You get the feeling a fella with the name, “White Boy James” might have grown up around another culture. I often refer to myself as a Gringo when traveling in Latin America, even though in some circles its considered a little course and inappropriate, I think it puts people at ease and hopefully lets them know I don’t take myself too seriously… so they can relax.
Well, with White Boy James I didn’t get a chance to talk to him about his moniker choice, but I did get to catch his show at the brand new Torino Lounge in Paramount, CA last night… and I’m going to make an educated guess that it had something to do that this white boy was playing some boogie woogie blues music and moving like he knew what he was doing.. and he did.
He did get a chance to tell me he grew up in Los Angeles, really close to the Torino lounge as it turns out. I don’t know how the blues got in his blood, but it’s in his blood. When he’s on the harmonica, or stomping across the stage in his trench coat, he could be any color… he’s just feeling it and letting it rip.
A white boy singing the blues? Happens all the time. George Thorogood… hell, Mike Ness.. and countless others. But White Boy James hits that traditional, deep southern type of blues where it intersects with hillbilly and roots country just a tad and a half or so before it becomes Rock N Roll. In fact, the band switched gears and played a couple of hillbilly, rockabilly’ish songs deeper into their sets.
I’m not the world’s biggest blues fan, but watching White Boy James and the Blues Express was a hell of a lot of fun. When I could catch the lyrics like “I like my woman with a big old butt” or “you been f”’ing all my friends” it just added to the evening’s fun and not “don’t take things too seriously” tone. The kind that blues was born out of when African Americans in the deep south sang the blues to forget the harsh conditions of their lives. Pain is where the blues came from. Your woman left you.. you’re broke.. you got nothing.. but the blues. I get it.
But White Boy James & The Blues Express are no joke.. they are 1st class musicians and they rip it up and put on a hell of a good show. If you get a chance to see them, well you should. And if you don’t, here is a little video clip for you.