James Alphonse
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James Alphonse

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Pop Jazz




"Live music Friday — James-Alphonse"

It is another ‘Live Music Friday’ and we welcome James-Alphonse. They are a Hamilton based group with roots in just about every musical genre. And James Gould is here to tell us all about it. - CHCH Hamilton

"Hamilton's James-Alphonse Fill Their Debut with Soulful, Laid Back Grooves"

Hamilton group James-Alphonse are off to an amazing start with their self titled album. Soulful pop with hints of jazz, blues and a touch of folk fill the recording with some wonderfully laid back grooves.

The gang manage to use just the right amount of modern sound without going the over-produced route. By rooting it in a more traditional vein, they can really offer up something unique.

James Gould of Allotrope fronts the band with James Gould (vocals, guitar), Mark Daum (lead guitar), Giordano Modesto (bass), and Wilson Northcott (Drums) creating the incredible instrumentation. Fabulous work all arround!

You can pick up this superb CD at their live shows or by contacting them at jamesalphonsemusic@gmail.com. It can be downloaded using their Bandcamp page as well. - Hamilton Blues Lovers

"James Alphonse (July 14th 2015)"

You can really tell a lot about a band by the way they conduct themselves during practice.

James Gould – a Dundas local who has played in various bands and even won a Hamilton Music Award for best new group as part of Allotrope – has now decided to spread his wings and venture off into the unknown… a solo project. On August 1st 2015, “James Alphonse” will be releasing his first solo album and is quite excited to showcase it. James Alphonse consists of James Gould (vocals, guitar), Mark Daum (lead guitar), Giordano Modesto (bass), and Wilson Northcott (Drums).

Okay, so it’s a hot, humid summer day in the middle of July and I’m making my way down Cootes towards Dundas ON to check out James Alphonse’s sound. Eventually making my way to the upstairs loft where they practice, I was instantly greeted with the band playing their rendition of Van Morrison’s Moondance – one of my favourite songs, off one of my favourite records of all time. I was instantly engaged. After warm introductions, the band got straight to business again.

The music starts and James Alphonse was lost within the sound. In between songs, each player acted as a cog in the well-oiled machine. At different points, the role of conductor was filled by the room’s various characters; there was no moving on until they collectively achieved their desired sound. Once the arrangements were solidified, they were onto the next song.

“Fill here.” “Try this…”

Contagious musical creation oozed from the loft’s walls. Everyone was building off each other, each pushing the next towards improvement. All the while however, the practice wasn’t strictly business. James Alphonse seems like a tight-knit band who truly has their hearts in the right place – each playing simply for the love of music.

The overall feel of the band is what pulled me in the most. At its root, they are a group of musically talented friends playing music exactly how music should be played – passionately in a packed, sweaty room. I even got to sing a few “Hey Ho’s” for one of their covers.

Ranging from smooth jazz to hard(er) rock, I could easily tell the group was quite musically versatile. James – who for the most part sings and strums along to the extremely talented Mark – actually rips a mean guitar solo too.

Making my way back downstairs and out to the driveway after practice came to its close, it became clear to me that James Alphonse would be a band to closely watch this upcoming fall.

Make sure to head down to Hamilton’s Stonewalls on August 1st to catch the band’s album release party for their debut record titled “James Alphonse.” Be there or be square #HamOnt.

Eric Tarquinio, TPSJ - The Paper Street Journal

"James-Alphonse spices up the indie community with suave jazz and a classy bond style"

It’s easy to find yourself entranced by James-Alphonse’s cabaret-seasoned jazz tunes. As the solo act of up-and-comer James Gould (lead singer of award-winning band Allotrope), this combination of jazz, blues and folk grew in Hamilton and is beginning to take the Canadian indie scene by storm. Raz Mataz gets James-Alphonse’s take on forging this craft – which isn’t always the go-to genre by indie bands.

Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): Indie bands tend to favour punk, pop, or rap – what made you take the jazz, blues, and folk route?

James-Alphonse: I favoured the jazz, blues and folk route because, although other genres tend to be more popular in the indie realm, these are the ones that inspire my writing the most. I’ve tried studying what sort of genres are successful but one of the most important things I heard was that, if you try to catch the tide you’ll miss it and just be hit in the back by the next. Therefore, I figured I needed to go with what makes me happy and passionate rather than what’s working. Furthermore, just to speak more towards my interests, my father used to play me folk, country and blues while my brother and I went to sleep as children. I tend to absorb styles of music and these ones are always affecting how I look at music because of the sentimental role they play in my life. And jazz… jazz is so calming… I played the barry saxophone for all of my school’s bands in high school but playing in jazz band was when I really felt alive.

RMM: Where do you generally draw your inspirations from?

JA: I generally love all music. All of the above: jazz, blues, folk, country, rock, metal, electronic music (including all the sub-genres), pop, etc. I can’t really separate myself from any of them so I’ve actually been a part of a lot of bands in the Hamilton region including: Allotrope (rock), Brannigan (ambient/alternative rock), Ash & Ember (folk/duet/acoustic), and the T-rex Cineplex (indie pop rock). If I were going to go to the times where I got into music, I would without a doubt say that Led Zeppelin was a huge inspiration. Jimmy Page never conformed to specific styles of music. He was a monster that let the emotions flow and his guitar sing. A more contemporary writer that has been influential would be John Mayer!

RMM: How do you think being from Hamilton has influenced your musical style?

JA: Hamilton has been said to be an area where people make music as genuine as they possibly can and I’d like to think that I do the same. At the end of the day, we just hope to create some easy-going homegrown fun! If people come out, laugh, sing and dance, we’ve done our job like a true Hamiltonian would.

RMM: Your distinct voice has turned some heads in the community – how did you develop its sound?

JamesAlphonse-1JA: My voice was probably developed as a youngster yelling at the top of my lungs to songs that my mom would play in the car. After hearing my cousin Stacey Eccles sing, I was inspired to make my yelling turn into singing. She was trained in more of the classical sense so I started with fairly practical goals but singers like John Mayer, Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Jack Johnson were the ones with a true hold on my heart. I didn’t want to replicate them because, well, we’ve already got them; however, using them as my teachers has been a true gift.

RMM: There’s a certain classic cabaret suaveness to some of your tunes, how did you decide on this style and shape it?

JA: Some of my favourite movies are any in the Bond series. This sort of image inspired our songwriting because we wanted to be “classy”. Additionally, as I said earlier, John Mayer, Michael Bublé and Sinatra were some of my big influences and those jazz cats are the pinnacle of suave. Hopefully we can be even an ounce of the amount of suave that those artists are. Furthermore, I was just coming from a band called Allotrope that plays some very edgy rock music. In the interest of rebranding, I wanted to make a very distinct image so that’s why our photo shoot involved suits and the amazing fashion photographer Paul Iacoviello. He just knows what’s chic!

RMM: Acoustics and traditional instruments tend to be your strong suit. Do you ever see yourself breaking out of that and experimenting with other styles?

JA: I certainly do see myself breaking that mold. I’ve already looked into dropping hooks on a hip-hop album. The tracks are on my computer, ready to go! The next steps involve looking out to more artists for collaborations. I love to work with others!

RMM: What can fans expect from you in the future? Any upcoming albums?

JA: We have already created four to five new songs that will be played live at shows! They are more reflective of a ’50s rock era but they’ll definitely have everyone up and dancing. In the winter, we’ll be looking into finishing the writing process on the production side, and spring is looking like it has potential for recording. However, each song will be regarded as a single, so unlike the 12-track debut original album, we will be putting out one track at a time starting around next summer/fall. Lastly, shows will be played all around the southern Ontario area so make sure to keep an eye on our social media pages!

You can follow James-Alphonse on his Facebook page or on Twitter @james_alphonse1. Also, check out his concert dates (below) to get a taste of his music. - RazMataz Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



James-Alphonse is a musical group that has found its beginnings just outside of the Canadian music core known as Hamilton. Many attempt to define themselves as one genre, such as blues, jazz or folk; however, the one consistent factor in each James-Alphonse song is a pinch of pop music.

 This eclectic mix of music has been fostered and developed with the help of world-renowned engineer and producer Nick Blagona. Nick Blagona has worked with popular acts, including The Police, Deep Purple, April Wine and the Beegees. Nick has since been helping the James-Alphonse project come to fruition with his sophisticated skills. 

Before this project, James had been developing his own skills and abilities  with the groups Allotrope, Ash & Ember, Brannigan and Mark of the Earth.

Within Allotrope, James was nominated for Pop Recording of the Year at the 2015
Hamilton Music Awards
as well as New Artist/Group of the Year at the 2013 Hamilton Music Awards, of which Allotrope was also the award recipient.

In previous years, Allotrope had toured Canadian university campus events, such as University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and Western and had claimed awards at each school for their awe-inspiring performances.

With James' group Ash & Ember, he has been able to reach the top 100 for CBC's nationwide competition for popular recordings. Additionally, this group climbed all the way to the semi-finals in the Western District Fairgrounds competition. Lastly, this group has managed to even win the Rising Stars competition at the Hamilton Music awards.

Now, James has been further digging into his musical roots with the groups Brannigan and Mark of the Earth in Ambient rock and jazz genres.

James-Alphonse was nominated for "Pop Recording of the Year" at the 2016 Hamilton Music Awards

Band Members