Colin James released his self-titled album in 1988. He was 24 years old: an old soul in a young man's body. With tracks like “Voodoo Thing,” “Why’d you Lie” and “Five Long Years.” It became the fastest-selling debut album in Canadian history and won James his first Juno.
Skip ahead 25 years (and 15 albums), the Regina-born bluesman (who plays a lot more than the blues) has more than confirmed that early promise.
His passion for music started early. Under that big prairie sky, the young Colin James Munn was was fed a steady stream of rock and jazz, folk and blues. It wasn't long before he was performing himself. A set with his early band, The Hoodoo Men, happened to find the ears of guitar-legend Stevie Ray Vaughan.
That lucky break was a turning point in his career and life.
Vaughan took the young Canadian on tour, acting as his mentor. James became an instant rock hero in Canada, known as “that kid Stevie Ray Vaughan is talking about.”
James made some daring career choices since that first rush of success. Instead of sticking close to his rock roots, he ventured into pop music, blues, and all-acoustic albums. He even led a swing revival with releases as Colin James and the Little Big Band, which he fronted and produced. He now has 15 recordings, six Junos, plus a staggering 16 Maple Blues Awards.
You can hear about it from his perspective on this week's My Playlist, our final show in honour of Guitar Month on CBC Music.
Listen to Inside the Music by clicking the play button and via Radio on Sunday 3 p.m. (3:30 NT) and Radio One on Sunday at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)
Below find Colin's My Playlist picks with links to iTunes:
"Tupelo" Honey Van Morrison
"St. Christopher" Pied Pear
"Like a Rolling Stone" Bob Dylan
"Stones in My Passway" Robert Johnson
"Ooh Baby" Fleetwood Mac
"Heaven Knows Your Name" Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
"Your Funeral and My Trial" John Hammond Jr.
"Get Yourself a New Broom" Original Sloth Band
"Lenny" Stevie Ray Vaughan
"The Maker" Daniel Lanois
Colin James Up Close
Stevie Ray Vaughan introduces Colin James in 1984
Colin James, Keith Hallett and Garrett Mason: a veteran and two rising stars
on Nov 23, 2012