Whiteboy James and the Blues Express
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Whiteboy James and the Blues Express

Long Beach, California, United States | INDIE

Long Beach, California, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Americana

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May
15
Whiteboy James and the Blues Express @ Blue Dog Tavern

Long Beach, California, USA

Long Beach, California, USA

May
02
Whiteboy James and the Blues Express @ Starting Gate Saloon

Los Alamitos, California, USA

Los Alamitos, California, USA

Apr
30
Whiteboy James and the Blues Express @ Ashley's

Long Beach, California, USA

Long Beach, California, USA

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Music

Press


by: B. Noel Barr, The Music Writer Dude
On the corner of Seventh and Redondo in East Long Beach is a neighborhood bar called The Bull. The venerable building has more than likely had many monikers attached, and colorful bartenders as well—such as a middle aged retired sailor or mer- chant marine with Popeye forearms and naked ladies seen through a half open Hawai- ian shirt. Now, a statuesque tatted blonde in a black bra and overalls is pouring salva- tion by the glass to a youthful crowd of revelers here, to partake in the sacrament of drink and song. Ministering to the congregation is the trench coated Whiteboy James and the Blues Express, filling their souls with reverb-drenched blues. The show opened with an all out balls-to-the-walls blues shuffle from the band, then this almost mystical figure appears from the other side of the room, taking the ferocity of the music to a fever pitch. On the next song he started blowing his harp and the place went unhinged with powerful performance. “Whiteboy” James Page, lead vocals and harmonica, was born in Compton and found inspiration in the soul sounds of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Sam “Lightning” Hopkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Wills and Spike Jones. The Blues Express was first established in the mid-1980s through the 1990s and stopped playing in the early 2000s. The current line-up of the Blues Express is Scott Abeyta (Guitar), Anthony Contreras (Guitar), Blake Watson (Bass), and Max Bangwell (Drums). Random Lengths News asked Whiteboy James about how he got into music to begin with, and the story about his life started to unfold. James came from a broken home; his parents had split up by the time he was three. His father, who was a weekend dad, would pawn the young boy off on his former wife’s brother, Ed Thomson. It was his uncle “who turned me on to music, my uncle played guitar in country swing bands during 30s, 40s and 50s. In fact, my grandmother played fiddle. About everyone in my family played music.” It was his uncle who taught James how to play guitar, and introduced him to blues and jazz through all his old records. “My uncle had this great collection with these old performers like Cab Calaway, Louie Prima, Louis Jordan, and Big Joe Turner, all this really cool stuff.” His uncle would teach James the fundamentals, “He taught me how to listen to musicians, to their phrasing. You see, each one has their own voice on their instrument. Just like telling the difference in singers and guitar players, all of them can be told apart from one another by the way they play.” As a teen, he felt he didn’t fit in with the beach mentality of Southern California. Because he had matured early, he was going into clubs playing with musicians much older. “ I played guitar in a couple of bands, I played guitar before I played the harmonica.” He wanted to put his own band together and was playing a lot of clubs, sitting at jam sessions when the blues scene was really cooking in the late 80s through the 90s. “ I would go to these jam sessions and pick out who I wanted.” James had been on the scene for a long time, since the ninth grade, so he knew all the major touring bands, “ So when I showed up they would have me play with them, they helped me get my foot in the door.” It would be Phil Alvin of The Blasters and blues harmonica player/ bandleader James Harmon along with a host of other players that would help Whiteboy James make it as a professional. “You know, guys like Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers and others.” There was a dark side to his life that included a 20-year addiction to heroin. “ My first son and mother died all within a short period of time and I just internalized it,” James explained. James’ addiction and his penchant for fighting led to a five-year stint in prison. Random Lengths News asked how he kicked his habit in prison, since drug use is so prevalent inside the prison system. James simply said, “I stayed focused.” While James was on the inside finishing his time in jail, his bass player Blake Watson was putting the band back together and lining up gigs.
“When I got out, I already started getting the band back and my music going again, but Blake had really got all this together.”
James hasn’t used heroin since 2000, and has also learned to keep his anger under control. He told us that he is still banned from several clubs, but the person he is today is slowly resurrecting his life, along with his career.
Asked if he had any parting shots, he said, “Listen to music. It is an art form. It is the oldest form of communication on the planet. Go out and listen to live music, support artists like San Pedro Slim, The Mama’s Boys, Whiteboy James, there
is a lot of good music out there. Support your lo- cal bands”
Whiteboy James and the Blues Express (Blues jam session) will be at the Blue Dog Tavern at 4111 Viking Way, Long Beach, CA. (Carson & Bellflower Blvd.) this Sunday, Feb. 8. There’s no cover and it starts at 5 p.m.
To hear some of Whiteboy James’ music, go to www.myspace.com/whiteboyjamesbluesexpress. - Random Lengths News


_______________________________
Whiteboy James and the Blues Express
Last Time was the Last Time

Whiteboy James and the Blues Express takes their explosive energy and put
it to disk, creating a memorable picture of what they do live. Whiteboy James
style of singing is straight forward without any dialectic nuances, clean
clear and concise. His harmonica attack is pure Chicago, with every breath he
plays sounds that it is a religious experience. The guitar playing of Scott
Abeyta
is as good as it gets, his playing just drills each song to the bone. Bass
player Blake Watson and drummer Max Bangwell fill out the band in what is one of


the tightest sounding groups, playing Long Beach and the surrounding
community's.

The CD "Last is the Last Time", is a perfect expression of this band. It is
solid musicianship on top of some awfully good songs mind you a lot of their
material

is blue, so beware!

The CD opens it's 15 tracks of blistering blues with a
classic Leiber and Stroller song "Chicken and the Hawk, (Up,Up and Away)"
originally recorded by Big Joe Turner.
The song is so smoking hot coming out at you from the speakers that your ears
are burning from the heat.
The title track, 'Last Time is the Last Time" here we start getting a bit blue


(Meaning obscene), no matter how off color this material maybe, this is a killer

group playing

with a vengeance.Track three is one title that cannot be printed in the paper,
but pretty much

says what it means. "T-Bone for Daisy", is an instrumental that digs into
lexicon of guitar players

who play the blues,subtly beautiful, a nice contrast to a very coarse record.
The last song was originally recorded in the thirty's by Lucille Bogen called
"Shave' em Dry".
There is nothing subtle about this song it is hog nasty, nasty, if can't handle
raw language, then stay well away from this track.
It would make most of today's shock performers blush, this was done as an
underground 78 rpm record when first recorded by Miss Bogen 75 years ago.
Overall "Last Time is the Last Time" is solid CD, that documents one of Long
Beach's most provocative blues bands.
Go to www.whiteboyjames.com to find gigs and buy this CD - Random Lengths News


Whiteboy James & the Blues Express
Gallagher's Pub and Grill
A A AComments (0) By BRANDON FERGUSON Thursday, Sep 9 2010

Let's face it: Blues rock is tedious. It's no secret that bars get away with booking blues bands week after week because the humdrum 12 bar format jibes with the blunted aural synapses of a drunkard's brain. Enter Whiteboy James & the Blues Express. Demonstrating the adage that says "if you're going to do something, do it right," this guy delivers lyrical material so compelling and funny, the music becomes secondary - unless of course he's busting a wicked solo. Check out the jam "Big Butted Women," it's a side splitter.
Sun., Sept. 12, 5 p.m., 2010 - OC Weekly


Whiteboy James And The Blues Express
"Last Time Was The Last Time"
Rip Cat Records

By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, © August 2010

Whiteboy James And the Blues Express, a band that's self proclaimed as being "a detonative force not to be reckoned with" consists of: Whiteboy James on vocals and harmonica; Scott Abeyta on guitar; Blake Watson on bass; Max Bangwell on drums; and having absolutely nothing to do with the music at all, but certainly adding pleasure to the discs appearance - Bridget Blonde as the cover model.

Everything I'm reading about this band - the one sheet included with the disc, the liner notes written by Dan Jacobson of Southland Blues Magazine and quotes at the bands' website - all indicate that this is one hell of a band to catch live. Let's see if my ears will lead me to agree.

The opening track, "Chicken And The Hawk", immediately starts off in high gear and never lets up. This smoker is highlighted by wickedly wild rhythm from Max - on drums, and Blake - on what sounds like a stand up bass. Dancers, especially the swingers, will surely love this one.

The title track, "Last Time Was The Last Time" is one of several tracks which feature Whiteboy playing harp. As good as he is, I'm surprised there aren't a lot more of these wonderful harp highlights. The rhythm, as you'll probably hear me say throughout, is once again intense.

This instrumental is only 80 seconds long, but it's full throttle all the way. It could be that there was a "Fat Chance" the guys could go on at this pace much longer. I got out of breath just listening.

Being written by the guitarist, "T-Bone For Daisy" just so happens to feature some of the discs best guitar work. From the pen to the pick, this instrumental is all Scott. Slow, scorching blues, just the way I like it.

"Worried Life Blues" is another of what appears to be many well done tracks. Strong vocals from Whiteboy and hard driving guitar from Scott highlight this one. As a matter of fact, right about now I'm wondering how the heck I haven't heard of this incredible guitarist - who also happens to own the label - before this disc.

Untamed musicians, performing untamed acts on their instruments can only lead to one thing - "Untamed Melody". Track after track the Blues Express has continued to blow me away. This is another free for all instrumental led by "Mad" Max on drums and "Scorching" Scott on guitar.

"Shave 'em Dry #2" is another of the tracks that the "Parental Advisory" on the disc jacket applies to. On this one Whiteboy seems to take pleasure in graphically describing his sexual pleasures as well as patting himself on the back for his apparent superior ability in performing them. If you can hear past the lyrics on this one you'll experience some remarkable guitar chords from Scott.

Other tracks on "Last Time Was The Last Time" include: "By My Side", "Upside Your Head", "Reefer Man", "Don't Fuck Around With Love", "Keep It Clean", "Walk Around The World" and "Kiss Me When I Kiss".

From what I just heard, I'd have to agree with live show sentiments mentioned earlier. The guys are certainly talented enough, definitely entertaining enough and surely crazy enough to make me want to see them.

If you'd like to pickup a copy of "Last Time Was The Last Time", and I think you should, just go to www.whiteboyjames.com. While you're there, please tell the guys that the Blewzzman's hoping they make it to Florida someday. By the way - and this might be a good idea for interested radio stations - there is a PG version of the disc available. Just ask the band for the details.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com - Mary4Music.com


http://garagemagazine.com/check-whiteboy-james-blues-express/

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Whiteboy James & The Blues Express rip it up live on stage, then you’re really missing out! James and the boys have multiple gigs set all over Long Beach over the next few months, so make sure you check em’ out.

Check out www.whiteboyjames.com for their current touring schedule!

Tell em’ GARAGE magazine sent ya!
- Garage Magazine


Hello there ladies and gentlemen -
The twelfth season of the No Stinkin' Service Charge Blues Series has been on quite a run - three sold-out shows so far - Tommy Castro, Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers, Michael Burks with Whiteboy James and the Blues Express. The variety of artists as been exhilarating. Here's what community pillar Super Dave had to say about the last show -

Dear die hard Blues Crew,

I feel so blessed that I was able to participate as an audience member for what had to be one of the most blues intensive productions of the 'No Stinkin' Service Charge Blues Series' to date. Having never seen Whiteboy James and the Blues Express (the opening band) before, we were actually a bit blase about being there for that opening act. Well..........I would have still been kicking myself should we have opted to miss that portion of the show.
As far as we are concerned, Part 73 did not have an 'Opening Band'. Both groups were of the caliber of headliners. The gates of Blues Heaven smiled upon us all as White Boy James took the stage and began building an energy, a stage presence, an engraving of an image of blues I had not seen to date. He shared an energy that was such showmanship powered, creating a nearly animated character that shared from the depths of his own spirit. It was one of those 'pinch yourself' moments. You could feel his intensity as he would wipe the sweat from his brow as though it were steps in a dance, the pounding of his foot to start the tempo of each song and the wild eyes that would pierce your musical spirit as he would gulp down nearly a bottle of Bud, let out an aside belch and then treat the mic like a best friend without missing a beat or weakening of tone. Intense to the very last song!!!!
Okay, that said and done, here comes Michael Burks. The steady pre show set up, testing the strings, very subdued and casual. The lights go down, the mics are cued and suddenly the entire venue is transformed into a blues domain that rang of a deep south, smoky bar with friends surrounding you and a man on stage that seemed as relaxed with himself as he did with all of us. His way of bringing a hush and embrace to everyone's ears made you want to take him home with you and be greedy with this flowing blues that could melt a glacier. Michael Burkes took the entire audience to a blues destination that was 180 degrees from the previous stage presence and it was to the full thrill of the entire house that he did so.
I think the fact that Burks didn't want to leave the stage and that everyone wanted to spend the night just continuing the melt was a signature to the great show. Watching Pat try to figure out how to get the message to him that he needed to wrap up was a show in itself. No one wanted this to end.


Thank you to the Blues Crew for the eargasm that has taken these shows to another height in my musical spirit.


Love and Blessings,
Super Dave
- World Records, Bakersfield CA


Discography

Extreme Makeover released 9/17/2011
Whiteboy James and the Blues Express released 4/29/1992
Last Time Was The Last Time - released 3/28/2010
Zerg Shotgun and You - released 7/26/2010 in the hit computer game StarCraft 2 by Blizzard Entertainment
Both titles are available on Itunes and Amazon.com

Photos

Bio

Something amazing happens the moment you witness a White Boy James show. You’ll either tap your toes maniacally. Dance until the soles burn off your shoes. Or both.

Having just completed their second album, Whiteboy James and the Blues Express is a detonative force not to be reckoned with. Since reforming in 2006 after a five year absence, the band has re-established themselves as the legendary band that they once were during the Southern California blues explosion of the 80’s and 90’s. Whiteboy James has a mesmerizing, driving and sonic stage presence. Combine that with three gifted, well-seasoned musicians and chances are chairs at one of their shows just won’t be necessary.
James Page was born in Compton, California and spent most of his formative years bouncing around sunny Southern California. As a youngster, he listened to whatever he could grasp. But his musical influences changed radically when he began listening to his uncle’s Deep South Rhythm and Blues and Country vinyl. Although "Whiteboy" found it difficult to fit into the Southern California "Beach Boy" culture in which he was surrounded by, hs heart, soul and ears were dialed into the likes of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Sam "Lightning" Hopkins, Big Joe Turner besides the usual suspects such as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Wills and even Spike Jones. By the mid 1980's, also known as the peak of the Southern Californian blues explosion, blues bands were forming everywhere — from garages and backyard parties to all night blues jams in various beer-soaked nightclubs. During this time, "Whiteboy" James had several tunes in his repertoire and was willing and ready to sit in, sing, jam, crush and blow some harmonic sounds with whoever would have the “cajones” to invite him up on stage. And good thing, because his tenacity paid off in spades. A few of the takers included The Mighty Flyers, William Clarke, James Harman, The Blasters (Phil and Dave Alvin), Johnny Dyre, Joe Houston, Little Charlie and the Night Cats, Top Jimmy and Juke Logan, just to name a few. And history be told, it was at one of the jams that the original Blues Express was formed. Soon thereafter, this raucous foursome was jamming, gigging and grinding all over the Southern California blues circuit. "Whiteboy" James became quite the buzz across blues stages and dance floors across the southland. People were talking about this entertaining “jump and jive” madman who, not unlike his boyhood hero Cab Calloway, strutted the stage leading a tops blues band and dressed in a trench coat (As opposed to Cab Calloway's tux and tails. (Talk about a dichotomy) "Whiteboy" James and the Blues Express continued to play throughout the 1990s and after a well-deserved break, they’re back and as unruly as ever. Simply put, you don’t listen to Whiteboy” James. You experience it. You feel it. You dance on a lot of broken glass.

Whiteboy Werdz: Fun, energetic, dynamic, driving, mischievous, explosive, self-effacing, relentless, refined (in an un-refined way), off-the-cuff, feisty, tenacious, sonic, drunk-a-billy, power-billy, grindy, raucous, rowdy, rough-neck, bottle-breaking, toe-tapping, blue-collar professionals, in-command, dirty, passionate, unruly, whisky-infused, detonative.

Note: Whiteboy James and The Blues Express has 2 songs in the new Blizzard Entertainment hit Game "StarCraft 2"