For Bryan James music is a way of life. The talented singer/songwriter has endeared himself to country music fans everywhere with his original songs like “Smoke, Gamble, Drink”
James has always been involved in music. Growing up James’ father, played and wrote music, getting some of his songs to country music legends Wille Nelson and George Strait. At the age of 10 or 12 James picked up the guitar and the rest is history.
“I've always been into music. My dad has written songs his whole life. He has a few in to Willie Nelson, George Strait ,never got any of them cut but he got them to them. He use to sit there and play his guitar, and sing songs that he wrote,” said James.
“…It’s just something that I've always done. I think music is one of those things that no matter what mood you're in, if you're sad or what you're going through, for three minutes at a time you can check out from reality. I've always enjoyed that aspect of it. With me not being the most outwardly emotional person that’s kind of how I deal with things. I kind of write it out and when I'm done, I’ve said what I needed to say, done what I needed to do. I put it behind me. It’s always been an escape for me more than anything else,” continued James.
Facebook Live has become one of the most popular ways artists interact with their fans. Facebook Live has allowed artists to perform for their fans all over the world without leaving their living room. A month and a half ago James began doing a weekly Facebook Live for his fans. Thursday nights at 9pm EST James puts on a concert from his living room, allowing his fans to not only interact with him, but each other. James started the FaceBook Lives at the the insistence of Brad Walden.
“Well that’s Brad Walden’s fault. I've watched a video here and there for a while just as a fan of other people’s music. I just sat there and watched them. I'm a fan of music too, so I like listening to them sing their songs. Brad Walden kind of got on me and said; ‘you need to do that.’ I thought it was kind of weird to sit in my living room by myself talk to a bunch of people in their living rooms or wherever they are and pretend it’s a concert. I just didn't see the point of it,” said James.
“Then after I did it one time, just to see the interaction of people it was kind of cool. Hell we’re all busy and what not so for people to put in a couple of hours of their own time and life on hold for me to sit and watch me play a few songs. I thought that was pretty cool. I enjoyed it they enjoyed it. It’s just kind of grown week by week since I've done it. I've only been doing it for a month and a half. It’s enjoyable, you can see people and talk about what’s going on in their world and say hey what happened since the last time we were here… It’s a way to interact with people, reach people you normally wouldn't be able to… It’s why these people show up week after week. So it’s been cool,” said James.
For James the best part of performing is seeing the reaction of the crowd. Knowing that for a few hours he can help them escape what they’re going through in life.
“My favorite part by far is watching the looks on peoples faces. Whatever they were going through that day, whatever situation they're in at home with their life, and family, or work. You know whatever it is for that hour or two they're there with you they forget all about that stuff. They go there to have a good time…and I think that’s the coolest part about music….” said James.
While seeing James’ FaceBook Live or a live performance fans can hear a lot of James’ originals. James has written all of his original songs, For James songwriting is a release, something he feels he has to do.
“…I’ve written songs long before I’ve let anyone listen to them. For me its a release, don't get me wrong I enjoy it. But it’s more something I have to do. It’s kind of like this; if I want to go fishing I go fishing, or if I want to play golf I play golf. I don't go today I want to write a song, I have to write. I have to get it out of my system. Whatever is bothering me or what I’m thinking about. It’s a must do it, not I can or I want to, to me.. I think my favorite part of that is when somebody else gets something out of it. You know when you get an email, message, or phone call.. saying, ‘hey that song felt like you wrote it about me,’ that to me is my favorite part of it…” said James.
James song “Smoke, Gamble, Drink” has become popular on internet radio stations like The Blacksheep Network. The song was written from an experience James had at bar a few years ago.
“So we were in a bar years back. In most bars local bars anyway you alway have that one guy that sits on a stool and everybody knows that’s their stool and nobody sits in that chair… So we were in a bar siting next to a guy who was that guy. We sat there for a good few hours kind of drinking beers going back and forth. It was me and a couple of buddies and he looked over and said let me give you some advice young man. and I said well ok we've been at it for two and a half hours so knock yourself out. He told me, don't ever trust nobody that don't smoke gamble or drink and he turned back and finished his beer and called it a night. And truth be known that was pretty good advice,” said James.
James is currently working on getting a tour together that can see him visit places like Texas, and Oklahoma. According to James he is in no rush to go out on tour, as long as he has his guitar he is happy.
“…At the end of the day give me a stool, a microphone and a place to plug in my guitar, and I'm happy. That could be here, that could be at a campfire passing the moonshine jar around, in somebody's living room, it could be the Hard Rock Live. I've done it all I'm just trying to enjoy it,” said James.