james dalton / Blog

All The Shows This Year and the Big Life Announcement

Overt the years, I spent differing amounts of time on booking live shows locally or even out of town. This year, however, has seen me really "get into it". I've been feeling distant from audiences of late, less connected to what has attracted me to this business or hobby or mission, or whatever it is i call this performing thing, and so, with time put in and a laptop on overdrive i've put together quite a schedule leading all the way into the summer. For a slight change, you'll all notice a lot of gigs closer to home. Ofcourse, I haven't written off the rest of the world! On the contrary, there should be announcements for a desert run later this year as well as a return to Europe, but for the time being, i need to keep it close to home because...I'm becoming a father:) Yes, fatherhood is upon me and we are very excited here about it. So the shows aren't stopping, just the routing is going to be different for a little while...

Another New Live album

Just wanted to throw it out there, that I am pretty excited about this new release, "Frankonia" which was recorded in Germany a little over a year ago. Some great people were involved, and when I get the chance to tell more of the story about how it all came together, I'll post up another blog about it, but in the meantime, please click over to www.jamesdalton.bandcamp.com and check it out :)

Live in Times Square EP!!!

So, after some months and months have passed, I am happy to say that as of now, the first of twelve releases is officially available! James Dalton Live in Times Square was recorded a couple years back with drummer Adam Alexander and upright bass player Craig Akin. Three tracks, and a bonus track recorded this past fall in Asbury Park, NJ. Name your price over at http://jamesdalton.bandcamp.com/

Thanks! please help support!

My First Review in German...

Immeldorf, das weiße Ross: Im bunten Ambiente der berüchtigten Location standen am Freitag einsam zwei akustische Gitarren, ein Tisch mit einem chaotisch durcheinander geworfenen Haufen Mundharmonikas und daneben ein paar Schuhe. Allmählich bewegte sich ein bärtiger Herr in Hut und FlipFlops zum Mikrofon. James Dalton aus Bayhead, New Jersey, gab sich die Ehre. Auf seiner „Silent Station“-Tour führt es den sympathischen Barden durch einige deutsche Städte, bevor er wieder in die Staaten weiterzieht. Auch die FlipFlops zog er dann noch aus und spielte barfuß. Da liegen Assoziationen wie „bodenständig“ oder „down to earth“ nicht fern. Tatsächlich ist Daltons Musik ein Querschnitt durch die amerikanischen Roots: ein bisschen Folk, ein bisschen Blues und Country, aber alles in einer frischen Feelgood-Verpackung, wie sie etwa auch ein Jack Johnson transportiert. Über dessen soften Surfpop geht Dalton aber weit hinaus in Sachen Vielseitigkeit, wie auch in Sachen Stimmgewalt. Das unglaublich starke, crunchy Organ beeindruckte durch soulige Screams, sanftes Storytelling und einfach mehr Ecken und Kanten als es beispielsweise Kollegen wie Milow oder Jason Mraz vorweisen können. Dazu spielt Dalton noch eine wirklich fiese Mundharmonika. Die Coverversion „Sugar Mama“ zog der Amerikaner ganz ohne Gitarre, dafür mit umso mehr Mundharmonika, Geschrei und Gestampfe ab. Die Dichte, Originalität und Intensität des Konzerts ging auch hier nicht verloren, im Gegenteil. Hin und wieder gab es auch Coverversionen von Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead oder Johnny Cash, die nicht selten von Daltons ausgeprägter Singstimme profitierten. Es gab für den Abend auch keine feste Playlist, Dalton mischte die Cover aus der guten alten Zeit seinen Eigenkompositionen unter und war immer offen für musikalische Wünsche. Bodenständig und „down to earth“ erklärte er, er sei ja nur der „dancing monkey“, der für unser Amüsement tanzt und Lärm macht. Auch für das gelegentliche „Duh-duh-duh“ und „Na-Na-Na“ war er sich nicht zu schade. Bei ihm wirkt das aber auch authentischer als in der staubigen Schlagerwelt. James Dalton, der Inbegriff des Straßenmusikers und Singer/Songwriter in Perfektion. Wenn Jack Johnson der Strand ist, ist James Dalton der steinige Weg dorthin. Es war einmal mehr ein wirklich starker musikalischer Abend im berüchtigten Immeldorf. Dalton kündigte an, im Oktober noch einmal nach Deutschland zu kommen. Man darf sich freuen. Jan Bratenstein

Hitting the road...

Since I am starting to do some booking for the Spring and Summer months, mostly for the solo gigs right now, I was looking back at old gig schedules to see which venues I should reach out to. I noticed that I was much busier and much bolder with the traveling and the shows back then.

This past weekend, I was really excited about a three-night run I did in NYC and, of course, I am excited to do a three-night run anywhere, and even though I basically stay in the same area, I bring up this past weekend to make the example of the frequency of my shows these days.

There aren't that many, and it's been bringing me down in the undercurrents of my soul. Clearly, I had a good weekend and there are a few gigs coming in the next one, but, as I am getting older, am I losing the interest that I had once had to be out all the time? The answer is no, because I am constantly dreaming of cities and states, both near and far, seeing the highway signs and customs agents in my thoughts easily. So, what is it?

A couple days from three years ago, I did a run of gigs that made my mouth water when I looked at it. Check it...

1/30 Tommy Doyles in Cambridge, Mass 2/1 Brownie's 23 East in Ardmore, PA (opening for Splintered Sunlight) 2/2 LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA (co-bill with April Smith) 2/3 Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ 2/5 Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ 2/8 Wildflower Cafe and Gallery in Bethlehem, PA 2/9 Flannery's in Mercersberg, PA 2/10 Murph's Other Bar in York, PA (opening for Hexbelt) 2/11 Azure in Philadelphia, PA 2/12 Hear New Brunswick Radio in New Brunswick, NJ

To some of you, that isn't very impressive and, to others, it's pretty damn busy. But, to me, that's how it was back in '06 and '07. I had a little green Jetta that fit me, my guitars, my sound system and whatever else I needed. It was perfect. Maybe it was the car dying in rural Virginia on the way back from a good run in Tennessee with Jon Ladeau just days before a studio session with Lance Larson, or maybe I got too caught up in going overseas working for a paycheck as an entertainer bouncing around the Baltic, leading wild drunken sing-a-longs, or maybe it was moving to NYC and getting a job at a cool blues club. Who knows? Maybe I am just getting old, watching all the younger guys sing their energetic songs from dirty little buses. Maybe I am a little jealous with the attention other people get. Or, maybe I am just tired, or a failure. Failure? Really? At such a young age?

Or, maybe I just needed a little time off, because, fuck it, I'm not that old, I'm not that tired and I don't think I've even started yet.

You know that scene in the end of "The Wrestler," where Mickey Rourke is about to walk out into the ring and after Marisa Tomei's character pleads with him not to go out into the ring and wrestle, because his body is so beat up he may not live through it, literally and stuff? Well, Rourke's character looks at her, points away from the ring, which to me is no different than the stage, and says, "the only place I get hurt is out there." Fuck yeah. I remember wanting to stand up in the movie theatre with both tears in my eyes and a smile on my face in agreement, that the only normal place for people like me was in the ring, giving everything.

Anyway, now that I've typed through all of this, maybe I don't feel so old and, if I do, who gives a shit? I'm hitting the road anyway, damn it...

In the Planning Stages...

Summer is coming, and with that, lots of plans. It's like that, summer is. So, even though I am rooted in NYC more than ever before, and even though I haven't felt this stuck in one place in a long time, I won't let any of that keep me from playing lots of shows in new areas and meeting new peoples:)

Erin Sax Seymour and I have been playing together on and off over the last few years and this summer we've got some good ideas and lots of interesting things in the works which includes a June residence in NYC, a little tour through some of the Southern states and some recording. You can find us in duo, trio or with the "Hands Off My Sister" Band that has been getting it's start at Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village. This Friday, as a matter of fact, we'll be rocking the duo in Asbury Park, NJ so come on down!

As far as my own plans, other than seeking some management for myself, getting my performers consulting business up and running on a fuller scale and managing the blues club "Terra Blues" a few nights a week, I've got a lot of fun ideas and could use all your support. Presently, i've got just enough songs, both new and old, to get into the studio for a new release and I've been speaking with producers, so work may begin on that. This summer, I am hoping to spend all my weekends on the busses and trains and even the ferries traversing the region playing shows for people. If you can help me in the midwest, new england and the southeast, hosting a house concert or just helping me get in to that corner bar somewhere in America, I'd be grateful

So, keep in touch and if you can help support some knucklehead indie artist, please do

thanks for reading:)

Some videos with me and Michael Powers

i have been doing a lot of playing at Terra Blues with the legendary Michael Powers and some of it has been caught on video...




and this new cool one i found... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Dssf0TaxfE

thanks for watching, and if you come across any more like these, let me know


New Poem Published and Opening for Magic Slim Tonight

Hey all, just wanted to let you all know that I got a poem of mine published over at this great NYC based literary site, www.eightmillionstories.com and it should be up on the front page for a couple days. After that, just click on the poetry link, it'll be there.

Also, I am pretty excited about tonight's show at Terra Blues on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. I'll be joining the amazing SaRon Crenshaw at 9pm and we'll be doing a duo set opening for the legendary Magic Slim.

Hope to see you all tonight!