Well, my new CD is nearly completed. We have 14 tracks in the can and we had a great session last week with ace guitarist / singer Mary Flower and bassist Craig Snazelle. We did three tracks live to analog tape and these are going to be highlights for sure with a Carter Family tune, a jug band track and a Jimmy Reed shuffle with Mary singing harmony (and playing some killer lap slide guitar). I plan on adding a few more tunes so look for a May or June release date. The photo above this post was taken at our recording session in February, 2018. From left to right...Craig Snazelle, Mary Flower and James Clem. Click on the About James on my home page for more photos and to hear a track from our recording session.
We are recording a new CD and we have six songs in the can so far. This is being recorded by my man Ron Rogers at his new studio to analog tape for that great organic sound that we all love. Ace stand up bass man Craig Snazelle will be on every track along with some special guests. Look for a late 2017 or early 2018 release.
I just got back from three days of playing gigs in the Bend Oregon area. I gave a ukulele workshop for the Bend Ukulele Group. This is one of the very best uke groups out there and about 150 attended the workshop on a Tuesday night!
We just posted seven new music videos on You Tube. These videos feature Craig Snazelle on stand up and electric bass. Barbara Adams also does a fine job on vocals on three songs. We will be doing putting some of these up on my website soon, but in the meantime check 'em out on You Tube. The songs are TV Mama, Low Down Dog, I Am Going To Sit Right Down And Right Myself A Letter, Wonderful World, Stealin' Stealin' and Shadow Orbit.
I just got back from a fantastic five week tour of Europe. It started playing a ukulele festival in Ireland and then some blues guitar gigs in SW England and London. It was my pleasure to play the large London Acoustic Show doing a slide guitar demo for Diamond Bottlenecks. From London, I traveled to Antwerp, Belgium for two dates and then played a great gig in Paris, France at a wonderful jazz club. If you go to YouTube put James Clem - Live In Paris in their search for a seven minute video from this. The trip concluded with two ukulele workshops for the Amsterdam Uke Club in Holland. The response from the audience at these gigs was very gratifying and every place I played was invited back. Looking forward to that. We will be posting some photos on the website here soon from the trip.
We just got back from playing Astoria Oregon last week and a three day ukulele festival in Oakridge, Oregon. That Oakridge festival is a lot of fun. Hope I can do it next year as well.
Next week I am playing the Irish Ukulele Festival near Dublin then a lot of dates in small, but cool venues. These include Belgium, France and Ireland. Keep checking my Appearances page for updates. Other news is my blues "Road's Gettin' Muddy" Cd is finally on Pandora after being approved for play quite awhile ago. Hope you can give a listen. There are some sample tracks on my website here.
Looking forward to playing the Oakridge Ukulele Festival in Oakridge, Oregon and Ireland's National Ukulele Festival in Dublin, Ireland in August. Should be fun.
I have been updating my equipment for my live gigs. Just installed Highlander Pickups in my National Tricone and National Reso-Phonic ukulele. They sound really great and I can eliminate using a microphone for these. (It was always hit or miss using a mic as it often picks up crowd in a noisy environment). Another item I like is my new Red Eye Twin pre amp. This has two inputs and an excellent tone. Looks like it is built like a tank. Really a great item!
We had a little gathering recently at Mary Flower's home as local player Stacey Heiser got a new small bodied Fraulini guitar. Mary's main guitar is a Fraulini and I love my Fraulini Angelina 12 string. The Builder Todd Cambio visited Portland last year and we had a Fraulini party at Mary Flower's with luthier Kerry Char, Tom Schwenzer and more. It was nice meeting Todd for the first time. His instruments are excellent!
The British ukulele website Uke Hunt named my Sugar Moon CD one of the runner up's for best uke CD of 2015. They called it "Old school tunes played with old school class". You can hear two complete sample tracks on this website (also two songs from my new blues guitar CD "Road's Gettin' Muddy"). Uke Hunt is the top ukulele site on the planet and very well respected so it is an honor to get a great review from them. Click on the link below to read the full article.
Hi friends, My swing / blues CD "Sugar Moon" is now being played on Pandora so give it a listen and request it. Also, my "Road's Gettin' Muddy" blues guitar CD that was released this summer has been approved for play on Pandora and should be on there soon.
Blues Notes Magazine called "Road's Gettin' Muddy" one of the best CD's of the year and the Cascade Blues Association has it in the running for the best CD by a NW Blues Artist for 2015. Both KBOO and Kink radio stations in Portland are regularly playing tracks from both my 2015 releases. Cool! You can hear some complete sample tracks on my website. Also can also hear clips on iTunes, CD Baby and buy the CD itself via mail order at CD Baby and in Portland at Music Millennium.
My new blues CD "Road's Gettin' Muddy" will be for sale on June 25. I will have it at my gigs for June 25 and June 27. It will also be available at Music Millennium in Portland and at their booth at the Waterfront Blues Festival. The CD should be up and running for downloads and CD mail order at CD Baby around the first of July. This recording was a long project, but well worth the effort as I have got some great feedback from people who have heard it. Special thanks to the great musicians who backed me and to Ron Rogers who outdid himself on the production.
Nice to be playing the huge Waterfront Blues Festival. My set is on the Front Porch stage from 12 noon to 1 pm on Thursday, July 2. Mary Flower and her band will be on the same stage later in the afternoon. Looks like a nice line up that day. This stage is the best at the festival in my opinion as it has an intimate feel that is missing from the others and even some shade (yeah!). Hope to see some of my friends there.
My new CD Sugar Moon was released a few weeks ago and we just got our first review. The Northwest magazine Blues Notes in their May, 2015 issue raved about it saying "the musicians are all sensational" and that the recording is "fun, fun, fun. Sugar Moon is a welcome refreshing breath of air." That review is coming from a hard core Blues magazine that has probably never reviewed a ukulele CD so that is very gratifying. The feedback I am getting from buyers has been very nice as many people say they listen to it over and over again and love it. Thank you!
We just finished my new blues guitar oriented CD to be titled Road's Gettin' Muddy last week and it was mastered by Kevin Nettleingham at his studio in Vancouver, WA. Kevin is the man for mastering in my opinion. This is an all analog recording. The CD came out really well and has a very tight ensemble sound to it. Many of the same great musicians as Sugar Moon. A few surprises such as an original electric slide surf instrumental. We are finishing up the art work for the CD so look for a late June release date.
I just returned from some gigs in Europe. This was going to be just a vacation but I got several offers I could not refuse. It was my pleasure to be "special guest from the USA" at the London Ukulele Cabaret in London, England in October, 2014. This event is hosted by the wonderful entertainer Tricity Vogue and is always a blast. I played there in 2013 as well. Another highlight was giving a workshop / concert in Amsterdam, Holland for the Ukulele Club of Amsterdam. It was very gratifying the response I got at those shows.
This summer I did several uke festivals including a week long workshop in the Columbia Gorge overlooking the Columbia River. Also, the Oakridge Ukulele Festival had me back this year for a three day festival that was a lot of fun. These festivals are a mix of workshops, concerts and jamming. My workshops were packed! You get to hear some excellent artists at these festivals. The act that knocked my out was Victor & Penny, a swing duo from Kansas City. Victor plays smokin' swing guitar while Penny handles most of the vocals and some solid rhythm on the ukulele. Check 'em out if you can.
Right now I am working on finishing up a new blues oriented CD and I am also starting a ukulele CD that with have an ensemble sound in the backing. I have had a lot requests for a uke CD so here it comes.
Also, check out some new videos on You Tube we just did that are getting a very good response. I just learned that my video of "Big River" finished in the top 5 in a viewers poll for best ukulele video for 2013 in the UK. Wow, that is pretty cool. Somehow, I got a pretty good following for my uke playing in England. A couple of ukulele websites...Uketoob and Ukulele Hunt regularly post my videos and that has helped a lot get my name out in Europe.
Hi friends, Welcome to our new website. This is still a work in progress so you will be seeing a lot more content in the near future. I want to thank Joshin Yamada for his invaluable help in putting this together. Thanks, Joshin!
Check out my You Tube channel for 12 new videos we posted in the last two weeks. Just put James Clem in their search.