Born in the heart of the American West, Phoenix, Arizona, Pat James was only 9 years old when he had his first guitar lesson. What started out as a hobby soon became a passion. As early as 13, he knew that he might eventually be a musician, and he knew beyond any doubt that he would be a singer.
Contrary to the trend among his youthful peers, Pat was captivated by true country music. During his high school years, he took classical guitar classes and acquired the solid foundation of a good musician, although he spent much of his free time pursuing his own style of music - true country.
At a time dominated by hip hop, hard rock and rap music, Pat sang songs by Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr. His voice and style convinced even the most skeptical listener that true country music had a lot to offer, and his young friends began to appreciate it through him. As a result, he was frequently asked to sing his country songs at their parties and dances.
Chance led Pat to the stage: invited to a club by friends, they encouraged him to sing with the local band that was ignored by the club patrons. Nervously, he agreed. Soon, everyone was dancing, enthusiasm was rampant, and the crowd would not allow Pat to leave the stage. The club was so impressed that they offered Pat a permanent job, but he declined for lack of his own band. Some time later, he met a guitar player who told him about a band looking for a singer/guitar player. It was then he landed a spot with his first country band. This all new band, the Blue Spur Band, recorded a demo tape of four songs to audition with. The first club that heard the tape hired them immediately. Some of those musicians, like steel guitar player, Danny Sneed, are still with him today.
On two different occasions, Pat has been invited to Nashville to record for producers impressed by his talent. Unwilling to compromise his style, he turned down the offers he received and returned to Arizona somewhat disappointed, but with a better understanding of the Nashville music industry. Pat James is "all about" true country and western music and does not identify with the country pop sound of modern Nashville.
Inspired by the spirit of true cowboys from the past, Pat regularly competes in calf roping and gains inspiration from the lifestyles of real rodeo and ranch cowboys for his music. The warmth and clarity of his voice and the sensitivity of his interpretation not only evoke in his audience the memory of the early pioneers but also promise the wind of freedom and wide open spaces of the American West.
It's late. I was just thinking how much this album (too late, C.D.) means to me. I know cowboys ain't supposed to cry, but I can't help it. I'm here at home: just outside of Phoenix, where I grew up, thinking about where I am right now... This town has grown so much over the last few years, that it has just about lost its identity, a lot like country music. But, I meet people every night that remind me of my folks, and, my folks' folks... that remind me of the country and western way of life, about respect. About knowing who you are, and not being ashamed of it. Country music is a way of life to me, it's not a fad or fashion. I am proud of it, and always will be. It can't be discredited because my grandpa listened to it. I couldn't wait to sing a Bob Wills song for him on his eightieth birthday. Go back and listen to Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell (the list goes on and on: Buck Owens, George Jones, Merle Haggard... too many to name... Faron Young, Webb Pierce) album (not too late), and tell me they're not true artists. They had to sing those songs all the way through right. And, they did! (damn it!) I know there are a lot of people here in Arizona, and all over this country (even one professional basketball player I know) who still think this way. Who don't look to "down state" New York and southern California for daily direction. These are the people I dedicate this "C.D." to. Y'all weren't ashamed to wear your cowboy hats or boots to school, and I hope you'll appreciate a guy trying to keep Country AND Western music alive.
- Pat James
Pat James has been featured on various TV Shows, including Good Morning Arizona, and has opened for such acts as Doug Supernaw and Asleep At The Wheel. Other performers have joined Pat on stage from time to time, including Lou Rawls and members of The Sons of the San Joaquin. On an unexpected visit shortly before his death, even Waylon himself could not help but smile and nod his approval at Pat’s rendition of "Good Hearted Woman."
Out of state performances include shows in Fort Worth, Texas at the famed White Elephant Saloon and the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In 2004 and 2005, Pat has been the headliner of many festivals in Europe, such as the 2004 International Country Music Festival of Berck-sur-Mer in France on the 4th of July, the 2005 Country Music Festival of Disneyland-Paris in April, the 2005 Festival Off of Printemps de Bourges in France, the 14th Correggio Country Music Festival in Italy, Sur la Route de Tullins Festival in France and the Euroteam Country Music Festival in Luxembourg. He also performed at the Planet Hollywood in Paris, France, and in Amarillo, Texas at the 2004 & 2005 Coors Cowboy Roundup Rodeo Ranch and at Grahams Central Station.
Pat has been voted The Best Country & Western Saloon Vocalist by the True West Magazine staff and readers in the "2003 Best of the West" special issue. He also has been voted the Best Western Singer by The High Sonoran Style Magazine staff and readers.
In March 2005, he released his second CD "It’s My Life", recorded and mixed at Chaton Studio in Phoenix by Otto D’Agnolo, Emmy award winning producer/engineer/writer.
In December 2005, "The Rep's Best", the Arizona Republic annual guide to the best of the Valley, has voted Pat James and his band "The 2005 Best Country Band "