James has been playing music since the age of 10, starting off playing Clarinet and Cornet into Jr. High and High School. At age 13, he found a guitar case in a closet that had a classical acoustic guitar and some beginner lesson books inside. James started learning chords on his own and not before long was strumming along with popular songs and impressing his mom who then bought him his first electric guitar soon after. By his junior year in High School, James and his brother Jeff (drums) joined up with some other guys at school and started playing shows at parties and school functions.
Fast forward to the early 90's, James joined up again with his brother in his band Stranger Things and had some local success playing at popular Chicago clubs like Metro and Thurston's on a regular basis and were featured performers on local radio shows like Live at Lunch on WCBR, and Q101's Local Music Showcase. Later in the 90's James joined up with popular Chicago band, Certain Distant Suns and had the opportunity to tour the country headlining shows in Minneapolis, St. Louis, and New York to name a few.
Life for James changed in the 2000s when he got out of the Bar/Club scene and started playing more guitar at his home church in Northern Illinois and started writing more original tunes. He hooked up with some guys from church and played some shows as Soul Remedy and in 2003 was asked to sit in with 38 Acres, a local roots rock band fronted by the music pastor at his church. James became a permanent member shortly after and in 2005, 38 Acres switched musical gears a little and recorded and released a full-length album of original worship songs of which James co-wrote several of the tracks. (click here for a link to the album on iTunes)
In 2008 James reconnected with one of his Certain Distant Suns bandmates who was playing drums with Nashville recording artist, Chad James. James was Chad's touring guitarist that summer and had the opportunity to play on the main stage at Lifefest 2008 opening for national acts Downhere and Switchfoot. Later that summer the band opened for Jeremy Camp at the Wisconsin State Fair on the main stage to a sold-out crowd.
In 2014 after a brief stint in a country band, James founded Acoustic Alibi and had a great 5 year run performing over 200 shows playing rock and country favorites with flashy guitar work and 3 part harmonies. Acoustic Alibi is currently on hiatus but in 2018 James started James & Friends as a way to keep playing out when AA had an off weekend.
Since 2018, James & Friends has played over 100 shows a year and only slowed down a little in 2020 when Covid hit hard.
With so much experience under his belt, James and his variety of talented friends he partners with is the perfect choice to entertain at your corporate event, restaurant, bar, casino, wedding or private party!