the name David James ring a bell? Probably not.
though you’ve never heard of him, if you’ve turned on a radio, watched TV or been
to a concert in the last thirty years, you probably have heard him. During the
course of his career, David has performed live to over a million people all over
the world, made hundreds of TV and radio appearances, sang on five top forty records,
appeared in six major music videos, and recorded over twenty albums. Throw in
jingles, even karioke tracks, you’ve heard his voice, guitar or bass.
there’s the songwriting. David established himself as a staff
writer at the legendary FAME Music in Muscle Shoals, Alabama from 1994 to 1998, and went on to spend three years at Encore / Warner Bros.
Entertainment in Nashville. He has had over fifty songs recorded
by various artists, including the Grammy nominated "Certified"
for Grammy Award winner James Cotton, the hit single "Lie
To Me" for rhythm & blues great Dorothy Moore, and
"Never Get Enough" for country-rock super group POCO.
his band Fish Heads & Rice David toured the world and released
three albums for Milan, Italys Appaloosa Records before
recording an unreleased album for Sony/Columbia Records in Nashville.
Since then he has released two solo CDs for Troppo Forte Music
and just finished a new album, "Purple House,"
with Paolo Bonfanti on the BPR label.
a simpler life for his family, and the chance to perform as a
musician again, David made St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands
his home. In a recent interview, David was asked about the move
to St. Croix, a look back on his career so far and some thoughts
on the future. Here’s some of what he had to say:
move to the Virgin Islands comes from a lot of things, a better
place for my family, a new adventure and the chance to get back
to playing music again. It's gone really well, in just a couple
years I've played on all three U.S. Virgin Islands and opened
shows for Dr. John and Mavis Staples. My last few
years in Nashville got so corporate that I really wasnt
even playing much anymore. Writing, meetings and sessions but
very little actually playing music in front of people, you know,
having fun with the crowd. On our first three records for Appaloosa,
we had complete creative control. Got to make eclectic albums
with a mix of Rock, R&B, Country, Cajun, Soul, Blues, all
the great music Ive always loved. With Sony it turned into
marketing meetings and radio focus groups. No one ever talked
about the music, strictly business. Anyway, it really started
to get me down on music altogether, so I needed a drastic change.
With these two solo CD's (Clean Getaway
& Eisenhower High) I got to just make music again
and with the playing around the islands, Im really glad
I did it."
"As far as looking back, wow, a lot can happen in thirty
years. Off the top of my head Id say some
highlights would be meeting and playing with
Jerry Lee Lewis. He goes wide open all the time. I
right when he got out of the hospital and he was still running
full tilt boogie. Getting to write with guys like
Mark Selby, Keith Urban and Craig Fuller (Little Feat)
would have to be high up on the
list. Playing the Grand Ole Opry the first time,
actually every time was really special, but the first time
really stands out. Its one of the few times I can ever remember
having stage fright. Doing Hee-Haw was a
gas and Id have to say being featured in an article in Bass
Player Magazine was an honor."
Fish Heads & Rice opening
shows in Europe for B.
B. King, Ry Cooder, and
Keb Mo was very cool.
Playing for, writing with and just knowing
Jo-El Sonnier through the years has been great. Hes
thing, I mean nothing but pure musical energy, its great,
no filters, no nothing. Man, theres a bunch of
stuff. Playing with Albert
Collins, Billy Joe Royal, Gene Parsons. Im sure
Ill leave someone out.
Opening shows for and meeting Willie
Merle Haggard. Russell
Rhythm Aces, hes a trip, but what a gas to work
with. We had a couple of great tours, great music, big
fun. Touring and recording a live CD (Live in Massachusetts)
Edwards was a real treat, he was
always one of my favorite singers. I dont know, theres
a whole lot more, but I dont need to sit here going down
memory lane and bore you to tears. Lets just say its
been pretty good so far and leave it at that."
in store for the future? Who knows, I mean anything can happen.
Im taking it a lot slower these days. I just finished Purple
House with Paolo Bonfanti and now Paolo and I are touring in Italy again, so I guess I'm staying busy as
I want to."
Nowadays David has become a full time traveler along with his wife Veronica. They chonicle their journeys on their popular website GypsyNester.com. They are also the authors of
Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure From Empty Nest to No Nest at All.
to see David's complete discography
to see what
the Press has to say.
music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway
where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's
also a negative side.
- Hunter S. Thompson