James O'Leary
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James O'Leary


Band R&B Funk


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James O’Leary Album Bio

James E. O’Leary comes from a distinguished line of musical stock. Grandson to accomplished Big Band and film arranger/composer Lyle ‘Spud’ Murphy, the youthful and sweet natured James developed an early passion for music and the arts. A self-taught musician/lyricist whose preferred instrument is the piano, James counts Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Ice Cube, Jim Croce, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, ‘Spud,’ and his grandmother as some of his most cherished and on-going influential ‘life’ mentors.

James spent his formative years in San Pedro, a small seaside town tucked along the southern coast of Los Angeles, a breezy settlement known mostly for the drunken exploits of famed ‘Barfly’ poet Charles Bukowski. By all known accounts, James never actually crossed paths with the surly writer, although the two frequented similar watering holes peppered throughout this self-proclaimed ‘Whale of a Town.’

Some of James’ favorite local Pedro hangouts included Busy Bee Market on Walker Ave., home to their famous meatball subs, and the Lands End Apartments at the cliff side end of Pacific Ave., a dead end street facing the Pacific Ocean made famous in a crucial scene early in Roman Polanski’s classic 1970’s film noir masterpiece Chinatown.

A few years spent tending bar at The Hatch, a lively nighttime eatery/hangout for weary longshoremen, James cultivated his fearless sense and love for ‘live’ performance, a trait that would carry him through several bands, most notably Shaftmouth and Pink and the Shade.

Following graduation from San Pedro High School in 1989, James called Westchester, Culver City, and Escondido temporary homes, until finally settling in Ottertail MN in summer 2006 with his wife Holly. A converted garage now suffices for a suitable recording studio, done up in the spirit of ‘northern mid-western log cabin chic.’

James is currently working on his first album titled I Went to High School with that Guy.