About James J
I grew up in Upstate New York near the shores of Lake Ontario, subject to lake-effect winter storms that could move in suddenly and bury a car until springtime or cost the unprepared their life.
My life reflected the turmoil of Upstate New York weather.
I worked everywhere from a water-driven sawmill in northern Maine, to churning out verbiage for a Madison Avenue publishing company. I drank too much of what came my way, from “Mad Dog” (Mogen David) 20/20 with a rough crew, some of them headed for county jails, to French Bordeaux with students at a fine university, some destined for distinguished academic careers.
I attended many meetings in church basements, inspired by a chance meeting between a washed-up stockbroker who lost everything in the 1929 Crash and a surgeon with shaky hands who could barely operate. One floor up from those church basements, I learned about the love of God and was surprised when ancient tongues and word I did not know spilled from my mouth. In all, these songs are outposts along the broken but miraculous journey that has brought me to wholeness and health.
– God Bless, James J.
It was shortly after a serious brain surgery that the voices came back to me about this collection of songs that had been shelved for half a decade due to disillusionment with the music industry.
People who had cared deeply about music advised me, “It’s important that the world hear these songs.” Their refrain came to me amidst the clatter and unearthly silence of the intensive care unit, and I became determined to undertake the challenge – to put these songs out. As I struggled to learn to walk again, the resolve only strengthened to put aside the initiative-squashing scale of risk and reward, and this CD is the result of this resolve. I decided to light a small fire and send a few embers up into the night sky and see where they may land or take hold – hoping they could possibly bring some light to someone huddling in the dark.