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West Hollywood, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1989

West Hollywood, California, United States
Established on Jan, 1989
Band Rock




"The Somerville Times"

Jason James joins the celebration of Elvis

On March 13, 2020, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Jason James will be playing in the Once Upon a Time in Graceland show on Wednesday, March 18, at ONCE Lounge.

By Blake Maddux

With his own versions of classic and highly familiar songs like Folsom Prison Blues, Rocket 88, and Highway 61 Revisited, singer, pianist, and guitarist Jason James demonstrates that interpretation is a talent akin to songwriting itself.

James was born in Boston. He describes his grandfather, William Clifford, as “a Golden Gloves boxer from South Boston [who] worked for Joe Kennedy.” Although he studied metal fabrication welding and maintenance mechanics at Assabet Valley Regional Vocational High School, he had been enamored of music from a young age.

This was evident by the fact that he was barely in his teens at the time of his first paying gig. After that auspicious beginning, he played venues throughout New England with the band that he started in high school. Since striking out on his own, he has formed personal and professional relationships with some of rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneering figures while living in some of the hottest musical spots in the country.

On March 18, James, Boston’s Tsunami of Sound, Nashville’s Edge of Reality Band, and other guests will commemorate the revitalization of Elvis Presley’s career that followed a televised live performance in 1968.

The Somerville Times: What were some of the formative musical experiences that you had growing up in Boston?

Jason James: Getting on the train and going to record stores like Cheapo Records, Skippy White’s, and Stereo Jack’s and trying to sneak into clubs that were playing blues. I saw Ike Turner & the Kings of Rhythm at the original House of Blues in Harvard Square.

TST: What was the first instrument that you played and how old were you at the time?

JJ: Originally, I wanted to get on a piano at age five. I couldn’t get a hold of one, so I got a guitar at about age 11. I played my first show at 13 professionally. I’ve been doing it ever since. I didn’t start playing piano until 10 years ago.

TST: Did you play in bands when you were a teenager?

JJ: We started a band in high school in 1989, Jason James & the Bay State HouseRockers. We played any gig you could imagine. I think we’ve pretty much done it all. I remember getting my driver’s license and driving to shows when I was 16. The clubs thought I was 21!

TST: How geographically widespread were the venues that you played?

JJ: All over New England. Everywhere from Charlie O’s in Montpelier down to New Haven, to Bangor, ME, and out to Worcester County.

TST: When did you first move out of Boston and which other cities have you called home?

JJ: As soon as I got out of high school I was gone. I’ve lived on and off in Los Angeles for about six years. I lived in Nashville for two years. When I was living in New Jersey, Les Paul’s son was my bass player. I was Bo Diddley’s guitar player on an East Coast tour in the ‘90s. We got hired to be the backup band, so we would open the shows for him when he came to New England and then we’d back him up.

TST: Is Memphis your main base of operation?

JJ: I consider Los Angeles my home, but I work so much in Memphis. I have a house there between Stax Records and Sun Studio. For a long time, I played seven nights a week at Jerry Lee Lewis’ Café & Honky Tonk on Beale Street. I was there at the grand opening. I used to start at three in the afternoon and go until three in the morning. 100-degree weather and the whole bit. I would get tourists from all over the world. I always called it “a tour bus without wheels.” I had a fan base from all over the world. We played Elvis, Johnny Cash, and, of course, Jerry Lee Lewis because it was his club. We opened up for Jerry Lee Lewis every New Year’s Eve. I’ve known him for 15 years. His band has been my band in Memphis. Little Richard’s band was my backup band when I was on the West Coast. All those guys have great stories.

TST: Did family or friends introduce you to artists like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash or did you discover them on your own?

JJ: I discovered them on my own through movies or pictures in magazines. I remember the first time I saw James Brown in Rolling Stone and immediately thinking, “Who is that?” Then I’m down in the record store in the soul section and there’s Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, and on and on and on. And when you’re self-taught, you really had to listen and figure it out.

TST: How did you first learn about Elvis?

JJ: From being in a record store. Not hearing his music, just seeing that picture of him on the motorcycle on the cover of The Rocker. I just bought it right then. I knew that it was something. I thought he looked so damn cool.

TST: Do you have a personal favorite song of his?

JJ: That’s a tough one. Maybe the song Hurt. That’s what comes to mind right now. He recorded that in The Jungle Room. He came in from upstairs and recorded it on the first take. It’s pretty wild. The band didn’t even know what he was going to play.

TST: Whom will you be playing with at the Once Upon a Time in Graceland show?

JJ: I’ve got a great surf band from Massachusetts called Tsunami of Sound. I did some shows with them about 10 years ago and got to know them. They’re into the whole ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll thing, which I’m very into. They’re going to be doing some Elvis stuff for the show, too.

Once Upon a Time in Graceland. Wednesday, March 18, 8:00 p.m. ONCE Lounge, 156 Highland Ave. $15 in advance/$18 day of show. - Blake Maddux

"The Worcester Phoenix"

Jason James and the Bay State Houserockers -- Finding a better bar band would be tough, these cats can do it all. The James Boys made considerable headway into Worcester, playing the Above Club, Espresso Bar, and Gilrein's regularly, and recently got a private party shut down. - by John O'Neill

"Wednesday Night Wheels with JASON JAMES & The Bay State HouseRockers"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday Night Wheels with Jason James and the Bay State Houserockers

Irish Times, Worcester MA, 244 Main Street

Bike Night

A rogue curl from an otherwise slicked back pompadour bounces off a white porcelain forehead...the contemptouus snarl for the crowdgoer with no visible tattoos ....
With a giant black and white wall size banner proclaiming them, Jason James and the Bay State Houserockers bring a James Dean smoldering intensity to Summer nights in Worcester. Be prepared for fishnets, fashion, and fun
. This is a dancing crowd that likes the ponytails twirlin, them hips shakin' and arms swingin. Imagine a neo-fifties crowd meets Dancing with the Stars as two couples took to the floor to show off professional lessons. Their dizzying moves were matched by the Bay State Houserockers exceptional performance. They never broke character; they opened with 'drive, drive, drive' and drove right into 'Summertime Blues'.
It is close encounters of the Irish kind at the Irish Times in Worcester, where there's something for everyone here. DJs spin dance grooves upstairs while the cool kids and hepcats tear up the dance floor during Wednesday night Wheels.Across from the Palladium and within walking distance of the DCU center,Irish Times is THE college age venue for Good Times. An ample pool room boasts leather couches conveniently located behind the stage and seperated by a clear wall for viewing. The room is band friendly with a state of the art sound and light system. - RedStreak Motors


Jason James -2020 / Hollywood & Vine Records 
Jason James & Albert King Jr - Bo's Beat Mix / Hollywood & Vine Records
Jason James - Lives / Hollywood & Vine Records 
Jason James - Live / Hollywood & Vine Records 
Jason James & The Kings Of Memphis - Live On World Famous Beale St
Jason James - Sun Sessions 
Jason James & The Bay State HouseRockers - Rockin The Joint 
Jason James - Millbury Street Shuffle 
Jason James & The Bay State HouseRockers - Black Oxide
Jason James & The Bay State HouseRockers - Town Needs A Shakin'
Jason James & The Bay State HouseRockers - Thirty Days



JASON JAMES AKA THE ROCKER - Rock N Roll Performing Artist - Bay State HouseRockin' since 1989 - 7 Years with The Killer - Jerry Lee Lewis - over a Decade on World Famous Beale St Memphis performing Nightly with The Kings Of Memphis - Jason James is a Rare Performing Artist - Al Bell / Stax Records

Band Members