James Katz Bio
James Katz; founder, front man, and songwriter of NYC's legendary "Choosy Mothers", released his long awaited debut solo album “glow” in 2005. “glow” receives continuous acclaim from New York’s underground music scene and from top music websites around the world.
James recruited some of NYC's best musicians to help craft the next incarnation of his signature sound. “glow” represented a musical shift for James from the improv based funky style that defined the Choosy Mothers sound to the more edgy, moody and passionate emotions that drives his new sound.
In the mid 90's there was a burgeoning 'original and unsigned' music scene in NYC. One of the few bands to actually make a living at it was "Choosy Mothers".
With an infectious amalgamation of styles subtly blended through song craft and improvisation, "The Mothers" packed houses at national level venues like Wetlands, New Music Cafe, and Tramps while holding down a 3 set weekly residency at Greenwich Village’s legendary Mondo Cane. The band averaged over 2 gigs per week in Manhattan alone during its 6-year tour of duty.
“Choosy Mothers was a product of the era, or at least the product of what I listened to growing up. My older sibling pumped all this Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, old school R&B, and The Police. All this funky music pumped into this little white boy...my dad is an amazing jazz pianist, so I got a lot of that at home too...that definitely had a lot to do with my writing style during the Mothers years, and is still influential on my sound today...” says Katz.
Sharing the stage with artists like Dave Matthew's Band, Third Eye Blind, Jeff Buckley, and the Spin Doctors enabled Choosy Mothers to sell over 15,000 albums between sets with no marketing or label support.
“It's clearly time to move on when you’re not growing anymore. So what I wanted to do was record the beginnings of the stuff I had been writing that didn't quite make sense in the context of the Mothers...more acoustic stuff at first and some heavier rock sounds that I’d been coming back to in my mind,” says Katz.
While focusing much of his efforts on studio production, writing, producing and engineering albums for other artists, Katz also began working on his own new material.
“Glow was supposed to be just a 3 song demo. [laughs] but then I started working on it...We started getting a really thick and juicy sound in rehearsals, so things just started flowing from there... If I had had such a clear plan of what I was going to do in the studio, and I forced myself strictly to implement it, I wouldn’t have a record,” says Katz.
The result is a fresh new sound that covers a lot of ground and yet remains cohesive and unmistakably James Katz.
On the audio production side, James has recently worked as a producer, audio mixer, sound designer and music consultant for many artists and entities including PBS, Zoomari Films, Warner Brothers, and 'Erasure'. Katz acted as music consultant, guitar double and 'band coach' on the set of the film 'August Rush' starring Johnathan Rhys Meyers, Robin Williams and Kerri Russel.
James will be releasing his second album 'into the bright white light' (recorded live at Arlene's Grocery, NYC) in early 2008. 'into the bright white light' will feature 11 smoldering tracks that crackle with the energy that can only be found in a great live performance.
“My songs can be pretty dark at times, everyone has a dark side... I think for some people my songs can put a face on that dark side and paint it in a way that it’s not so horrible. There’s no such thing as hopelessness and even though things are seemingly insurmountable there’s always going to be a way to move forward.... When people listen to my music, I don’t want them to hear just the individuals playing instruments, I want them to hear the songs and the soundscapes as a whole. I want to choke you up, make you feel.”
- James has sold over 15,000 albums with no marketing or label support
- 'glow' has produced 4 #1 songs on Broadjam.com
- ‘glow’ has received 20 chart awards and more than 100 "Reviewer's Picks" awards from Garageband.com
- All 6 songs submitted have made it to the top 20 on GarageBand.com charts (4 in the top 10 including 'she's having a bender' which spent 5 months at #1.
- Songs from 'glow' are featured in countless podcasts around the world.
" If I was stuck on a desert island . . . and could have only one mixed tape, 4 or 5 songs would have to be from 'glow' . . ."
- Matt Johnson, drummer (John Mayer, Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright)
" James Katz is a truly great songwriter/musician. He is equally adept at crafting meaningful, thought provoking lyrics ... as sublime and memorable melodies. Having been a fan for a while, I've heard his music evolve and flourish here in NYC and "glow" is James' crowning achievement. This is the CD to enlighten countless as to what many all ready know, that James Katz is one of today's most vital artists."
- Matt Beck, guitarist/keyboardist (Matchbox 20, Rob Thomas)
" James Katz is no secret around the New York scene...how many singers do you know who can burn a track with chops, emotion, and balls and still rap a fuckin’ shit storm in the same song? ...While running from the apocalypse in his dream, Katz tripped on some of the freshest shit to come out of the Lower East Side in years..."
- Ric Molina, guitarist (Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson)
solo acoustic, acoustic duo/trio with bass/drums.
or full electric band:
James Katz - voc, guitar.
Matt Johnson - drums, voc (Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, John Mayer)
Matt Beck - guitar, voc (Rob Thomas, Rod Stuart, Matchbox 20)
Nicholas D'Amato - bass
2007 - into the bright white light
2005 - glow
Glow is a sensational work...
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.....Glow is a sensational work, and I am honored to be able to offer you a glimpse. The production ........Glow is a sensational work, and I am honored to be able to offer you a glimpse. The production of this CD, also done by James Katz , is remarkable, one of the cleanest sounding indie CDs I have heard in quite some time. James Katz vocals are fresh and memorable as he flows through each track with finesse. From the intro of “The Disney Song” to the last note of “The Ballad Of Evel”, James Katz has offered up a winner for our listening pleaseure.
A bit of alternative with a modern rock hook, Glow is one CD that... has to find it’s way into my CD player more often. It’s edgy sound is a sort of a cross between the Spin Doctors and Jimmy Eat World, with a pinch of Morrissey and Americana topped with some Alt. Country. This CD is custom made for airplay. Great disk!
James Katz is one of today's most vital artists.
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"James Katz is a truly great songwriter/musician. He is equally adept at crafting meaningful, though..."James Katz is a truly great songwriter/musician. He is equally adept at crafting meaningful, thought provoking lyrics ... as sublime and memorable melodies.
Having been a fan for a while, I've heard his music evolve and flourish here in N.Y.C. and "Glow" is James' crowning achievement.
This is the CD to enlighten countless as to what many all ready know, that James Katz is one of today's most vital artists.
- Matt Beck
(Matchbox 20, Lisa Loeb, 'Rent')
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"...Mr. Katz shows his prowess on both sides of the mixing board in delivering a high quality, eclec..."...Mr. Katz shows his prowess on both sides of the mixing board in delivering a high quality, eclectic mix of songs on his latest CD titled Glow. Alternative rock, pop, blues and jazz are all well within the reach of this talented musician. So strap on your portable music player and get ready for a nice ride through the sonic countryside..."
AWESOME SHIT! Made my hair stand and it definitely hit me....
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Very original sound. Definitely a band I want to keep my eye on. Great Vocal effects. This (glow) is...Very original sound. Definitely a band I want to keep my eye on. Great Vocal effects. This (glow) is definitely one of those songs that makes my hair stand. Really powerful and emotional. I would definitely love to see this band in concert and I would gladly pay $13 for a copy of the CD.
Very inspiring down to every second! This is by far one of the best songs I've heard. I would not be surprised if this band is already signed. Hopefully you guys don't forget your fans because you just made a loyal one out of me! =) Good luck guys, looking forward to hearing more of your music and seeing you guys out at a live show!
San Diego, California
April 27th, 2004
Rock With An Edge and Strong Voice Soaked With Potential
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I love music like this. I love the full, rich, piercing wall of rock that just smacks the listener r...I love music like this. I love the full, rich, piercing wall of rock that just smacks the listener right upside the head.
The vocals are powerful and well produced and the drums are thrashing in the way that a rock song should....I believe that you could really make a splash in the modern scene........
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Ah Yeah! wow, this is fantastic, amazing sound, magic lyrics, groove on, brilliant musicians, gorgeo...Ah Yeah! wow, this is fantastic, amazing sound, magic lyrics, groove on, brilliant musicians, gorgeous vocals, awesome production, damn this is just a must listen, like a stronger version of the wondermints, with some Lenny Kravitz for measure...
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Tight and raw with nary a flaw. This is heartbreakingly beautiful! I think the production is so wond...Tight and raw with nary a flaw. This is heartbreakingly beautiful! I think the production is so wonderfully human that I would never touch it again.
unclepetey from East Islip, NY
Songwriting Clinic served up in 3:26
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This is simply some of the best and most mature songcrafting I've heard in a while. Damn, brother, t...This is simply some of the best and most mature songcrafting I've heard in a while. Damn, brother, this song is righteous. I hear influences from all the greats -- except with a totally fresh approach. The acoustic guitars parts are seated neatly into the mix -- great written part. Vox reminds me of Vertical Horizon -- Drums and Bass work so well together creating a tight pocket. I love the tone and power of the crunch guitar on the chorus (nice tremelo at the end). So many of today's bands could learn dynamics from this band. And, your lyrics ... speachless. Kudos. If this band doesn't get major industry acclaim -- then I quit.
DirtyHelen from Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
Sheer raw power
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A great song, different in all ways from the stuff that's out there right now. After the intro all h...A great song, different in all ways from the stuff that's out there right now. After the intro all hell breaks loose. This is a great record!!! Period!!!
Newport News, Virginia
"If I was stuck on a desert Island . . .
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... and could have only one mixed tape, 4 or 5 songs would have to be from 'glow'. . ." - Matt Jo...... and could have only one mixed tape, 4 or 5 songs would have to be from 'glow'. . ."
- Matt Johnson
(John Mayer, Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright)
the cherry tree
she's having a bender
big brother (stevie wonder cover)
tomorrow never knows (beatles cover)
the ballad of Evel
the disney song
walking in your footsteps (police cover)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.