Out On June 16 on LordVinyl Records/Forty Below Records
New Single “Another Night” is out!
The long-awaited debut album from the guitar slinger, with Kenny Aronoff on drums
Riding on the edge has always been his comfort zone
“For me, inexplicably, big loud, and unapologetic sounds were always drawing me near…”
Los Angeles-based guitarist and singer-songwriter Jeau James oozes coolness with his guitar prowess, smoky vocals, and rocker looks. Some say he channels Lenny Kravitz and Jimi Hendrix, and that’s fine by him, but let’s throw some others in the mix, Storyville vocalist Malford Mulligan, Eric Gales, Gary Clark, Jr., Living Color, and Cream. Fated has been in creation mode for a while and will see the light of day on June 16 via his own label, LordVinyl Records with distribution by Forty Below Records. Recorded at Mad Dog Studios with two-time Grammy Award nominee producer and Forty Below Records owner Eric Corne and famed studio owner and executive producer Dusty Wakeman in the studio chairs, they bottled up a raw and juicy sound with James and legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff.
Jeau can’t recall when or where he and producer Eric Corne met, but their connection was instant, and the noted producer has always supported the young artist. “Jeau James is a quadruple threat. He is a wicked guitarist and funky bassist, an extremely soulful singer, a talented songwriter, and possesses the look of a stone-cold rock star. Life has presented some obstacles in his path, but Jeau has risen above them and is poised to build a promising career,” states Eric Corne. The two entered the studio with the goal of “let’s record something raw and killer” and went from there by bringing in Kenny Aronoff on drums and Carl Byron on keys and Hammond B3 organ to help flesh out the songs. Jeau held down the bass and vocals as the music organically evolved into a monstrous vibe full of grit, sex, and soul from the seven originals to the Doors cover.
“Jeau’s songs, vocals, and brilliant guitar playing are so unique, passionate, and authentic,” says Kenny Aronoff
From Jeau James’ notes about the songs on the album:
FATED – This is a look at my life as a street racer. Lose some, win more. But all the while being on the wrong side of the rules.
HELLO, I LOVE YOU (The Doors cover) – The lyric is right in line when I’m drawn to a woman; however, I adjusted the music slightly to be more slinky.
ANOTHER NIGHT – This song is how I felt when I rolled out as a teenager to live on my own. It, later, was how I kind of felt in new love.
ROCK HARD AND ROLL – When I’m firing on all eight cylinders … this.
HUMAN CONDITION – I once had a girlfriend who got angry as people complimented me while she and I walked together. Demons people have deep inside inspired this song.
PRAY – Sadly, we are confronted with addictions, greed, hate, and ignorance. We pray to get through.
RIVER – One day, while thinking about making love, I realized it can be a lot like the rapid and wilds of a river. When I gave my mind its head, I contemplated how this is equally experienced on mental and spiritual levels.
IS THIS HISTORY – We live and love, love and live, and die. We are history…
Jeau’s artistic journey started very young, and in his words: “I was nine years old when my mom bought me my first guitar and amplifier outfit. They shipped in cardboard boxes which served as my road cases back and forth to church on weekends. The pastor’s eyes rolled every time I walked through the door as she knew I would soon find the electric socket so I could power up. As a kid, I had no idea what I was doing, but that did not stop me from showing up. Nope! I walked in, plugged up, and for two months did my open-fretting act until a guy showed me how to tune it and my first few chords. Kids have no embarrassment. This, of all times and places, was the genesis gate of what turns me on most; being on the edge of safe and unsafe sounds.”
While in college, Jeau gravitated toward the bass guitar, allowing him to play with various bands, from rock to gospel. He dug deep into studying other bassists like Jaco Pastorius, Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, and Stanley Clarke. “I’m sure my exposure and experiences playing bass in funk, gospel, soul, and rock bands set me up to rely on the groove as well as all other components resulting in me being a more rounded player,” says James. He was in NYC when he met Billy Preston at an Aretha Franklin show, and he told Jeau, if he ever got out to L.A., to look him up. So, when Jeau got to L.A. around 2003, he called Preston up. Jeau found himself going to his studio regularly and was slated to be on board with an upcoming Preston album, but he died before it all happened. After a while in L.A., he moved to Las Vegas and found a community of musicians with like-minded goals and aspirations, working as a sideman and doing studio work. He made it back to LA the second time a few years back and began to work on Fated.
The late Vinnie Paul of Pantera called him, “… the best-kept rock secret he ever saw.”
As years passed, Jeau struggled with life a little; he was challenged to find his creative direction, floating between housing and jobs. To escape, he worked on motorcycles and hot cars, which were like romantic rendezvous for James. Thinking he had licked this hiccup, Jeau, at the age of 40, suffered a stroke due to a Protein C Deficiency with a 100% recovery. While Jeau was recovering, he thought, “Why have I not done what I came to earth to do? How much more development do I really need to do?’ I woke up on the other side and knew I had to do this (the music). The whole situation gave me something to say and something to play.” And to this day, he’s never looked back.
Jeau is a perfect combination of the past and the future of rock music.” – Dusty Wakeman, producer on Fated
His musical determination grew stronger daily; Jeau pressed on with playing out, recording studio sessions, and working on this album. Fated delivers rallying cries and reflection in equal measure, with James’s writing songs about compassion, catharsis, and the confidence needed to blaze one’s trail.
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