Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Having just completed their second album, Whiteboy James and
the Blues Express is a detonative force not to be reckoned
with. Since reforming in 2006 after a five year absence, the band has
re-established themselves as the legendary band that they once were
during the Southern California blues explosion of the 80’s and 90’s.
Whiteboy James has a mesmerizing, driving and sonic stage presence.
Combine that with three gifted, well-seasoned musicians and chances are
chairs at one of their shows just won’t be necessary.
As a youngster, he listened to whatever he could grasp. But his musical influences changed radically when he began listening to his uncle’s Deep South Rhythm and Blues and Country vinyl. Although "Whiteboy" found it difficult to fit into the Southern California "Beach Boy" culture in which he was surrounded by, hs heart, soul and ears were dialed into the likes of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Sam "Lightning" Hopkins, Big Joe Turner besides the usual suspects such as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Wills and even Spike Jones. By the mid 1980's, also known as the peak of the Southern Californian blues explosion, blues bands were forming everywhere — from garages and backyard parties to all night blues jams in various beer-soaked nightclubs. During this time, "Whiteboy" James had several tunes in his repertoire and was willing and ready to sit in, sing, jam, crush and blow some harmonic sounds with whoever would have the “cajones” to invite him up on stage. And good thing, because his tenacity paid off in spades. A few of the takers included The Mighty Flyers, William Clarke, James Harman, The Blasters (Phil and Dave Alvin), Johnny Dyre, Joe Houston, Little Charlie and the Night Cats, Top Jimmy and Juke Logan, just to name a few. And history be told, it was at one of the jams that the original Blues Express was formed. Soon thereafter, this raucous foursome was jamming, gigging and grinding all over the Southern California blues circuit. "Whiteboy" James became quite the buzz across blues stages and dance floors across the southland. People were talking about this entertaining “jump and jive” madman who, not unlike his boyhood hero Cab Calloway, strutted the stage leading a tops blues band and dressed in a trench coat (As opposed to Cab Calloway's tux and tails. (Talk about a dichotomy) "Whiteboy" James and the Blues Express continued to play throughout the 1990s and after a well-deserved break, they’re back and as unruly as ever.
Simply put, you don’t listen to Whiteboy” James. You experience it. You feel it. You dance on a lot of broken glass.