Colby James
Gig Seeker Pro

Colby James


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Singer-songwriters to keep an eye on"

Okee dokee folks… the world of the young singer-songwriters…those under 30.
These are some of the folks who are, or will be, the recognized names on the local circuit. Some of them may already be familiar to you, some not. Either way, I hope that you will check them.
I think young singer-songwriters have it a bit (ok, maybe a lot) easier these days than even 15 or so years ago. The Internet and computers have made getting music out there much easier. When I first started, I had no clue what to do, where to play or who to talk to about it. Now, you can do a quick search on the Internet and find it all. If you want your music out there, you upload it to your website or Myspace where anyone in the world can hear it or download to their iPod. No more LPs or cassettes to lug to gigs and sell. Hell, CDs are even becoming obsolete. When you want to announce a gig, you can send an announcement to your entire mailing list in seconds. No late nights at the copy store making postcards, no postage fees, no need to label the hundreds of these cards and then run back out to the post office to get them in the mail in time. As easy as it is today, it still takes a lot of energy and drive for singer-songwriters to get themselves known. And, of course, it takes talent. Though some folks do get better as they get older. Remember Johnny Cash? Being a real, hard working singer-songwriter is for the young. These are the young singer-songwriters to watch (in random order). They all have recordings and websites to augment what is written below. Read on…

Colby James

Colby is 25 years old and from Bristol. He first started to get serious with his music around 1998 when he picked up the guitar and had a vision. He has recorded two CDs with his band Rune: Hadrian's Wall and Live at The Area. In Colby's own words, “I notice an old ’70s style Applause guitar that belonged to my Dad, leaning against my couch. I pick it up and start strumming. Just the right hand playing and my left is not quite there yet. But little did I know that I was getting all the rhythm down. So here I am, all rhythm, no technique. My Dad gets me some lessons at E.U. Wurlitzer, I get the basic chords down and in three weeks, I'm done.”To find out more about Colby go to: or - John Fuzek, Motif Magazine

"Turning Up The Volume On Colby James"

A musician with a soulful R&B sound, James notes that his list of venues continues to grow, from New York's CBGB to New Benford's Catwalk.

Colby James leads a double life. The
25-year-old Bristol, Rhode Island, native can most often be found underneath the hood of a car
at his family-owned auto body shop
in East Providence; but underneath
that mechanic’s uniform lurks a
talented musician just waiting
to break out. “When I work on a
car, nobody really claps for me,”
James says, laughing. “But people
appreciate me when I play music.”
On a whim, at 16, James picked
up his father’s guitar and began to
play. Seeing
his interest, his father gave James
lessons on basic chords. Soon he
was playing with local kids, and
eventually landed his first paying
gig. And just how was it playing for
a live audience?
“It was horrible,” James recalls.
“They paid us 15 bucks for the show,
and the money had to be split four
ways. We ate off the dollar menu.”
James kept working, and about
five years ago his brother-in-law
helped him land a gig at Judge Roy
Bean in Bristol as an opening act
on karaoke night.
“I was under 21 and I had to lie
about my age to get in,” James says.
“When I got down there, there was
a really good crowd doing karaoke.
It was kind of funny, opening up for
karaoke. I’m not sure if that’s ever
been done before.”
Thinking he was only going to
play a few songs, the response from
the crowd kept James playing.
“We had a lot of people sitting
there, waiting to sing karaoke,” he
says, “but they wanted me to keep
playing, which was really great.”
That night launched a weekly gig
that lasted five years, until James
was bumped to Wednesday nights
as a featured artist. A musician with
a soulful R&B sound, James notes
that his list of venues continues
to grow, from New York’s CBGB to
New Bedford’s Catwalk. He has a
few particular favorites and one
hilarious story of a gig at a nudist
colony in Pennsylvania.
“We thought we were in for a
treat,” he says of the five-hour drive,
“but it was bad. It was for 85-yearold
people, and we had to play for
three hours in front of them. We
were trying to make all the songs a
little bit slower so they wouldn’t be
dancing as much.”
James has also attached his
musical skills to the local band
Rune. The band was signed with a
label for a while, but “it was a really
bad experience,” admits James. So
right now they’re just looking to
see what happens. “Maybe we’ll be
in the right place at the right time.
“The thing with the band is,
we’ve played all over the place in
unbelievable venues,” James says,
adding that getting the group
together while maintaining their
day jobs has been a struggle.
As a soloist, James just recently
recorded an as-yet-untitled CD. He
usually just sits down with a guitar,
working on a melody and then
adding lyrics.
“My lyrics kind of vary, depending
on what’s going on. I try not to get
too personal,” James says. But for
his newly recorded album, one
of his inspirations was his live-in
girlfriend. “There’s one song that
I wrote, called ‘Carrie’s Song,’ and
it’s about my girlfriend. That’s my
favorite song on the CD. I wrote it
as a tribute to her, and she loves
it. She wants me to play it all the
As for his future in music, James
is optimistic. “For me, I just really
love playing. If I can play out three
nights a week, that’s a good fit for
me. If anything else comes along,
then so be it.”
In addition to playing every
Wednesday night at Judge Roy Bean
as a featured artist, James continues
a monthly rotation at other area
venues. Next year, his band, Rune,
has some venues in Florida already
booked, and he hopes to be there
for the infamous spring break, when
audience members should have at least some of their cloths on. - SoCo Magazine

"Fledgling Fusion Band has Funk-Celtic Flare"

Take, for instance, the disc's opening track, "Regatta." James, a Providence-born singer-songwriter and self-taught ax-player, puts on his bee-bop hat and sings "so get brave on me now." And Rune has every reason to get brave now. With an original repertoire including mellow groove tunes such as "Slow Down" the sky seems the limit, should they keep the pro-power brokers at Allikats steering the ship. "Slow Down," though benefiting from a strong injection of Celtic fiddle, has an undercurrent of jazz beckoning. If "Regatta" reminds of an Addison Groove Project song, the Boston-based sax-driven Funk band that periodically packs Lupo's as the Strand, then "Slow Down" has an early G. Love and Special Sauce flavor. Playing a lot of Celtic fiddle helps Rune secure festival gigs, but the Funk-Fusion, style and willingness to mix it up, makes Rune a rising talent on the area music circuit.
- MOTIF, Jim Vickers, Editor

"Martha's Vineyard Hooked on RUNE"

"Rune is a great band both live and on record! It's no wonder that we get calls here at mvy from people who have seen them once and are hooked!"
- Barbara Dacey, 92.7 FM WMVY Radio


Along with my good friends from RUNE we have released two CD's. Hadrian's Wall and Live @ The Area. On Thursday October 25, 2007 I did a live recording for my next cd. " Live at Stella Blues" There will be more info to follow.



So it’s the summer of 1998 and I’m sitting around the house while all my friends have plans. I notice an old 70’s style applause guitar that belonged to my dad, leaning against my couch. I pick it up and start strumming. Just the right hand playing and my left, is not quite there yet. But little did I know that I was getting all the rhythm down. So here I am all rhythm, no technique. My dad gets me some lessons at E.U. Wurlitzer, I get the basic chords down and in three weeks, I’m done!

My brother in-law is hosting Karaoke Night at Judge Roy Bean on Sunday. He calls me up and says, “Bring your guitar and play for an hour or so”. So, I did! Not knowing what to expect, I get up on stage, plug in my guitar, and do my first mic check. My first song is about four minutes long, I hit the last chord and hear people clap. I’ve been addicted ever since. Shortly after a few Sundays with Sean, Judge Roy Bean asks me to run an “Open Mic Night” on Tuesdays. I agree and run it for about five years.

I’m at this one in particular Open Mic Night, this girl (Heather Church) comes up to me and says “My band just broke up tonight, and I think you sound great, would you like to play with a violinist”? In my head I’m thinking, a girl wants to jam with me?? I say, sure! At the time I was playing with my friends, Andy Tarter (Drums) and Neil Colman (Bass) and I set up a practice on the third floor of the Bean. This is the birth of Rune.

Rune has been playing now for about 5 years. I’m still doing my acoustic thing with a few friends to play along. I’ve played on some of the greatest stages and played some of the greatest dive bars on the east coast. I’m still addicted!

My influences include, but are not limited to, The Band, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, Stevie Wonder, Martin Sexton, Dispatch, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Tom Waits.