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Artist Spotlight – March 2022

James Reams – March Artist Spotlight

Reminiscing on a moment from years ago, James Reams remembers saying, “oh, I left my instrument at the castle” at one of his performances. That memory always struck him as a surreal time in his life. This surreal moment happened just moments prior to playing at a Fete (party, festival or wedding) in France. The Fete was in a hilltop town of Carcassonne. Carcassonne is famous for its medieval citadel, La Cite, and the first walls were built in the Gallo-Roman times. Along with playing in France, James also was able to play in Italy. Wow, what an opportunity and experience an artist can have.

James Reams, known to many as “Ambassador of Bluegrass”, was born on Jan 10th and calls London, KY his hometown. However, when you get to talking with him, he considers himself a small-town boy that was actually raised in the “sticks”, a small place on a little mountain called Pine Hollow. Living in Pine Hollow, James remembers having tons of fun with his brother every day. The two boys and their two dogs would head outside every morning and wouldn’t return till it was dinner time – those sure were the days!

Most kids earn money for small chores around the house but James remembers getting a money from his dad (around the age of five or six) for writing/singing songs. Once a new song was written, James remembers hearing his dad calling him to the kitchen table to hear it. Singing the new song earned him a dollar. James father, a World War II Veteran, was a great inspiration and had much love in his heart.

Along with the inspiration of his father, James had two other mentors that played a huge part in his life. Having the opportunity to have known and play with Walter Hensley (also known as “Banjo Baron of Baltimore”) and Tom Paley (guitarist and banjo player, best known for his work with the New Lost City Ramblers in the 1950s and 60s) makes James pinch himself every time he thinks about it.

Earl Taylor (legendary mandolin player and singer) of the band Earl Taylor and The Stoney Mountain Boys is one artist that James would love to talk with. He would love to hear about the times of playing with Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

The advice James would have for up-and-coming artist, besides always having your instrument, would be to BE YOURSELF. If you truly want to be a part of music, you have to stick with it, hang in there, and remember that it takes a lot of nails to build a barn.

In 1998, James organized the Park Slope Bluegrass Old-Time Music Jamboree. This is an annual festival that you can attend in Brooklyn, New York. Being able to organize such an event seemed like a miracle but as definitely an item marked off his bucket list. This has definitely helped him earn an additional nickname, “Father of Brooklyn Bluegrass”.

Upcoming news from artist:

DOUBLE DISC CD is out now! It is a two CD set that is the soundtrack for the documentary, “Like a Flowing River” on Amazon Prime. The new album title is “James Reams Like a Flowing River & Soundtrack Album”.

James Reams “Diesel Smoke Dangerous Curves” Video Now Out.

Website for artist, tour dates and/or merchandise:

Check out the artist/band website for all their new songs, tour dates and merchandise. The best way to support our local broadcasters and artists are through their sales – CDs, albums, shirts and etc. Let’s show our support – go check their website.