Deep and Raw Folkblues: Shawn James and the Shapeshifters
Born on the south side of Chicago in 1986, singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist, Shawn James had a kind, hardworking Mother and a gambling, drunk and often abusive Father. Unlike most of the blues musicians on this website Shawn James started his life in Chicago and moved to the south later in life. This folk bluesman is recognizable for his deep, raw and soulful singing. Y´all should see this young musician play with his backing band the ShapeShifters
Soulful singing of the Blues
While young in age Shawn James brings a whole lot of soul into his songs. James music isn’t limited to one genre, you will hear almost every instrument used in the roots music around. He explains that “his conflicted home life can still be heard in his music which can be full of contrasts — dark and light, anger and joy, earthy and airborne – while remaining gritty and real”.
James learned to sing with soul in church growing up. The Gospel singing style now seems to be a perfect combination for his music, his voice digs deeper through you vains than a harmonica swing like in the song ‘Who Did That To You’.
Shawn James – Shadows
Moving to Arkansas, starting a band
After playing in bands since the age of sixteen, Shawn moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas in January 2012. Attracted to the beauty of the natural state and even more impressed by Fayetteville’s diverse and thriving music scene, he began performing every chance he got.
Hard driving Folk Blues
Wherever Shawn James performs there is one thing sure: his inimitable voice and hard-driving folk/soul/blues hybrid are made for a performance you wouldn’t soon forget, if it is on the street, in a bar or at a house party.
Besides the great vocals of this bluesman you will notices creative musical compositions. It is the result of the use of multiple instruments like the Banjo. The Mandolin, The creative rhythm section and groovy guitar and piano. At the peak of a individual song this music rolls over you like a raging bull, and leaves you to heal the wounds in silence.
Covers of the blues and gospel
A great extra is the covers album that James recorded with songs like the Gospel traditional “John The Revelator” and “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”. Over the Last few years James and the Shapeshifters released a great triology album set called “The Bear”, “The Hawk” and “The Wolf”. Especially “Scapter II: Hunger” is what everybody would call a Hit!