James Cavern
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James Cavern

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul

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"James Cavern: The Porch Sessions"

With the birth of YouTube came a brand new form of guerrilla marketing for musicians all over the world. And while most artists have been utilizing this opportunity to promote their own music—making live video performances of their songs—Sacramento’s own James Cavern has been spending his time making videos for other musicians.

I was able to meet up with James for a chat at Naked Lounge, a charming coffee joint and one of Sacramento’s many small music venues.

According to James, the whole project started haphazardly. James explains, “I was just messing around with the different apps on the iPhone and I noticed there was a movie directing app. I always wanted to make more videos and put them on Facebook to promote myself a little bit more.”

Then one day, James says, he was playing guitar on the porch with his buddies when one of them (Elijah Bell) suggested they try shooting a video right then and there on the porch. “It turned out really cool and when I started messing around with app, with the editing and stuff like that, I realized it was just really, really easy. The whole process only took about 20 minutes,” he recalls.

Once James figured out how quick and easy it was to make a video, he thought it might be cool to make videos featuring other musicians in his spare time. He says, “Initially I just wanted to start filling my days. Yeah I could sit at home all day, play my guitar and write and sing and blah blah blah…but for me songwriting is quick. I’ll write a song in five minutes, so most of my time wasn’t being used to connect with music.”



Now sixteen episodes deep, The Porch Sessions have featured Sacramento singer-songwriters like Autumn Sky and Sandra Dolores, indie acts such as Musical Charis, and even hip-hop artists like Century Got Bars (seen in the video above). What started as a way to fill time has turned into an incredible promotional project for the entire Sacramento music scene. James, of course, is aware of this and it drives him to continue with new episodes every week. He declares: “There’s just so much talent here that people need to be aware of. It’s bands like Wife & Son and Cold Eskimo and Sam Eliot, who are making this awesome music that not many people have heard yet.”

It’s James’ hope that the Porch Sessions will not only spread awareness of Sacramento’s talent, but also inspire its residents to go out and watch these acts perform live. I asked James if he ever planned on upgrading the Porch Sessions recording process; right now all the sessions are still being filmed on his iPhone with the built in microphone. He says he’s proud of the lo-fi videos. He figures if an artist can sound good in such a raw setting, people will be able to tell that they are genuinely talented.


James Cavern performing. Photo by Barrett Drawdy Photography.

As far as the future of the Porch Sessions are concerned, James doesn’t know exactly how long the videos will persist. He doesn’t, however, see them ending any time soon. In fact, his next plan is to start making compilations using the audio from the YouTube videos. James figures that this kind of grass-roots promotion is the best thing he can do for Sacramento’s music. He’s hoping he can get them released either as a physical CD or a digital download, ideally through a local music magazine or website.

The reason I hunted James down is that I feel he’s doing our community a great service; such things should be noticed. It’s my hope that my fellow Sacramentans will be as inspired as I was by his selfless passion and vision for the future of our music scene.

You can view the Porch Sessions on James Cavern’s YouTube channel. For more information on James Cavern, check out his website. - Sacramento365.com


"James Cavern performs on Good Day Sacramento"

James Cavern on Good Day Sacramento - Good Day Sacramento


"James Cavern performs "Uncle Sam" on KCRA"

James Cavern performs on KCRA - KCRA


"James Cavern's Live CD Release"

"A lot of musicians try to create an organic live sound on their studio albums. But there is one local Sacramento artist who is going the extra mile to capture that true sound. On Friday, July 6 at Old Ironsides, James Cavern will record his live show and everyone present will receive a free copy of the freshly recorded tracks at the end of the night. He will record at least 15 tracks and play in three different musical styles that he has perfected over the years, including: a solo acoustic set, a two-piece electric guitar and drum set, and live hip-hop from The Ricky James Project....Don’t miss out on a unique opportunity to be a part of a live recording with James Cavern at Old Ironsides (1901 10th Street, Sacramento) on Friday, July 6, 2012 at 8 p.m. Cover is just $8 at the door." - Submerge Magazine


"James Cavern's Live CD Release"

A lot of musicians try to create an organic live sound on their studio albums. But there is one local Sacramento artist who is going the extra mile to capture that true sound. On Friday, July 6 at Old Ironsides, James Cavern will record his live show and everyone present will receive a free copy of the freshly recorded tracks at the end of the night. He will record at least 15 tracks and play in three different musical styles that he has perfected over the years, including: a solo acoustic set, a two-piece electric guitar and drum set, and live hip-hop from The Ricky James Project. If that isn’t enough to get you out to the show, it will be hosted by comedian Carlos Rodriguez to add a little bit of humor to the live tracks. To add more spice to the night, Queen of Arts Tattoo and Piercing will be present to offer discounts on your next piercing or tattoo. Don’t miss out on a unique opportunity to be a part of a live recording with James Cavern at Old Ironsides (1901 10th Street, Sacramento) on Friday, July 6, 2012 at 8 p.m. Cover is just $8 at the door. Learn more about him at http://jamescavern.com/. - SubMerge Magazine


"James Cavern - Musician Review"

"I was first introduced to the music of James Cavern when I was working on my interview with Iconoclast Robot. They said I had to hear his music and that he was one of the most talented singers in Sacramento. They were right. James Cavern is an amazing singer and musician with immense talent and a whole lot of soul. When you see him perform you know that he is in the music business not for the fans or the recognition but because music is what he loves. Whether you like Folk, Hip Hop, R&B or Soul, James brings it all to the table. His music is personal and relatable and the Sacramento music scene needs musicians like James Cavern. If you have never had the pleasure of hearing his music you should definitely check him out at listn.to/jamescavern or on iTunes." - Your Music Magazine - Jamie Candelaria


Discography

James is currently working a new EP, which is much anticipated since it will be more stripped down and raw, boasting the new way in which he performs his shows as a two piece electric guitar and drums combination. James released one of his new tracks, titled "Sorry", off the upcoming EP on 9/20/12.

Singles List

Title: Sorry ft. Rebecca Peters

Released September 20, 2012

(available on: iTunes. Bandcamp, Rhapsody, Spotify, Amazon MP3, iHeartRadio, etc)

Photos

Bio

James Cavern, a native Englishman from the city of London, currently resides in Sacramento, CA. James has grown to be an artist that defines his music as soulful and dynamic. His guerrilla tactics of self-promotion has led him to open up for many acts on his own as well as in collaboration. His voice and style is well sought after and being featured on different tracks has led him to dip into multiple genres such as Hip/Hop, RnB, and Reggae to name a few. James Cavern's heart and soul however is in soul music, peppered with some folk rock, a combination worth listening to.

Recently, James has been recognized by many of fans throughout the Sacramento region. Recognition includes his recent award for "Outstanding R&B-Soul Artist" through SN&R's Sammies 2012 awards. James was also a nominee for Sacramento’s Musical Artist of the Year 2012 through RAWards Indie Arts Awards 2012.

James Cavern's versatility means he can perform for a broad audience and can fit into almost any show/festival if given the opportunity.