Reared in the wildernesses of Western New York, forged on the mean streets of West Philadelphia, and now careening around the woods of the Hudson Valley, James Hearne is one of the more dynamic performers working today. Years in the rock and roll world have created a charismatic presence, as comfortable alone on a stage as in front of a full band; a lifetime of music immersion make him as able with a lyric as with a melody. His songs are an engaging alt-country blend, hooky and rustic.
James crafts careful tales that are as literate as they are melodic; sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes blackly funny, his lyrics are always worth an extra listen. As a solo guitarist, he is able to bring variable rhythms and effects to his small-body Martin, alternating open tunings, a wide array of key signatures, and fingerpicking. His voice is the truest secret weapon in his arsenal: a powerful tenor equally at home whispering and howling, crooning and growling.
James puts all these skills together with a dry wit and a natural exuberance that shines through in live performance; his spirited exchanges with hecklers, his sometimes earnest, often self-deprecating introductions, and his spirited re-tellings of his experience combine with his powerful songs to make his shows unique and not to be missed.