James Krueger

James Krueger

BandFolkAdult Contemporary

"James is capable of surprising depth and control, bringing heartfelt appreciation to songs that celebrate the passing of the seasons and the sound of rain on a windowsill." - Rambles Magazine

Biography

James Krueger - Biography

James Krueger’s lyrics echo his friendship with nature, and his smooth vocals and fingerpicked guitar move his audiences into the northern hills or by the shores of the glistening sea. The Chronogram, a Hudson Valley arts journal, said that James’ “music and lyrics reflect a deep, healthy connection with nature.” This is why James has been asked to perform for the North American Bluebird Society, the Sierra Club, The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s Esopus Meadows Point Preserve Environmental Center, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, The New York Maple Grower’s Association, National Artists for Mental Health, The Hunter Mountain Foundation’s Mountain Culture Festival, to open for the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus, and to perform in countless libraries in the Hudson Valley. He has also recently won an honor award for his song “Fine” from the Great American Song Contest.

James has done a program entitled “Purple Mountains Majesty”, intertwining readings from American nature writers with original and traditional songs. But James’ music is not self-consciously nature oriented. His references to the natural world are un-contrived, as much a part of his everyday language as the words “and“ and “the“. Impressionistic and quietly powerful, his songs have been said to “probe beneath the surface of seemingly simple topics” (Rambles Magazine).

Born in 1970 to two teachers, James Krueger grew up in the rural hills of northern New Jersey. During his childhood and in the company of his guitar he found refuge in cornfields and forests. He used these quiet places to conjure his musical talent and, at the young age of fifteen, began writing and performing his own music.

His repertoire consists of four solo albums, including his latest CD "Bluebird in the Snow", which features a good compilation of the sounds he is best known for. His CD radiates the inspirations of traditional folk while at the same time remaining contemporary and original. Listeners hear pop, alternative rock, and even classical influences in his recordings and performance. James has often been compared to James Taylor, John Denver, Townes Van Zandt and Garnet Rogers.

Credits, 04 - 05:

Honor Award, 2004 Great American Song Contest

Released "Catskill Mountain Snow" and "Wonders Yet to Grow", the first two singles from "Bluebird in the Snow", on Canadian radio.

The song "Fine" hit the top 100 on radio charts in Canada.

Chosen to be an Artist in Residence at the Platte Clove Preserve by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, and received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York Council on the Arts to financially support his residency.

Toured the Northeast from New Hampshire to New York City performing in venues such as The Evergreen, The Cascade, The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, North American Bluebird Society Annual Conference, Mountain Culture Festival, Stamford Performing Arts Center, Café 111, Fund-raiser concert for Mid-Hudson Sierra Club, Libraries, etc.

Received a New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization grant to perform Purple Mountains’ Majesty, a six county concert series presenting mostly original and some traditional mountain songs with readings from the works of American nature writers.

Released second solo full length CD Fine.

Received grant from the O’Connor Foundation to perform concert series in Delaware County, NY.

Received New York State Council on the Arts Arts in Education Grant to co-teach Purple Mountains’ Majesty, an Arts in Education program focusing on the history of National Parks in America and the role that art has played in the conservation movement, at Onteora High School, Boiceville, NY.

Lyrics

Gordo's Blues (The Long Monsoon)

Written By: James Krueger

For my Uncle Gordon who committed suicide in Sept 2001.

The silence of the last of light
Has broke into this tune
And where's the drought of yesterday in
The midst of this monsoon
Little kids are going grey and
May gives way to June
And though it seems impossible I'm
Standing here with you

The flowers of the summertime will
Reach and then will die
August's breeze will up and leave and leave no trace
Behind
No eye will ever smile that won't one day cry
Because it's all impossible
I'll do one day
At a time

The long, slow arcing of the sun
Will shine upon our speed
In the midst of banquets
Still we run
Still so much in need
We try to kill our hunger
But it's hunger that will feed
And tough it's all impossible
I'll sow another seed

Now weeping down
The rains of June
An only sound
One thing to do
It don't seek
Skies of blue

But don't you look tomorrow
For today's monsoon

In the silence of the last of light
Morning finds its tune
Skies are blue and who can say
Where blew the long monsoon
It's blue, it's grey
It's dark, it's day
It's all just passing through
And though it seems impossible
I'm standing here with you.

Fine

Written By: James Krueger

Up in the hollow
The sun's sinking down
The silence is soft and is kind
Ain't a thing in this world to be won by running round
I'm fine just with mountains and sky

Swallows are sailing
Trout break the pond
The earth she is strong, slow and blind
Why should I wrestle cause death's comming on
I'm fine just with mountains and sky

Out in the meadow the grasses are gold
The hues of the high summertime
Some run around thinking things can be sold
I'm fine just with mountains and sky

All of the things I think I must be!
But I'm happy the most when I'm dumb
All things meet eye to eye when all is said and done
Won't you come?
Won't you come?

Trailer Park Blues # 1

Written By: James Krueger

Crab-grass turf full of plastic toys
Our chip-paint trailer and the
Traffic noise
Girl, we're as frayed as that
Oil rag
Just
Put us in the bag

I guess opportunity's for those
Who can buy it
And dreams are reserved for the young
The long journey ain't so long if you can fly it
But we're walking, and our walking might
Never be done

So I'll kick the bottle
I'll stop kicking you
I'll mine a little ruby from these blues
Get my pearl back from the swine
This life, it ain't much
But it's yours and mine

Let's tresspass to the river and
Stick our feet in her cool white sand
Let's park this old trailer right up-town, let's
Burn it to the ground

You know, Liberty ain't a love on the outside waitin'
For you to come up with the bail
Cause suddenly you're old and you're still hesitatin'
Let's make a break, let's make a home, we might
Never leave this jail

So . . .
CHORUS

Even sentimental journeys are too expensive to be taking
Besides, who wants to trudge through a bunch of
Mediocre memories
Now memories, they're always in the making
But mediocre
Is all
Our life may ever be

So . . .
CHORUS

Catskill Mountain Snow

Written By: James Krueger

Catskill Mountain Snow
-- January, 2002

Snow it comes and blocks the roads
Snow it comes it’s beautiful
Dark of night and white of snow
Shifting and falling down
Turning, turning round
Try and catch it as it quietly blows
Love is like a Catskill Mountain snow

Are these the pangs of coming close or
Is it just impossible
I can not tell you that I know
Attaching, now
Letting go
Feel how it ebbs and flows
But try and catch it as it quietly blows
Love is like a Catskill Mountain snow

Hold it and it melts away
It’s gonna’ do that anyway
Time together’s like the snow I
Want to spend time today
Like it felt yesterday
But try and catch it as it quietly blows
Love is like a Catskill Mountain snow

Today I found a dove of mourning
In the snow with broken wing
She’s here and watches as I sing
I wish I didn’t have these kind of wounds
I hate to let them show
But try and stop it as it softly blows
Love is like a Catskill Mountain snow

Her Eyes They Are

Written By: James Krueger

Her Eyes They Are
--May 2002

Her eyes they are
A walk in spring
Not fully brown, not
Fully green

And when they cry
A forest rain
And when they smile
A break of day

Her eyes they are
A poppied lea
Are April buds on
The maple tree

And when they speak
Returning geese
When they make love
A fruited feast

It used to be
I could not see
A flower till the
Killing freeze

And the wind blew cold
And the snow lay deep
And summer died
Beneath my feet

The mountain stands
The mountain sings
And I’m alive for
Another spring

And I’ve had enough
Stones in my shoe
To know that she is a jewel

Your eyes they are
A walk in spring
Spring says no
Apologies

It can’t say why
Just comes and blooms
I’ll love you like this
I’ll stand with you

I’ll love you like this
I will stand with you

Discography

Recent Releases:
Bluebird in the Snow - to be released Jan 10 2006

Fine - 2004

. . . and then a silence falls. - 2003

Set List

Sets are usually 45 min to an hour each, up to three sets in a performance. An example set may be:
Originals:
Just Beyond the Window Sills
Gordo's Blues
One to the Crow
A Champlain Valley
The Loon She is Restless
Muddy Brook Melting
Shot Through
Clouds
Trailer Park Blues #1
Fine

Covers:
Sunny Side of the Mountain (Trad.)
Shady Grove (Trad.)
Whiskey in the Jar (Trad.)
900 Miles (Trad.)