James Moran
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James Moran

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Pop

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There’s this group of songwriters I have met thanks to Rob Cooperman and maybe now and then independently — but it is hard to tell, as they hang out in packs. All of them are very talented, often sharing stages with one another, touring together, and of course that carousing thing. Kalu James is a Nigerian by birth, raised in Benin, and moved in 2001 for computer studies to Rochester, New York (also home to Jess Klein). It was there he began his singing career – for some wonderful reason Kalu moved to Austin a few years ago to enjoy our winter wonderland weather and grace us with song. James Moran is a Nawlins street rat (self-proclaimed) who escaped Katrina or for whatever reason spent an eternity in San Antonio before the lovely Aly Tadros [off on tour with Douglas Jay Boyd as we write] started singing HIS songs at Red Fez and to defend his own honor he just HAD to move up here and start playing gigs. [Of course James sang Aly's songs that night, too -- but it makes a good story.] Both these guys have new product on the shelves and at their shows — and Kalu’s oft-times singing and swizzling partner Josh Halverson is not far behind.



JAMES MORAN (self-titled)

I could say that James Moran is a dirtier (Nawlins does that), grittier Danny Malone — but that would not be fair to either performer. Both are intense guys who sing pop songs [Moran prefers "soul," but acoustic they are soulful pop], both wear fedoras, both are loved by the ladies, and neither is as tall as I am. Both, however, write great songs that are all their own. So let’s move past the outward appearance and get to the nitty gritty. Daniel Coffey produced Moran’s debut; Bryan Williams recorded the guitars (all James), and Damian Rodriguez the vocals (again, all James). I also have to say the last time I saw James on stage was at B. D. Riley’s with Rob Cooperman joining in now and then — it was a TOTAL GAS! These guys are fun!

“Come What May” opens the CD, and this is a catchy song. “Jadi’s Song” is all about “writing this song on your guitar” to the woman whom he loves. “Agree to Disagree” shows a great vocabulary — something he shares with Tim Buckley (father of Jeff Buckley, whose work Moran dearly admires). We do look forward to the full band version of these songs — because with a band, James will be able to emote more. “Mea Culpa?” is a sad song about a broken relationship – how do lovers learn to listen before it is too late? How do we know when there is nothing left to try? But more importantly, how do we know when to shut up and just wait until the storm clouds disappear?

[What we] “Could Be” is a plea to stick together to see what good things can happen in a mutually supportive relationship. “Home To Stay” is yet another tale of a guy who goes off track in a relationship [notice that James is always a lover], while “Least That I Could Do” is a reflective ballad about how good a relationship can be when giving is at the bottom on both sides. I like this song. “Believe It or Not” is the jazziest song on the record — this time the relationship seems adrift, with some loss of meaning, and yet our gallant lad holds out hope. [We have the] “Solution,” James sings on the final song — but you have to open up your eyes. Sometimes Moran’s lyrics sound like rap set to music — so many rhymes in one long phrase. Moran will be joining Rob Cooperman on February 8th at Momo’s Club — and maybe some Mondays at B. D. Riley’s (but there was some cryptic message about the “final show” for the Undercover Songwriters Showcase). - Duggan Flanagan


Discography

James Moran (Self-Titled, Acoustic Album)
Untitled (EP in production for December 2010 release)

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Bio

James Moran was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana in October of 1984. He lived there until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After the hurricane James started traveling the Southern United States playing his music in as many places as possible. He settled in Austin, Texas early in 2008 and has become an established musician in Austin and the surrounding cities. James focuses on the acoustic guitar and vocals. His approach to song writing comes from his background in the church, though he is not involved in any religion today. If you were to ask James what genre he falls into he wouldn’t know how to answer you. He wants his music to be considered “Soul”.