James Lann
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James Lann

Hitchcock, Texas, United States | INDIE

Hitchcock, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Country Acoustic

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Mar
06
James Lann @ Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

Mar
03
James Lann @ Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

Mar
02
James Lann @ Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

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By: Matt Bjorke
Last Updated: January 5, 2010 8:01 PM

James Lann isn’t a name known to many people outside of Texas but that hasn’t stopped him from crafting a very strong album in FORD. The album’s title track F.O.R.D. is chock-full-o sly humor about being a proud owner of a Ford while “Deep In The Heart of this Texan” is a sweet ballad set to a deliciously traditional two-step melody. “It’s Not Your Time” is as good as anything put forth by the Nashville community something which can also be said about “I’m From The Country.”

Lann’s voice recalls Fellow Texan Clay Walker while also at other times reminding me of Garth Brooks or Zona Jones. “The Picture” is a ballad of Garthian proportions as James sings about a man who didn’t ‘get the picture’ until it was too late to save a relationship. “Moving On” is another strong ballad while “Honky Tonk Two Step Queen” is the exact kind of traditional song that used to light up summer country music airwaves and while it may not have done that in the rest of America, in Texas it was a sure-fire hit and ended 2009 as the eighth most played song on over 80 Texas stations, as compiled by the Texas Music Chart.

As we start out 2010 with a typical slow new release cycle, why not gear up for some great upcoming albums by checking out this fine 2009 release (it also had a short run as a self-released album in 2007).

You can support James Lann by purchasing this album at eMusic | iTunes. - Roughstock.com


by: Bob Worden July 21, 2011

James Lann played Wild West Lubbock on July 16th. I had the opportunity to catch up with James before the show and see how 2011 and the road was treating him. The interview, while unconventional, was the funnest this writer has had the privilege of doing over the past few years. Here is the interview, in its entirety, with James Lann.

99.5 the Bear: 2010 and 2011 have been fantastic years for you. Just how great has the first half of 2011 been?

James Lann: It’s been great. We’ve had our 4th #1 single, third one off this new record called Honky Tonk Kung Fu. It’s started off really well and hopefully it continues to push on.

99.5 The Bear: You beat me to the punch there. It’s 5 top 5 and four #1’s. How does that feel for you?

James Lann: It’s nice that someone knows. No, it’s really cool and we’re humbled by it and we use it as a tool. We don’t brag about having #1 songs, it’s not like that. We just try to get another song out there and hope everyone likes it.

99.5 The Bear: With the big success, are you itching to get back into the studio?

James Lann: Yeah, it does. We are trying to do some writing right now and line up more writing sessions so we have more time to write the record. Hopefully though in the fall we’ll get the record cut and in the spring or summer get it out.

99.5 The Bear: What are the differences in FORD and Honky Tonk Kung Fu?

James Lann: We released that song before we had the record done. It did well and we went back and finished the record. There were a lot of things I was learning. It was how to record and that kind of stuff. It was my first full length cd and it was an interesting experience. Then to record Honky Tonk Kung Fu, I knew more of the direction I wanted to do. We cut it in Tyler and we’re closer now to what I want as the sound to where I was on the first record. It’s just a just a learning experience. I’m hoping the next record will be even more where we want it to be.

99.5 The Bear: What’s the background story on “Halfway to Houston” and how you selected it?

James Lann: I believe in cutting other people’s songs. I have a lot of friends that are songwriters but not singers and entertainers. I write but we also record other people’s songs. If we don’t do that then they starve and there is no way in heck I’m going to pass up a great song. If I get a good song come across my desk then I’m a total moron if I don’t record it. I don’t know how it’s worked out this way but it seems every other single for us goes one I wrote, one a buddy a wrote, one I wrote, one a buddy wrote.

99.5 The Bear: How do you go about selecting your songs?

James Lann: When selecting songs I put them into three different categories. I have my A tracks, my B tracks and C tracks. A is all the songs I like and think are cool and want to record. B are songs I really like but don’t know if it’s the right time to record that one and then C is just songs that won’t make the cut or aren’t close to ready to do. Then some tracks I just completely throw out. We’ve only got 12 to 15 songs that can be put on a record so we have to just get to done to there and get the tracks we think need to be on that record.

99.5 The Bear: What’s one of your favorite tracks you’ve done, either yours or someone else’s?

James Lann: One of my favorite tracks was one I wrote for my wife called “Every Kiss Goodnight.” I like it a lot and it’s a really cool tune. There was another song that Chuck Allen Floyd wrote called She’s Water that a really cool tune. Another song we actually got through Chuck was a song he had in his catalog that George Strait had on hold and Alan Jackson had on hold before that. The track got loose and I got ahold of it and recorded it. They’re all my babies though.

99.5 The Bear: A lot of Texas country guys aren’t cowboys but you are right?

James Lann: You know, I was born and raised on cattle ranches but it’s been a little while since I’ve been in the saddle. My dad has a ranch and I have ran cattle all my life so I was born and raised doing that kind of stuff and it was just part of the process.

99.5 The Bear: Can you talk a little bit more about the new record and where you’re at with it?

James Lann: We’re really just in the beginning phases. We’ve written a couple of tunes and I might do one tonight that may end up on the record. I wrote Every Kiss Goodnight in the studio while we were recording so, until the final cut; I never know what will end up on it. You just never know.

*At this point in the interview James was called to the stage for sound check. James did “Face in the Mirror,” “Honky Tonk Kung Fu” and “Makin Payment.” He then sat down his guitar and came back to finish the interview.

99.5 The Bear: What’s it about playing Lubbock that you like so much?

James Lann: A lot of my friends went to school at Tech and the new drummer’s dad lives here. We like playing everywhere so I don’t single out one place and say that’s my favorite place to play. It’s just all about the crowd. We could love the city but it’s the crowd that really makes it. It’s just weird; it just works its way out.

99.5 The Bear: What are the biggest differences in Nashville to Texas Country?

James Lann: I think the biggest difference is the independent artists. Nashville artists on big labels have their creative control taken away from them. Not all of it though, because I know Randy [Rogers] still have a lot of creative control over their work, which is cool. I believe that as you go on with your career, here in Texas, we have an ability to do what we want to do and not worry about what other people think and just cater to the crowd. It’s a political game between Nashville and Texas.

99.5 The Bear: Why is everyone trying to get into Texas Country?

James Lann: It’s just because of that freedom but I think you have to worry about saturation. You have to worry about the charts and your airplay because of it. Nashville has that rotation of artists and radio air play but with the Texas Country there are a lot of stations and a lot of places to be heard. You have a huge difference in population in Nashville to Texas. You have 100 reporting stations across the country for Billboard and 100 stations that report to just the Texas Music Chart. That’s in Texas and Oklahoma alone. Everyone wants to be Texas Country but you just can’t worry about the charts, it just about what you want to do.

99.5 The Bear: So with airplay becoming tougher, how big does social media come in for you?

James Lann: It’s important. Am I any good at it, I don’t know. The social media deal is the real way to connect with your fans.

99.5 The Bear: Who are some of your bigger musical influences?

James Lann: Growing up I wanted to listen to what everyone before me was listening when they were young. So I went out and bought a record player. A lot of my influences came from old, old stuff. Older stuff like Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were some of my early ones. But then there’s George Jones, Eddie Rabbit, Dan Seals and Merle Haggard, those guys were influences. If you hear anything one time, it influences you. To be able to name an exact person…Chris Ledoux, he really changed me. We’re working towards that. We’re working on new shows and I’m a big believer in a big show, not just the music. I want great music, great band and a show. When people come to see you they don’t say that guitar player played the right notes. They say wow did you see this or see that. It’s has to be visual and the music.

99.5 The Bear: At any point in their music career, who would you have liked to collaborated with?

James Lann: I would have loved to have done something with Eddie Rabbit, that guy was cool. So many people have been awesome, Dan Seals. Anything with him or Ledoux would have been great. Both guys are gone but it would have been cool.

99.5 The Bear: Who are you digging now days in Texas Country and just music in general?

James Lann: I like Wade Bowen a lot. I love his stuff and I’ve always loved his stuff. You really put me on the spot man. For a long time I was really big into Ryan James but I don’t think he’s playing anymore. Walt Wilkins is really killer. Drew Womack has one of the most killer cd’s I’ve ever hear. That self-titled one was one of the most killer records I’ve ever heard.

99.5 The Bear: Anything on your iPod that might surprise some people?

James Lann: Oh lord. I listen to everything. I think I have all of my wife’s music on there too so that really screwed it up. Anything from Bruce Hornsby to Carl Douglass to Jim Brickman will be on there. Jim Brickman is a killer piano player.

*James then pulls out his iPhone and goes through his recently played on iTunes.

Let’s see there is Blake Shelton, Zac Brown, Jason Derulo, Kevin Fowler, Bruce Hornsby and that’s the most recent played songs. I think this thing was playing all night and I didn’t hear it.

99.5 The Bear: What’s some of the best advice you’ve got over your career?

James Lann: The three best pieces of advice I ever got were: show up on time, learn your material and don’t be a douche. That’s the rules I live by and that’s the three rules I have for my guys in the band.

99.5 The Bear: Favorite things about the road?

James Lann: It’s the people. It’s being able to meet them and get their stories about music and how they’ve used music in their life. That’s kind of the big thing for me.

99.5 The Bear: What should we expect for the last half of 2011?

James Lann: Hopefully we’ll have another song out on the radio here pretty soon. We talked collaborations earlier and we have a duet song on the record and we have a couple of guys that we are looking at recording it with. We may try to put that out. We have plans for the new record, the band and just a whole lot of craziness.

James Lann has had four straight #1 singles on the Texas Music Chart. He’s also had 5 top 5 singles on the chart as well. His two albums, FORD and Honky Tonk Kung Fu, are must have albums for your music collection. Find more of James Lann online. - 99.5 / KQBR.COM


SILVERTON - It's quite fitting James Lann is the headline Texas Country concert act on the final night of Silverton's Buck Wild Days Rodeo.
Lann is a cowboy, the fifth generation of his family to be such. Raised on a ranch where he rode horses, roped livestock and handled many of the other duties most everyone in this part of the country is familiar with, Lann has been playing and singing since age 14.
The country crooner will be the final act of three nights of entertainment in Silverton. It's a whale of a way to close the three performances of rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18-20. The weekend will feature a free dance after Thursday's rodeo and six Texas Country concerts after Friday and Saturday nights' rodeos.
"Who better to headline the Silverton Buck Wild Days Rodeo than someone who understands the sport," said Corey Johnston of 106.1 KFLP-FM. "James Lann is that guy."
Lann, who has released two phenomenal albums, will be joined "on the diamond" Saturday night by the Zack Walther Band and Jason Nutt & Highway 70. Lann will carry with him an outstanding repertoire, which features four No. 1 songs on the Texas Country charts. His most recent, "Halfway To Houston," went No. 1 this year. In 2009, he reached No. 1 with "Honky Tonk Two Step Queen," then followed that with "The Talent Requires" and "Every Kiss Goodnight" in 2010.
From his beginnings on the music scene - where he opened for acts like Chris LeDoux, Pat Green, Wade Bowen, Clay Walker and Darryl Worley - to where he is today, Lann has found a comfortable place in Texas Country. - My Plainview.com


Many singers both in Nashville and Texas wear cowboy hats, but George Strait and James Lann are two of the very, very few country stars who are genuine cowboys.
“I grew up on cattle ranches in Arizona and New Mexico, I was born and raised cowpunching,” Lann says in a phone conversation from his home near Houston in mid-December. “I packed up and moved to Texas when I was 20, to pay my dues in the Honky Tonk’s of Texas like George Strait and many others. I was always thinking of creating a singing career.”
Nashville movers and shakers are thinking of James increasingly, ever since he notched his third straight No. 1 single on both, highly competitive Texas Music Charts with “Every Kiss Goodnight” on his own Ari-Tex Records label. His earlier No. 1 in 2010 was the autobiographical “The Talent Requires.”
In August of 2009, “Honky Tonk Two-Step Queen” also reached No. 1. This song was from his first album F-O-R-D.
Lann says of his most recent Texas chart-topper: “I wrote,’Every Kiss Goodnight’ for my wife Stephanie. It was the second single we put out from the CD Honky Tonk Kung Fu, and it’s doing really well. We have spent an increasing amount of time visiting radio stations, and we have been doing more live shows to make it work.”
James didn’t move directly to Nashville. Instead he moved to Texas because, he says, “I wanted to stand out from the crowd and have crafted a unique sound and really build a strong market for our music before we approached the national levels. We’ve been building our fan base here in our market and really creating a great springboard for our music. We really want to expand our markets and create great relationships in Nashville as we move forward.”
Musically, Lann’s records feature strong, guitar-driven hooks with his smooth, confident baritone vocals. “Every Kiss Goodnight” has the kind of chimey guitars that artists like the Byrds made famous. This combination of retro and current stylings has helped James become a radio and fan favorite in the Lone Star State.
And oh by the way, the Lone Star State is a bigger market now than ever. In late December, the 2010 Census revealed that Texas is one of just 5 states whose population grew by more than 20 percent the last decade. It is also a state where the Great Recession which has pounded the economy of other places – like Tennessee – has had little or no affect perhaps because of Texas’s continual growth.
Lann says his own musical influences run the gamut from AC/DC to George Jones, with countless stops in between. “The Talent Requires” also features many Brad Paisley-style shades and humor as well.
“We’ve been well accepted by radio, and it’s been a great blessing,” Lann says. “We’re excited every time we get a charted single. We love the rush from working to take it to the top of the charts and continue to put out the best music we can possibly record.”
But because of the massive size and scope of Texas, playing and touring in the state is never easy.
The traveling can be really exhausting,” Lann admits. “We hit 25 or 30 stations a week, usually driving between 1,500 and 3,000 miles each week. I bought a truck last year and it’s already got 80,000 miles on it. We are now in the process of buying a bus.”
Depending on the show and the venue, James works with either a 4-piece or 5-piece band on the road. Lann books many of the shows himself. He also works with Charles Vessels of Gold Stream Management and radio promoter’s Ed Spacek with The Spacek Company and Dorothea Ivey with Cabin Creek Promotions both based around Austin, TX.
Another major contact in Nashville is Allen Butler, who oh by the way used to run a label group here you just might have heard of – Sony Nashville. Butler is now working as an independent artist manager.
James grew up on a working cattle ranch. What was that like?
“I think it instilled deep family roots, moreover a good work ethic,” he says. “Dad taught me that if it needs to be done, you do it. You don’t always have someone else to do things for you. If you gotta pull a well or do surgery on a cow out in the middle of nowhere, do it.”
That massive work ethic helped Lann do something else recently. He lost a whopping 40 pounds in 90 days through eating healthier and exercising.
And where did the unique name of the current album come from?
“ `Honky Tonk Kung Fu’ is one of the names of a song on the album. Chuck Floyd and I wrote that tune and it’s hilarious. The song is about a bar brawl and how it really looks like an old Chinese kung fu flick and not MMA. It’s a catchy name that people might pick up to look at a little closer, that’s why I picked it as the title,” James says, smiling.
James works with several CO-writers, both in Nashville and Texas, including Chuck Allen Floyd, Jon Goodwin, and Carson Chamberlain. Carson used to help run Mercury Nashville, and his production credits include Deana Carter’s No. 1 “Strawberry Wine.”
Lann is also a huge fan of his fellow Texas artists, including Kevin Fowler, Wade Bowen and many others.
Given his phenomenal work ethic and chart-topping radio success, 2011 figures to unfold as another amazing year for James Lann.
By Phil Sweetland - Nashville Music Guide


Discography

Albums
F-O-R-D 2008
Honky Tonk Kung FU 2010

Singles
#6 on Texas Music Chart "You're From The Country Too" 2008
#1 on Texas Music Chart "Honky Tonk Two Step Queen" 2009
#1 on Texas Music Chart "The Talent Requires" 2010
#1 on Texas Music Chart "Every Kiss Goodnight" 2010
#1 on Texas Music Chart "Halfway To Houston" 2011

Photos

Bio

A fifth generation cowboy, James Lann has traded in his rope and saddle for a guitar and a song. Now equipped with “HONKY TONK KUNG FU”, his second album, Lann has completed a transformation from young new artist to esteemed songwriter and performer. A transformation that has been a long hard road.

Brandishing a sweet country croon and the natural ability to write catchy dancehall anthems, Lann made his first break opening for such acts as Darryl Worley, Clay Walker, Chris Ledoux, Wade Bowen, and Pat Green among many others. Lann honed his talent with his band playing dance halls and honky tonks in Texas and across the West.

It wasn’t until the release of the first album “F-O-R-D” that Lann began to get noticed for his original material. “F-O-R-D” was released in 2009 and the title song attracted notice, followed by:

“You’re From The Country Too”, peaked at #5 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart & #6 on the Texas Music Chart,

“Honky Tonk Two Step Queen” went to #1 on the Texas Music Chart, one of the ten most spun songs on Texas radio stations in 2009.

Since its’ release in February 2010, James Lann’s second album, “HONKY TONK KUNG FU” has yielded THREE NUMBER ONE Texas radio singles:

“The Talent Requires” hit #1 on the Texas Music Chart in June 2010,

“Every Kiss Goodnight”, hit #1 on the Texas Music Chart in December 2010,

“Halfway To Houston”, hit #1 on both the Texas Music Chart and the Texas Regional Radio Chart, during the summer of 2011.

“Honky Tonk Kung Fu”, the single, is released in October of 2011 and already making a big impact at Texas radio.

James likes to write “songs that can change your life, songs that can make you think.” He appreciates a good ole honky tonk anthem as well. So on his latest release you will find songs he wrote, songs he co-wrote and songs that friends wrote. This album is a culmination of the last year on the road and living the dream. “HONKY TONK KUNG FU” is a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs and leaves you wanting more.