James Low, one of the best of the Northwests Alt-Country scene
James Low started out in a one stop light town in Eastern Oregon that had a single AM radio station that went off the air every night at 6 pm. Coming family steeped in music he toyed with a couple of instruments, but mostly sang. Following his fathers lead he starting writing songs, and after finishing school he escaped to New York. Working in the kitchen at the roots and blues club, The Lone Star Roadhouse, he came under the sway of classic blues and country musicians like Rufus and Carla Thomas, Emmy Lou Harris, NRBQ, and Maceo Parker, while spending his nights at open mics in the West Village. Eventually he settled in the East Village and spent a few years playing bass in the country punk band Marlboro Country before returning to Oregon in 1995.
In 2000 he released his first album, a sparse, country folk affair titled Mexiquita. On a tiny boutique label, the release received a 4 star review in the All Music Guide and positive reactions from the local press, but went largely unnoticed. A series of self-financed albums including Blackheart (2002) and The Blackguards Waltz (2008) established a solid pedigree as a writer, and James' career flourished in the manner of a well-kept secret. In 2012, the self-released and promoted Whiskey Farmer appeared on several independent radio charts and the European Americana chart and received 4 star reviews.
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