James Higgins and the Muddy Boots Band
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James Higgins and the Muddy Boots Band

Bellingham, Washington, United States

Bellingham, Washington, United States
Band Folk Blues

Calendar

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Mar
12
James Higgins and the Muddy Boots Band @ Boundary Bay Brewery

Bellingham, Washington, USA

Bellingham, Washington, USA

Feb
04
James Higgins and the Muddy Boots Band @ Whatcom Lightcatcher Museum

Bellingham, Washington, USA

Bellingham, Washington, USA

Jan
28
James Higgins and the Muddy Boots Band @ Honey Moon

Bellingham, Washington, USA

Bellingham, Washington, USA

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

Music

Press


James Higgins doesn’t hang out at the 3B, write for What’s Up! or to the best of our knowledge work at any area secondhand store. Know what? He still made a damn-fine CD– Crawling Out the Woodwork.

In an area where creative folk seem to be cliqued-out, Higgins literally lives up to his CD’s name. It’s like these songs just stumbled out of the backwoods. There’s no studio compression — Higgins fights but wins with his coarse voice, loose Tom Waits phrasing and songwriting smarts. There’s a great kazoo solo. Weird capitalization. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

- Tony Stasiek


On Crawling out the Woodwork Higgins is the romanticized encapsulation of a consciously beleaguered dude at the crossroads — be it between city bustle and country bumpkinning, halfway though life and halfway to death. Call that man 45 years old. Higgins might be nowhere near that age, which again, means nothing. Springsteen sang as that guy at age 32. Mississippi John Hurt pulled it off in his 70s.

This figure’s the mouthpiece for blues’ and folk’s most lasting images, and Higgins lets him speak unabridged. "September in our Hands" recalls parts of Springsteen’s "Nebraska" by emoting longing via primal phrasing and a declarative coda. Higgins conjures Hurt, too, with the gritted-teeth nursery rhyme "No Hens in My Hen House" — whose washtub bass and hickory-smoked production sell Higgins’ shoutout to those darn chickens, even though it likely came during take No. 14 in someone’s studio. Powerful stuff.

- Tony Stasiek


James Higgins is the sun setting on a long day. The smoke at the end of an empty bar room. The dusty boots of a seasoned cowboy. His voice is Dylan meets the Doors for the gunfight at the OK Corral. The song “Twenty Tons of Thunder” is very visual. A folk song with country back porch roots. The CD is loaded with rich guitar tones accompanied by shakers, wood blocks and congas. The production is very back roots which complements the vocal tones. On tracks like “Balayeur” there are some biting electric guitar leads that tear into the soul. My favorite song on the CD is “Was It Love in Summer”. The mood of the song is one of sadness and wonder. Beautiful acoustic guitar with a harmonica begging for the answers. Was it love in summer, was it love at all. The puzzling question for which there is no answer.

by Paul Lawrence Moyer

- Songsalive!


Discography

Crawling out the Woodwork
Sad Heart of Verdun
Drop in a Fall
Summair
Passing Story
Verse, Chorus, Train
Neilston
Summair
Driftwood

Photos

Bio

James Higgins and the Muddy Boots Band began playing together in May 2008 and realized that they had something special: an irresistible musical chemistry that even fans can't help but notice and tap their feet to. The band immediately began performing in and around Bellingham that summer and has since been gigging regularly throughout the Puget Sound area. Their repertoire has been described as infectious, fun, upbeat blues and folk rock with environmental and political undercurrents, danceable and family-friendly - great blues, rock, and folk brewed in Scotland, bottled in America.

Band leader and singer/songwriter James Higgins, a native of Scotland, spent years traveling throughout continental Europe playing music on the streets, in pubs and at festivals. In addition to his own songs, Higgins also has an endless repertoire of cover songs ranging from Scottish/Irish traditional to acoustic folk, rock and blues a la Neil Young, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Rolling Stones, Bert Jansch, Dougie Maclean, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, to name just a few. During those years, he played almost every corner of the Continent before moving to the Pacific Northwest. Along his winding route he wrote a huge repertoire of songs and drew countless sketches of the places and faces he passed. His music is a blend of hobo blues and haunting folk melodies that often reflect his life and thoughts on the road. James Higgins drifted into Bellingham some years ago, where he bumped into the members of the Muddy Boots Band. They are Donald Denney on Bass, Charlie Baker on Guitars & Vocal Harmony, Phil Sottile on pedal steel guitar, and Justin (TREE) Erikson on Drums. Together they take Higgins's naturally spooky sound and imprint it with their own irrepressible, irresistible muddy stomp.

James Higgins currently has eight CDs available through www.cdbaby.com. To see videos and hear clips, please visit www.myspace.com/jhmbb and www.jameshigginsmusician.com.

CD Releases:
Though the band has not yet released their own CD, Higgins has several CD releases which include: Crawling out the Woodwork, The Sad Heart of Verdun, Drop in a Fall, Passing Story, Verse Chorus Train, Summair (Scottish and Irish ballads), Neilston, and Driftwood (his most recent). Most of these releases are available at http://cdbaby.com/all/jameshiggins.