James McCarthy
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James McCarthy

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States | SELF

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States | SELF
Band Pop Children's Music


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NOWS THE NEW LATER, in production 2012. To be released Summer 2012. Songs range from the acapella Fields of Pennsylvania to the cheerful Piece of Heaven and bluesy Shape I'm In and Nothin That I Want.
Spring Rain, 1980, Meta World Publishing. An album of ;acoustic music for meditation"commissioned to be composed and recorded in a six week period.
Originals: Boulders in the Stream as well as title track
FLYIN SINGIN Solo and original. Original tunes: My Eyes, Nearer to Me, Season of the Squall, Questions, Source of It all, Natural Man, Carry It.
Adapted: Relax Your Mind, Willie o' Winsbury
EMERALD SHORES Songs from the Irish tradition performed solo on voice and guitar.
SHIVAREE by Friends of the Bride. Clarinet, dobro, ukulele, washtub bass,mandolin, accordion renditions of such songs as "Supersitition" and Stealin"
Original parody: Da Cat Cane Back.
RUCKUS IN CABIN 53 also Friends of the Bride (before the anti-accordion ordinance went into effect in the valley of Maunawili)
Originals: Nearer to Me, Summer. Of note: When You Wish Upon a Star
IRISHMAN IN PARADISE - Doolin Rakes. Na Hoku Hanohano nominee for best rock album.
Originals: Land of My Forebears, Pride of the Island



James McCarthy is a modern troubadour. “I want people to remember that the music, the songs, the stories, come from real humans.”
McCarthy regularly fronts the 'Celtic beat' rock ensemble he founded with powerful vocals, driving guitar and infectious audience interaction. And he is equally, if not more, at home as a solo performer as evinced in his well received performance at Philadelphia Folk Festival last year. A veteran PFF couple, after dancing and singing along to his wild version of Leadbelly's 'Relax Your Mind',
remarked,"That reminded us so much of Gamble Rogers. Thank you so much."
The songs James composes run a gamut of styles - folk, Celtic, rag, jazz, gospel, old-timey, Western- with lyrics by turn hilarious, evocative, heart-rending, political, and just plain singable. James performs solo regularly at festivals and cafe settings. He grew his musical wings in what he calls the “campfire kitchen and backyard orchestra of the worlds spontoneously combusted get togethers’. That is clear from his resume which includes singing with Cajun bands, Renaissance Choirs, gamelan ensembless, African-American congregational ensembles, jug bands, rock band, jazz trios and a wide variety of folk outfits.The Philadelphia native has made Hawaii his home the last 15 years and in the process has become one of the best singer/songwriters, storytellers and actors in the state.
He is currently working on a new completely original release, entitled Nows the New Later, due out this summer. From the wacky western tune Bug Wrangler to the poignant Five Points and the country inflected Piece of Heaven his song run across styles but are united by his strong melodic sense and creative use of lyrics.
He has six other releases to his credit. The first , a mostly instrumental outing titled Spring Rain has recently been re-released online by Yoga Records. Flying Singin’ , a solo recording is mostly original music with his other solo release Emerald Shores highlighting his Celtic repertoire. Friends of the Bride, a jug band dedicated to ‘a demented sense of American music’ recorded two releases in a ‘down-home ‘ setting:
Shivaree and Ruckus in Cabin 53. McCarthy’s songwriting skills are evinced by his adaptation to this format both in his originals Nearer to Me and Summer as well as his beatnik parody of “The Cat Came Back”.
Doolin Rakes “Irishman in Paradise rounds out his catalogue while dozens of other tunes await final production. In the works are an album of family music, another purely original release and a collection of winter-tradition songs.
James McCarthy feels a deep appreciation for the opportunity afforded him by attending the Philadelphia Folk Festival starting when he was in high school In his first year he met and heard Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and John Jackson and heard the Chicago Blues All Stars, Joni Mitchell, and John Denver for the first time. . McCarthy recalls, “My world was rocked. I began playing and writing songs. I learned and told stories. The following year, Fairport Convention went straight into my Celtic/folk-rock/progressive/rootsy/transcendent neurons.”
And that inspiration continues.
HIs music has taken him from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific. Once in Hawaii he set out to create an ensemble that would build on what he had heard since he was in his teens.
James is the founder of Doolin Rakes penning original songs in the Irish idiom, singing lead and playing acoustic and electric guitar, tenor banjo and mandolin. The Celtic outfit’s poly-rhythmic approach, exceptional musicianship high-energy and “leave nothing behind’ attitude has earned them one of the longest runs of any band in Honolulu, playing to packed houses every weekend for the last seven years. The band was honored with a prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano nomination for their release “Irishman in Paradise” (McCarthy’s songs Land of My Forebears” and “Pride of the Island” can be found in song list on this EPK.
As the frontman McCarthy ‘b