James & Black / Bio
James & Black create a hybrid of US Southern Soul and classic hip-hop merging flavors of New Orleans and Texas with a heavy dose of Jay Dee/RZA/Tribe Called Quest tinged hip-hop. The result has been dubbed Guerrilla Soul referring to the “anyplace/anytime” attitude they have towards music. James & Black is on a mission, plain and simple, and they are coming soon to a town near you.
Austin, Texas' James & Black have been on a whirlwind European tour. Following their success on their first European tour in January and February 2012, behind their debut collaboration “Dirt for the Flowers”, James & Black have picked up where they left off with a vengeance adding to their fanbase and expanded their markets across Europe. Most recently they returned to the Leidse Jazz week in Leiden NL for a week of packed shows playing with Sven Hammond Soul and Chazzy Green.
In addition to live performances, James & Black have also been doing educational workshops focusing on the history of American Soul and Blues with an emphasis on its New Orleans roots.
They have toured extensively in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany as well as playing a residency in Porretta Terme, Italy and The Musica Popular de Barcelona festival in August and November respectively.
James & Black are ready to hit the road again behind the release of their new studio album and live album recorded at the famous N9 in Eecklo, Belgium. Both albums are due to be released in March 2013.
James & Black have already been confirmed for the Eurosonic festival in Gronigen NL next January and the prestigeous Porretta Soul festival in July, where Bruce James performed in 2010 with Clay Hammond, Lavelle White, and Fred Wesley.
Bruce James pathway of music begins as a child growing up in Houston, Texas and with three sides to every story; this soulful singer-songwriter simply tells it like it is. It has been said James sounds like Otis Redding and Tom Waits sipping black coffee with a nip of gin in New Orleans at 4 o’clock in the morning.
The life of this accomplished pianist and learned man of many other instruments with over 20 years in the music industry tells the true story. He has blessed the stage with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Leon Russell, The Last Poets, Burning Spear, Bernie Worrell, Jimmy Smith, and Dr. John, as well as, an appearance at the 2010 Porretta Soul festival sharing the stage with Clay Hammond, Chick Rodgers, Fred Wesley, and Miss Lavelle White.
The 2004 release of “The Wayside Drive Sessions, in which James played most of the instruments, 2007’s “Junkyard Soul”, and 2009’s “Yours, Mine and the Truth” (BMI), are most obviously rooted in classic R&B, Southern gospel, and rock and roll all tainted with the New Orleans funk and showcases the multifaceted relationship James has with music.
In late 2011 James met Bella Black to produce her first record release. Black is an American born songwriter and singer known for her powerful deep contralto vocals. Bella Black is more than a poet and singer (sanger), she is a force of nature exuding the gift that God has given her, enthralling everyone that sees her perform. Her songs are indigenous to her southeast Texas roots and as authentic as the red dirt that permeates the Texas/ Louisiana border.
The pair realized the potential of the harmony that blended naturally between their voices and Bella became a feature guest artist with the Bruce James Soultet. This led them to a subsequent 2011 tour that took them to the West coast of the US, and back twice, playing over eighty shows in four months.
Today they are known as James & Black and with their latest releases of the self titled debut EP “Bella Black”, and James’ intimate piano/vocal release of “Black until Blue" they are ready to spread their message of music.
The duo is building on a successful debut of their European tour early in 2012 and is currently touring Europe with DJ Phil Ross & their 1st collaboration album, "Dirt For the Flowers." Keep an eye out for their new 7” vinyl Single, and an upcoming Debut EP Spring 2013.
- Band Members:
- Bruce James, Bella Black, Phil Ross
- Artist Name:
- James & Black
- Home Page:
- Active Since:
- R&B/Soul / blues / Singer/Songwriter
- Austin, TX