Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Teresa James
Teresa James was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she was introduced to music at an early age by her father and grandfather, both guitar players in the old tradition. She started playing piano at five and hasn’t stopped since. Teresa has been called a singer’s singer by many. (When the SAG Singer’s Committee got together to honor composer Randy Newman, Teresa was chosen as the soloist to perform his favorite song to him.) She has recorded with Tommy Castro, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis, Randy Newman, Lee Roy Parnell, Neil Diamond, Walter Trout, Stephen Bruton, JP Soars and many others. She has performed live with lots of other artists, including: Levon Helm, Eric Burdon, Delbert McClinton, Marcia Ball, and Doyle Bramhall, Jr. to mention just a few.
Teresa and her band, the Rhythm Tramps, are a Los Angeles based act made up of players that have either played or recorded with such artists as Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy Reed, Lightin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Vaughan, Allen Toussaint, B.B. King, Johnny Nash, Dixie Chicks, Jennifer Warnes, Smokey Robinson, Tom Jones, Tower Of Power, just to name a few and have had their songs recorded by Paul Rodgers, Eric Burdon, Bill Medley, Tommy Castro, Marcia Ball, Janiva Magness and others. As one critic said, “there are no clichés in this band.” They move easily through Texas style grease and blues into Memphis soul or New Orleans flavored grooves and all points in between with fun and abandonment.
She was nominated by the Blues Foundation in 2008 for “Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year.” Teresa’s last two releases have both earned 4 Star Review in DownBeat and two of her previous CDs have been awarded Independent Music Awards for blues by popular vote.
Teresa and the band have toured all over North America and Europe and have played such music festivals as Notodden in Norway, Moulin Osprey in Holland, Tampa Blues Festival, Main St Arts Festival in Ft. Worth, TX, Portland’s Waterfront Festival and she has been one of the featured acts on Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beaches Cruise for the past 16 years.
Their previous studio album, “Here In Babylon,” gained a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. And, recently, their song, ‘Forgetting You,’ received second-place honors in the 2019 Unsigned Only blues category.