James Arlowe and the Primal Daze

James Arlowe and the Primal Daze

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Alternative Rock




"Episode 53: James Arlowe: Musician, Poet, Sculptor, Painter."

Click Link For Interview - Sean Knese


I’m always interested in the anatomy of a song. What is the exact process between hearing a track for the first time and it becoming one of your favourite songs ever, one that you play over and over again until the day when you can go two minutes, a couple of hours and finally a day without hearing it? A song can be like an addiction and I’d love to understand the moment when you go from healthy to afflicted.

With some tracks it is almost instantaneous. There I was, minding my own business with George Ezra’s album Wanted On Voyage playing in the background when “Did You Hear the Rain?” came on and suddenly I was paying attention. I played it again, then once more and finally put it on repeat. It was clear that I wasn’t going to listen to anything else that afternoon.

Am I surprised that I’ve fallen in love? No, my playlist these days is full of blues and folk rock and is dominated by Tom Odell, James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus, Qiet and Mumford and Sons. George Ezra might be only 21 but his brand of folky blues rock is right up my alley.

Still, that doesn't help me now as I go down the rabbit hole of a song obsession. Let me share my obsession with you! - Mandy Southgate/Addicted To Media

"Rick Barry & Co. Played The Saint, Covered The Smiths, With Red Wanting Blue, James Arlowe & The Ruffian Circus"

The Ohio by way New Jersey-based Americana-Rock collective, Red Wanting Blue, returned to Asbury Park on Saturday evening to its favorite seaside haunt, The Saint, performing a captivating set that ran well into Sunday morning and spanned the outfit’s vast catalogue (seven full-length releases in the past 12 years) including a number of tunes from the group’s 2012 collection, From The Vanishing Point, which dropped on January 6th, including such numbers as the band’s ode to blow, “Cocaine,” and the record’s lead single “Audition,” which you can download below:

Joining Red Wanting Blue was Rick Barry & The New Rick Barry’s, an All-Star band of sorts that would never take credit for being named such a supergroup, fronted by the aforementioned penman of SIMGE’s Best song of 2011 (“Annie In Stereo”), who was supported by Keith McCarthy (Asbury Blues) on lead guitar and lap steel, Justin Borneman (No Wine For Kittens) on Bass, Andy Bova (No Wine For Kittens) on the throne, and Sally Boyd on keys.

The outfit opened with a blank stare as members of the congregation at the foot of the stage attempted to coach the rowdiest and most boisterous of the venue patrons on proper etiquette when attending a Rick Barry-fronted musical showcase with a series of hisses and shouts of “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” But to little avail, as most of the prodding fell on buzzed and disorderly ears.

Barry and friends eventually ran through a seven song-set riddled with cuts from the songwriter’s 2006 sophomore full-length release, Declaration Of Codependence, including such tunes as “Recondite Recollection,” “Vixen,” and “Necessary Sonnet,” the latter going out to the late Whitney Houston, which the penman prefaced with a humorous warning of the driest manor to the raucous assemblage proclaiming “This whole song is a moment of silence to Whitney. If you talk during this song that means you hate her and you’re glad she’s dead.” And, apparently, many of the show goers on hand didn’t care for The Bodyguard.

Performed alongside those selections was Barry’s sullen and melodious 2011 single “A Cautionary Tale,” and an impressive rendition of The Smiths “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” which you can see below:

Come out to The Saint on March 18th with to see Barry alongside the Thunder Mountain Band, Outside The Box, and Arlan Feiles for the Songs For A Cure Showcase, a benefit for the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University.

Photo C. Rotolo (James Arlowe @ The Saint)

Opening the evening was Freehold’s own soulful Blues-Rock collective James Arlowe & The Ruffian Circus. A large flock of show goers who came early to see the local buzz band who proceeded to wow the crowd sizzling six string pageantry amongst such tunes as “Letter To Caroline” and “Oh White Devil,” staples of the of the group’s self-titled debut EP.

Be on the lookout for James Arlowe & The Ruffian Circus’ forthcoming full-length record, which the band announced a name, The Insignificant Fire, and a tentative release period, late May/early April, for during its performance. Be sure to catch the band at Captain Hook’s in Seaside Heights this Wednesday evening for a set of original tunes amidst the outfit’s vast array of cover tunes, and again on Saturday night at the Shark Finn Inn in Forked River, NJ. - Chris Rotolo

"James Arlowe & The Ruffian Circus Set To Release Debut At The Saint On Friday"

The swagger and showmanship with which Freehold’s own soulful Rock N’ Roll collective, James Arlowe & The Ruffian Circus, churns out its tunes has drawn comparisons to another Monmouth County denizen and his E-Street Band and on Friday evening (May 25th) you can pick up this catalogue of captivating songwriting in tightly knit package titled The Insignificant Fire, the group’s debut full-length release.
Joining Arlowe and company are local favorites Elevator Art and Indiana Bones. Doors for the event open at 7:30 p.m. with a cover of $10 to be paid upon admission.
Check out the opening salvo to the record, “Blue Bouquet,” a Funk riddled piece of Cabaret Rock below and head out to check out a full album sampler below that: - Chris Rotolo

"M.A.D. Wednesday: James Arlowe"

Click Link for Interview - Joe Zorzi

"North Jersey Notes: James Arlowe And More!"


I recently received an email asking me to give a listen to James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus from Freehold, NJ. I did give them a listen and I have to say that these guys are pretty amazing. James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus is just pure rock ’n’ roll. I can’t even put them into a sub genre. They just rock! I logged onto the band’s website, jamesarlowe.com, to hear songs like the groovy “Letters To Caroline,” the rocking “Into The Tempest,” “Oh White Devil” and, my favorite track, “Bethesda.” Normally, this is not the type of music that I would listen to but I can’t seem to turn it off. These guys are that good!

James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus is the result of what happens when you mix some of the greatest rock music of all time into one band. In their songwriting, you will hear influences like Jersey legend Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers and Johnny Cash with a modern flair that is reminiscent to Kings of Leon meets The Black Keys. Singer James Arlowe has certainly learned from some of the best. You see, he used to work at Rough Magic Studios in Brooklyn, NY. James had the opportunity to work with bands like American Babies, Soulive, MGMT, Ingrid Michaelson and Benevento-Russo Duo, just to name a few, and he absorbed much of their musical expertise.

Joining Arlowe as The Ruffian Circus is guitarist James Fox, keyboardist and accordion player Mark Pasquarello, bassist Mike Lynn and drummer Andrew Oliva. This band is a must see! Especially, if their music is any indication of what their live show could be. You can find out where James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus is playing next by logging onto jamesarlowe.com. - Tim Louie

"James Arlowe"

JAMES ARLOWE & THE RUFFIAN CIRCUS channels their influence from some of the greatest musical minds of all time, such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan, combines that with the classic rock sound of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and hometown legend Bruce Springsteen, and wraps it all together with a modern/indie rock sound similar to Kings of Leon. The result is a modern-day musical renaissance... a youthful vigor for music and art coupled with respect and admiration for the classic, timeless artists that have gone before them. After a little over a year of playing shows, the band has already compiled quite a resume, including an EP review in The Aquarian Weekly, live show reviews in the NJ Star Ledger and Asbury Park Press, radio airplay on 95.9 The WRAT and 90.5 The Night, spots in the 2011 and 2012 Seaside Music Festival, and a nomination in the 2011 Asbury Music Awards for Best Live Performance. During that time, JAMES ARLOWE & THE RUFFIAN CIRCUS has developed a strong and loyal group of fans through numerous local shows at The Saint, The Stone Pony, The Brighton Bar, and The Downtown... as well as out-of-town shows at Arlene's Grocery in New York City and The Legendary Dobbs in Philadelphia. Most recently, the band embarked on a successful 10-day tour in April 2012, just released their debut full-length album, "Insignificant Fire" and will be continuing to tour in support of it. The group has also hosted shows for and performed with national touring bands such as American Babies (Philadelphia), Star Anna (Seattle), Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck (Vermont), The Wandas (Boston), and Red Wanting Blue (Columbus, OH - Fanatic Records). Additionally, JAMES ARLOWE & THE RUFFIAN CIRCUS hosts a full-night showcase of original and cover songs at various local bars, with a regular spots at The Shark Fin Inn (Forked River, NJ), Captain Hook's (Seaside Heights, NJ), and Paddy MacDonald's (Belmar). - Thrill Call

"MM Shorts 215: James Arlowe"

Blue Bouquet comes from the forthcoming album from New jersey five piece, James Arlowe & The Ruffian Circus. A hard-edged psychedelic rock song, reminiscent of the past, this tune is full of bluesy guitar riffs and an incessantly driven piano beat. And in front of it all is lead singer James Arlowe’s captivating voice, singing about a alluring woman “and she’s crippled me, and she’s crippled my soul.”

The album Insignificant Fire is released on 2nd October. - Mad Mackerel

"James Arlowe"

The Circus is in town — James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus that is. Combining an array of musical inspiration from genres all across the board, The Circus has created a sound all its own. James Arlowe, the group’s tenacious ringleader, fuses together rock ‘n’ roll, folk and bluesy soul in a way that only he could dream up. Arlowe presents the lyrics and melodies to The Ruffians — Mike Lynn, bass, Andrew Oliva, drums, and Mark Pasquarello, piano/accordion. Along with guest guitarist C.J. Kostick, the group works vigorously to compose a diverse, larger-than-life catalogue of songs. With their explosive chemistry, powerful anthems and ability to play to the crowd, James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus make every stage they play their own performance ring.

Based out of Freehold, The Circus is relatively new to the scene but has been making waves in the local waters playing staple N.J. venues such as The Saint, The Stone Pony and The Brighton Bar. However, the group has not only played live shows in Jersey; the collective has also performed at infamous venues like Arlene's Grocery in NYC and The Legendary Dobbs in Philly. Adding to the list of feats, The Circus had the honor of receiving a nomination in the 2011 Asbury Music Awards for Best Live Performance this past November. Needless to say they, are ready for the big top.

James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus will debut their first full-length album Insignificant Fire on iTunes in early spring. Can't wait that long? They currently have some songs and live performances streaming on their Facebook page where they also have a list of all of their upcoming shows. Catch them at The Downtown in Red Bank on March 28 before they embark on their first tour. So come along and enjoy the show! - Megan Baylies

"Maria Mar’s Local Radar: The Perfect Gentleman, James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus, & Going Dark"

Next, let us dip into the sauce of a four-piece, folk, soul, and rock and roll group called James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus. Hailing from Freehold, James, Mark, Mike, and Andrew compose the perfect recipe for success. This is not some emo or hardcore flavor of the week, oh no. They are all about rock—classic rock to be precise. What a diamond in the rough this turned out to be! There are wailing vocals by James and the kind of rugged, furious exuberance that’s been the hallmark of dozens of bands in the last few years. To compare these guys to anyone else would be a crime, for they are extremely original in their own right. Their live set leaves you entertained the entire time, forcing you to sing along—even if you are mumbling pretending you know the words. For a bunch of guys who have all been in different bands, this seems quite well put-together. They’ve developed an attentive and well-delivered sound, and don’t skimp on quantity. Their debut full-length, Insignificant Fire is a near seamless rock record that is sequenced luminously, with excellent flow from track to track. From top to bottom, inside and out, this is a masterful record with exceptional production. James Arlowe And The Ruffian Circus truly unlocked my ears and turned me on to real rock again. There isn’t enough great rock like this nowadays and that’s a disgrace. I’m all in favor of the digital age, for in this business you must embrace change, but it has had an unsettling effect on the music establishment and too few new artists are rising to the top. These guys, however, may change that. Check them out. - Maria Mar

"James Arlowe's music may make you think of a young Springsteen"

James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus may be one of the newer bands on the Asbury Park music scene, but the bearded, high-energy quintet more than held its own at the Saint on Saturday night, opening for Rick Barry, one of the city’s most respected singer-songwriters, and Red Wanting Blue, a popular touring band that has made the intimate club a home away from home.

With his scruffy beard and newsboy cap, Arlowe looks like a young Bruce Springsteen and, like the early Boss, creates engaging rock ’n’ roll from myriad influences. Elements of country, soul, folk, blues and classic rock mesh to create songs that stand apart individually, but blend into a seamless whole.

From bluesy, Zeppelin-esque stomps to soulful swamp boogie, Arlowe spit out gritty vocals and played rhythm guitar while guitarist C.J. Kostick added fiery leads and hooky melody lines. Bassist Mike Lynn’s runs provided a barrage of both melody and bottom, and his harmony vocals helped propel the catchy choruses. Drummer Andrew Silva provided a solid foundation whether the band assayed heart-skipping rock beats, R&B struts or mid-tempo ballads.

The band introduced several new songs from its upcoming debut full-length, “The Insignificant Fire,” which should be released in the next few months.

Barry, looking dapper in a bow tie and cardigan sweater, changed the mood of the room considerably. He’s one of the cleverest songwriters New Jersey ever has produced, but on Saturday, he and his excellent backing band, the New Rick Barrys, kept things low-key, playing mostly downbeat songs that wallowed in regret and self-loathing.

Barry is an old-school songwriter, a master of rhyming couplets and confident, folkie rhythms; even when he’s indulging his sullen side, his music entrances and entertains. Keith McCarthy provided emotional, shredding guitar solos that helped accentuate the moody feel, and Sally Boyd’s keyboards added depth to the band’s rich, sonorous sound.

Still, one of Barry’s better known songs, such as “All of Your Mistakes Have Names” or “Stupid American Song,” might have done much to lighten the mood (and keep the crowd noise down, something Barry complained about repeatedly). But Barry follows his own muse; as if to emphasize that point, he and the band did an elegant, note-perfect cover of the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” one of Morrissey’s mopiest lyrics (“And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.”)

The Ohio band Red Wanting Blue has been making regular appearances at the Saint for nearly a decade and has slowly built a loyal area fan base that packed the club to near capacity. The boisterous crowd clearly enjoyed singing along to favorites, as well as songs from the group’s latest (and ninth) album, “From The Vanishing Point.”

The hard-touring group brings along its own elaborate stage set, which includes colorful bric-a-brac, framed paintings and glowing owl lamps, which made the Saint’s usually austere stage look like a warm and inviting living room. Animated frontman Scott Terry, with his trademark porkpie hat, big bushy mustache and Eddie Vedder baritone, knows how to work a crowd, even if the group’s music rarely rises to more than meat-and-potatoes mainstream rock in the vein of Hootie and the Blowfish or Counting Crows.

Still, it’s impossible not to respect the band’s road-warrior spirit and do-it-yourself ethic. And the sizable, sated crowd at the Saint on Saturday proved that a decade of touring and self-releases can indeed have its rewards. - Jim Testa / The Star Ledger


James Arlowe and the Primal Daze - Mercy (Single) (2018)
James Arlowe and the Primal Daze - New York City High (Single) (2018)

James Arlowe - Neon Atlantic (2016)
James Arlowe and the Ruffian Circus - Insignificant Fire (2012)
James Arlowe The 7 Kind (2010)



Three-piece band from Staten Island, NY, featuring James Arlowe on
guitar and vocals, Tommy Baker on drums, and Steve Krute on bass. James’
unique and exploratory style of songwriting, paired with Tommy’s
monstrous drumming and Steve’s clever bass lines, sets this band aside
from its contemporaries. Drawing influences from bands and acts as
varied as Son House to Pink Floyd to Queens of the Stone Age, the group offers a
fresh, ever-changing sound.

New single “Bad Attitude” out now.

Venues played collectively: The Bitter End (NYC)  - The Delancey (NYC) - Arlene's Grocery (NYC) - Hennessey's Hooley House (Boston, Mass.) - Mason Inn (D.C.) - Connolly's Klub 45 (NYC) - Alphabet Lounge (NYC) - 120 Bay/Cargo (NYC) - Nurenburgher Bier Halle (NYC) 

Venues James Arlowe has performed: Warped Tour: Asbury Park (NJ) - Starland Ballroom (NJ) - Caesars Palace: Circus Maximus (NJ) - CBGB Fest. @ The Bitter End (NYC) - The Stone Pony (NJ) - The Saint (NJ) - Longbranch Saloon (Knoxville, Tenn.) - Blue Nile (Harrisonburg, VA) - Legendary Dobbs (Philly, PA) - Barking Dog (College Park, MD) - The Downtown (NJ)

Band Members