two bands and is currently working with a new line-up of musicians in a third based upon his namesake The James Counts Band.
Counts recently performed at the 2012 Blackbird Music Festival in Weed, CA. and completed a 2012 summer Southwestern Tour from California to Arizona. In addition, he is in the studio laying down some preliminary tracks he plans to work on in the near future with the crew at MEMG/ECP and producer Polo Jones at the helm .
As a songwriter, James Counts offers a musical blend of Americana, Roots Rock, Reggae and Folk infused with spiritually positive and socially conscious lyrics.
Originally from Tucson, AZ., Counts moved to California in 2007, and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
James Counts Backgrounder :
· Fronted and wrote music for Tucson, AZ. band, Jupiter Dave from 1996 to 2000, culminating in a grass roots production CD (Sands of Jupiter) which sold out the entire first production run ( i.e. thousand+ units) within days of it ‘s release. After touring regionally in support of Sands Of Jupiter CD, Counts decided to take some personal time off from those regional performances, broaden his musical horizons, and further hone his songwriting skills.
I wasn’t long before James returned with a vengeance in 2002, performing live, fronting and writing new music for one of Tucson, AZ top musical groups called Dutsi Spoon from 2002 to 2004.· With Dutsi Spoon and new original material, James Counts WON the 2003 Southern Arizona “Road to Somewhere” battle of the bands, railing against hundreds of other competitors.
Now married, James Counts has relocated to Northern California with his musician wife and sons and has spent the last three months assembling / working with a new group of musicians which share his vision and enthusiasm for his music. The current band lineup includes his wife Yolanda Counts on Drums, Gary Collins on Percussion, Jelani Canser on Bass and Anthony Schadle on guitar.
With the above said, MEMG/ECP artist management exec Harri Maki, media marketing exec & producer Rob Lopes have had preliminary discussions with Counts, and have outlined a future artist development/production program with Polo Jones serving as Executive Producer.
“MEMG/ECP is totally committed to supporting socially conscious and spiritually enlightened musicians” states Polo Jones, who is no stranger to philanthropic ventures himself,
having supported numerous disaster relief programs and humanitarian efforts around the world over the last decade.
“I feel that under the guidance of Harri Maki and Rob Lopes at MEMG-ECP, James has a real chance at being truly successful in his musical journey.” Jones adds.
Stay tuned for further updates on this future project as they become available.
In the mean time, feel free to listen to cuts from James Counts demo mix tape :-)
Forbidden Fruit (Demo)
Dee Dee (Live Demo)