Gabrial James
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Gabrial James

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States | SELF

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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



"Local Music Review - Gabrial James"

"Around the Block," 12 tracks of West Michigan flavored, guitar-centric, acoustic tunes by well known Grand Rapids musician Gabrial James. Clean recordings of strongly written songs performed on acoustic guitar, mandolin, double bass, and even a little violin contribute to this solid album. This album is a good example of what music in West Michigan is all about. Recorded between September 2009 and July 2010 in Caledonia, MI Best Track: Track 4, "Little Things." Tracks on the FCC Naughty List: Track 3, "Here’s The News." Other points of interest: Grand Rapids singer Karisa Wilson contributes violin and backing vocals on this disc, track 4, "Little Things" uses a similar progression to Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry", Gabrial James attended Saint Cecilia Music Society Chorale from 1985-1989. Who would like this disc: Local songwriters looking for a good example of how to write a solid song. Fans of the "open mic" & "coffee house" acoustic sounds. - Scott Warren - The Rapidian

"Unsigned Artists - September 2010"

Acoustic singer/songwriter Gabrial James, along with his army of Martin and Gibson guitars, has put together 12 of his best songs, lovingly recorded in Caledonia by Greg Vulcan, who also appears playing mandolin and double bass on the album. The songs are varied and easy to listen to, played with sensitivity to dynamics and rhythmic variation, unlike a lot of ham-fisted acoustic singer/songwriters who lack dexterity on their instruments. The arrangements are delicately layered and never gratuitous. As an extra bonus, Karisa Wilson joins in on backup vocals and some sweetly played violin. Go to for a listen. - Ryan Cunningham - Recoil Magazine

"Local Spins of the Week - 8/27/2010"

Gabrial James, another Grand Rapids singer-songwriter who's championed the local music scene, releases his "Around the Block" CD in a show at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Billy's Lounge, 1437 Wealthy St. SE, where James has long hosted open-mic nights.

The album represents an impressive collection of insightful, well-performed, well-sung tunes, with Karisa Wilson on violin and backing vocals and Greg Vulcan on mandolin and double bass.

- John Sinkevics - The Grand Rapids Press

"HomeGRown Reviews"

A few songs into Gabrial James' smooth, acoustic, folk-pop set, it became clear to me that, whether playing to an audience of ten people or to 10,000, he would put the same passion and energy into his performance. James was as engaged with the audience as he was with his music. His somewhat melancholy voice had a certain distant quality to it, and though commanding, it was not forceful. (This is a good thing in my book.) I believe it was the song "Road Ahead," that caused a few faces in the crowd to really perk up and take notice. James conveyed emotion without sounding maudlin. His musical stylings gave a nod to the singer/songwriter explosion of the seventies, and at times, he had a good Cat Stevens thing going.

Though influenced by such acts, James strives to develop his own sound and his own brand. "I've been playing for over 15 years, and playing [shows] for about 6 years," he said. James hopes to keep on playing for as long as he is able, and even though the future is never certain, one can be assured that, whatever the crowd size, James will always give them his best.

~Written by Robert Sullivan, Revue Magazine~

~May 2008 Edition~ - Revue Magazine

"Open Mic Host 4 Years Running"

By the time "Open Mic Night" host-performer Gabrial James Lundy shut things down 4 1/2 hours later, 14 artists or bands had taken the stage and more than 300 people had passed through the doors on a Monday night.

"I do have my regulars, but every week, I get three or four new acts," Lundy said. "I have everything from acoustic to hip hop. There was a rock band last night. I’ve had poetry, stand up comedy, and a cappella."

Some seem remarkably comfortable in the spotlight; others try to contain their nervous energy but stumble over chords and lyrics. "That’s the nature of open mic," said Lundy, 32, a guitarist and singer who’s hosted the Billy’s sessions for four years. "I like to see this as a springboard for those folks ... and give them a sense of pride."

It’s a unique entertainment option, a rare opportunity to see emerging talent at its core -- raw, exposed, sincere. And open mic opportunities abound: Mondays at Billy’s with host Gabrial James, Tuesdays at Founders with hosts Justin Golinski & Jason Heystek; J. Gardellas Tavern with Happy Hour, and Rocky’s Bar & Grille with host Karisa Wilson, Wednesdays at Jukes with rotating hosts Ryan K. Wilson and Gabrial James, Thursdays at The Sazerac Lounge with host Benjamin Hunter, Fridays at Quinn and Tuite’s Irish Pub with host Craig VanOtteren, and Sundays at the Monarchs’ Club with host Everett; Louie’s Bar & Rocket Lounge with host Curt Hines. The singers and musicians often play to fickle crowds that seem as though they’re scarcely paying attention, but then respond with clapping and a few cheers. If fame is fleeting, it’s barely a blink of the eye for most open mic performers.

- The Grand Rapids Press

"Lansing, MI Pride Festival Weekend"

Back at the park, the music and open air bar will start at 2:30 p.m. Performers include R&B guitarist Nedra Johnson; Irish folk rockers The Lash; hard rock band Sex & Patriotism; blues group Cherri and the Violators; electric group the Fundamentalists; and Gabrial James.

James, a Grand Rapids native, said he got involved with the Pride Festival when an old high school friend working on booking the shows asked him to play. Since he’d done a Pride weekend at Western Michigan University a few years ago, he was happy to join the lineup.

"I had a really good time in Kalamazoo," he said. "I just love performing to anyone who would listen.

James has an acoustic sound he likens to David Gray, Ryan Adams, Damien Rice, and Jeff Tweedy.
- The Lansing State Journal


Around the Block - 2010



Gabrial James Lundy is an acoustic singer/songwriter from Grand Rapids, MI. He has been playing the guitar since the age of fourteen and singing since the age of eight. His father Charles Robert taught him how to play the guitar, and had his formal vocal training in the Saint Cecilia Music Society Chorale from 1985-1989. Gabrial started writing songs at the age of sixteen with his first band Corduroy Kelley, which was heavily influenced by the early 90's British shoegaze bands like Catherine Wheel, Ride, Swervedriver, Slowdive, and Lush. Corduroy Kelley went their separate ways and Gabrial went back to his acoustic roots and started to hit the local open mic circuits heavily. In the summer of 2003, Gabrial was invited to be the host/emcee of the acoustic open mic showcase at Billy's Lounge in Eastown, one of the finest venues for local music and blues in GR. For seven long years his tenure as host brought in a wide range of regional, national, and international talent from solo singer/songwriters to hip-hop outfits to stand-up comedy.

Gabrial also sings background vocals with the urban folk outfit of LVNMUZIQ.

James blends several genres of music into his own unique style. You will hear americana, a bit of bluegrass, melodic alternative, and folk. Gabrial has an amazingly dynamic vocal range that mostly focuses on the higher end with magnificant delivery and control.