From the prairies of Saskatchewan to sharing the stage with arguably the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time, Colin James still remembers those tips from the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Colin James has taken those words seriously. His career has spanned more than 30 years, with a track record that includes 20 studio albums, 7 Juno Awards, 27 Maple Blues Awards, and multi-platinum record sales. Their latest release, Open Road, is a celebration of personal connections. It includes original tunes written with longtime collaborators such as Colin Linden, Craig Northey, and Tom Wilson, and reinterpretations of covers by a diverse group of songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Albert King, Tony Joe White, and others.
His 2018 album Miles To Go garnered global attention, debuting on the Billboard blues charts and occupying a position on the RMR blues chart for 24 weeks, 14 weeks in the top 10. He continues to sell shows across Canada with more. than 80,000 tickets sold in tours in the last 3 years. Colin was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2013. Looking back at Colin’s career, it’s a rich timeline of highlights. His self-titled debut in 1988, with his two self-written hits, “Voodoo Thing” and “Five Long Years,” was the best-selling album in Canadian history. It earned him his first Juno and an opening spot on the tour with Keith Richards. His second album, Sudden Stop, featured his hit “Just Came Back,” which reached # 3 on the US radio charts and earned him the Juno Award for “Single of the Year.” Colin was later credited with launching the swing revival, thanks to his popular Little Big Band, which has released four successful albums to date.
However, it wasn’t until 2016’s Blue Highways that James found himself on a blues chart – the album spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on Roots Music Report’s blues chart. It also earned him one of his biggest hits: “Riding in the Moonlight,” a Willie Dixon song that garnered millions of views on Spotify.
Over the years, Colin has worked with some of the world’s most revered artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Albert Collins, Pops Staples, Robert Cray, Albert King, Keith Richards, Lenny Kravitz, ZZ Top, Mavis Staples, Luther Allison. , Roomful of Blues, Bobby King and Terry Evans, John Hammond Jr., The Chieftains, Carlos Santana, Little Feat, Johnny Hallyday, Jeff Healey and Buddy Guy. In addition to his own recordings and tours, Colin is a prolific composer, his music has been recorded by artists such as Maria Muldaur, Johnny Hallyday, and Lucinda Williams. Following his 2019 Miles To Go release, Colin won the Juno Award for Blues Album of the Year, as well as 6 Maple Blues Awards in various blues categories. Colin has set the bar for consistency and talent in Canadian music and even after 20 acclaimed albums he remains at the top of his game, always challenging himself musically. An accomplished professional and a magnificent guitarist, Colin is a musician, musician. The confidence that comes with maturity can be heard in his voice and can be seen in his electrifying performance on stage. He does what comes naturally to him, he has always done it, he knows no other way or another life.