James Moors

James Moors

 Superior, Wisconsin, USA
BandFolkAcoustic

Enlightening, entertaining and engaging – James Moors reaches deep and brings it all, openly and optimistically, back to the surface for everyone to hear - and feel. Often compared to Lyle Lovett and Matt Nathanson. "a warm hearted spirit that makes you want to hear more.'' STEVE MORSE, Boston Globe

Biography

FOR TOUR CALENDAR, VISIT:
www.jamesmoors.com

2010 Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year Finalist

2009 Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year Finalist

2009 International Folk Alliance Showcase Artist

2008 - Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year Finalist

2008 - Highway 61 Songwriter of the Year Finalist

JAMES IS AN OFFICIAL MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION EMERGING ARTIST GRANT RECIPIENT

The Story

James Moors knows the exact moment he became a songwriter. When his brother disappeared in the mountains of Montana, James went to look for him, fatefully in vain. Epiphanies are frequently sparked by difficult and painful realities. In the darkest moments, through grace or providence or maybe just gut-checking self-reflection, a light sneaks through. James didn’t find what he was looking for. What he did find was himself, a reason to live, a strategy for living better, a calling.

Fifteen years, 6 CD’s, 1000’s of live shows, one name change, and too many miles down too many roads later, James is the answer to that call, the consummate singer-songwriter. It’s been a circuitous route, musically and otherwise, but he’s stayed the course – writing, singing, playing and working on music. That was the pact he made with his brother and that is the life that James lives today.

“I never said that I was gonna make it, or anything like that. I just said that I was gonna do it. I promised my brother that I’d do what we talked about … dig music, dig into music, write it, re-write it, record it, take it on the road and share it with people.”

In 1996 he walked away from a secure job and headed to the north woods of Minnesota. Diversely influenced by Rush, The Beatles, Nirvana, The Jayhawks, Crowded House and more, it was listening to Shawn Colvin – once, quite randomly – that elicited his second epiphany. “That’s it,” he thought, “that’s what I gotta do.” He sold all of his electric equipment, bought an acoustic guitar and started down the path from musician to troubadour.

Today, James resides in Superior, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters. He does more than 100 live shows every year, travelling from the north woods (where he plays frequently when he’s home) to Colorado, Florida, Utah, Tennessee and points in between. On select dates, James plays with co-writer and musical partner Kort McCumber. “Kort is a great guy and great guy to sing, play and write with. He’s especially good at making a song complete. I’ve learned a lot about song structure and taking a song from nearly done to fully done.” James also writes with Peter Van Dyken (“an incredible lyricist”) and Rick Price. “Rick taught me to stick with my initial instinct – the melody that first pops into your head is probably the right one.”

Through it all he’s learned and grown, and continues to learn and grow, as a songwriter and musician. “I’m pretty sure I’m a much better songwriter today than I was 10, or even 5 years ago. And I wanna be even better tomorrow.” Musically, James feels like he’s come full circle, back to the Jayhawks, Crowded House and the sounds that influenced him early on, but with one big difference – experience. “I know what I can and can’t do - what I do best. I try to play to my strengths. I want the songs to shine through and I figure the best way to do that is to get out of the way and let the music and lyrics speak for themselves.”

The latest CD, Skyline, is a testament to the journey, the live show even more so. The commitment he made fifteen years ago resonates strongly today. He’s not afraid to see it, say it and lay it on the line. Enlightening, entertaining and engaging – James Moors reaches deep and brings it all, openly and optimistically, back to the surface for everyone to hear - and feel.


James has shared the stage with Chris Smither, Richard Shindell, Willy Porter, Peter Case, Jeffrey Foucault, Bill staines, Les Sampou, Tom Prasado-Rao, Peter Mayer and many others.

Lyrics

Anne Louise

Written By: James Moors

The moon and the stars are crawling
the sun takes its sweet time coming up
birds in the trees all chime in
our private chorus from above
we spent all night in the tall grass
drinking the dew drops like honey bees

anne louise anne louise

I knew from the first time I met you
my little world would come undone
spent my life numbing my senses
there's no sense in fighting love
you saw through all my defenses
I’d swim across the inland sea

anne louise anne louise

say this nights gonna last forever
say this feelings gonna have no end
cause I can’t think of a better way to be
anne louise
(Break)

say this nights gonna last forever
say this feelings gonna have no end
cause I can’t think of a better place to be
anne louise

the moon and the stars are crawling
the sun takes its sweet time coming up
birds in the trees all chime in
our private chorus from above
we spent all night in the tall grass
drinking the dew drops like honey bees

anne louise anne louise anne louise

Chenille

Written By: James Moors

I never thought I’d see the likes of you again
your checkered past was better left for dead
picking fights that you could never win
or lose you choose

The clouds look like chenille from here
39 thousand feet above the ground
sitting in a tin can waiting
for the sun to go down

Feeling soft
too soft to touch the ground
how will you ever make a stand
its not the crime its the cover up
that brings down a fallen man

The clouds look like chenille from here
39 thousand feet above the ground
sitting in a tin can waiting
for the sun to go down

we lay our cards on the table cry or laugh
sharing our stories over faded photographs

Magic Place

Written By: James Moors

Magic Place
See the stars in the sky
you ever wonder why
you’re not there you’re standing here
another satellite another spinning year
around this sun
see the age in my hands
feel the weight of these legs
I miss easy

the place where two bodies meet
is a magic place
I picture you and me on the beach

people come and go
they’ll shake up your soul
if you let them
you can take it to heart
and make a new start
back to a day of innocence

the place where two bodies meet
it’s a magic place
I picture you and me on the beach
I feel all these stars in the sky ever wonder why
we’re not there we’re standing here

when the wind blows hard
its hard to hold on
it’s even harder to see you try
like a shooting star
I know where you are
and your days are waning

to the place where two bodies meet
it’s a magic place
I picture you and me on the beach
to the place where two bodies meet
it’s a magic place
I picture you and me
it's a magic place
see the stars in the sky ever wonder why
you’re not there you’re standing here

Welcome to Duluth

Written By: James Moors

Welcome to Duluth

I carry a two dollar bill in my pocket to remind me
of the love that you’ve shown me from the start
and the letters you write they’ve been helping me
keep my mind off my mind and opened my heart

welcome to duluth thats what the sign says
I’ve travelled 1200 miles just to get some rest
In my own bed I drift away

I was flat broke near busted just south of memphis
when your collection of deuces put me back on the road
the way you showed up, and arose from the ashes
set me two steps closer to love closer to home

welcome to duluth thats what the sign says
I’ve travelled 1200 miles just to get some rest
In my own bed I drift away

now that two dollar bill it sits on the dresser
in the house that we share at the end of the road
and that two dollar bill will always remind me
that no matter the distance between us you’re my home

welcome to duluth thats what the sign says
I’ve travelled 1200 miles just to get some rest
In my own bed I drift away

Sunshine

Written By: James Moors

Sunshine

I’d wake up each day
to take another breath
I must confess
I was feeling older everyday
so much older

but then that fateful day we met
I came alive I had never felt so strong
knew right where I belonged

Lily Jane your more than a child
uniquely influential in the changing of my days
you bring the lows to highs
the apple of my eye

I had to take a deeper look
until I shook myself up right
it was no easy dance I beg your pardon sunshine
sunshine sunshine

now as I wake to another day
I know its heaven sent
I’m getting older everyday
so much bolder in the way
that I show you my love
sunshine sunshine sunshine
sunshine sunshine sunshine
ooh ooh ohh hoo hhooo

Discography

James Moors - Skyline 2010
Moors & McCumber - Self Titled - 2009
James Moors - Hush - 2008

Set List

James prefers to perform two 40 minute sets or one 75 minute set. Each set is typically infused with 1 or 2 appropriate cover songs. It's not uncommon for James to create a tune on the spot and get the crowd to participate in the performance.