Multi-instrumentalist James Woolwine has been blessed with a rather heterogeneous musical life up to this point. From Classical to Jazz, Rock and even Heavy Metal interests, his background in music certainly offers the potential for great things to come.
James began studying piano at the age of 7. He immersed himself in Classical music, with dreams of composing symphonies and concertos. (James used to “air-conduct” Beethoven’s 9th symphony). By the end of high school he was winning scholarships and competitions, seemingly on track to a conservatory education. However, his adolescent urges to “rock out” overwhelmed his Classical inclinations. At the age of 16 James added guitar lessons to his piano studies. Dreams of composing symphonies were replaced by dreams to form the next great Heavy Metal band. He carried this ambition to Berklee College of Music, as a guitar major.
James threw himself into his college studies; adding Jazz harmony and contemporary songwriting to his Classical skills. Ultimately, his Heavy Metal aspirations were not achieved; but he discovered a new fascination in acoustic fingerstyle guitar. James graduated from Berklee cum laude with degrees in Performance and Music Business.
After college, James played in several bands; but found that working in groups can be frustrating. He sought refuge in his roots, composing and performing more frequently as a soloist. In 2009 he began a songwriting collaboration with a talented singer. Together they completed a large catalog of original material, but after three years the partnership fizzled out. Unwilling to give up on their songs, James began singing them himself; while continuing to compose new solo music. However, after three more years experimenting as a singer/songwriter, he ultimately realized his true musical voice is not sung; but played. With renewed focus he committed himself to his (by now) large catalog of solo compositions.
James’s diverse musical upbringing is reflected in his debut album, Solo Piano Destruction. Featuring a rather bold and daring album cover, Solo Piano Destruction offers up a couple of Katy Perry cover songs as well as 8 of his original compositions. It has been a Menu Favorite on KC Cafe Radio since November, 2015.
Recently KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with James via Skype. He describes his diverse music background, and the influences that shape the music that featured on his album. They also touch on the business of making music, including working as a session musician, performing live and recording.
Listen to the interview here:
Download the interview here: Interview: James Woolwine, 1/5/2016
Music by James Woolwine on KC Cafe Radio
Roots Music Report, the music chart representing Independent music, recently released its list of top played artists of 2015. Approximately 34 KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists were among those receiving the “top honors” on the Roots charts.
Receiving top honors in the Folk category were Dan Weber for his album, What I’m Lookin’ For, which ranked 39. Other 2015 top Folk artists/albums (and their ranking) included The Stray Birds/Best Medicine (42), John Roy Zat/Who’s Zat? (48), Young Novelists/Made Us Strangers (83), Johnathan Byrd/You Can’t Outrun the Radio (146), and Fiddle Whandiddle/Old School Old Time (153).
Several KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists also made top 2015 ranking in the Americana Country category, led by Tracy Newman and The Reinforcements for her album I Just See You, which ranked 35. Also appearing were Lucy Billings/Carry The Water (39), Kerry Patrick Clark/In A Perfect World (52), Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band/Not That Kind of Girl (62), Hilary Scott/Freight Train Love (124), Sarah Pierce/Barbed Wire (132), Sky Smeed/Drive All Night (133), The Keller Sisters/Shine (135), Truckstop Honeymoon/The Madness of Happiness (153), Well Worn Soles/Country/Folk (165), Brad Colerick/When I’m Gone (182), and Stephanie Urbina Jones/The Texicana Sessions (195).
The Enzymes with The Active Ingredients received Root’s top 2015 billing in the Rock category for their single Doowapadoodle, which ranked 86th, while their self-titled album ranked 113, and other single Kill Yourself First ranked 133rd in the same category. Enzymes also received recognition in the Alternative Rock and Roots Rock categories. Other KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists appearing in Root’s Rock category was Roger Street Friedman for his album The Waiting Sky (149 – also appearing in the Roots Rock category at #63).
KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists also appeared in some of Root’s more eclectic categories. In the Pop category, John M ranked 38th place for his album, M-VI, followed by Victor & Penny and Their Loose Change Orchestra for their album, Live at the Living Room Theatre, which ranked 169th. In the Electronic category, Surreal Realm ranked 14th place for their single Endeavors. Appearing in the Religious category were Pastor Brad/Lemonade (91), Bob Sima/Putalittlemoreloveintheworld (94), Project 15:16/The Way, and Granger Lofton/Demos (102).
Several KC Cafe Radio Performing Artists had singles that fared well in 2015, including Judy Nazemetz for her songs, Yesterday I Was So Tired , What’re We Gonna Do About Judy Wyner?, and We Got No Love Today. Other artists with top 2015 singles included Doug Adamz, Joey Curtain, John Batdorf, Chappell and Dave Holt, John Zipperer, and Folding Mr. Lincoln.
Since 1998, Roots Music Report has been collecting radio station airplay data to create its weekly airplay charts. KC Cafe Radio has been a Roots Music reporting station since 2011.