James and his new band have just wrapped up a quick tour of the California coast with stops in Santa Cruz, Agoura Hills, Hermosa Beach and back up to Oakland. Stay tuned for more in-depth reporting on the two I was fortunate enough to catch, but in a nutshell, all four were DA BOMB!
James has three new bandmates, and we hope they stick around for a long time to come! The talent on that stage is over the top! Robert Tovar takes over on lead guitar and is blindingly articulate on those strings. His practiced and precise technique combined with his musicality makes for a very well-rounded and exciting performance and his chemistry with James is spot-on. Dj Patton picks up the bass and gives the band a rock-solid foundation with a lot of style. "Style" however is an understatement when we get to Eric James Patterson on drums. Eric is hilarious, unbelievably creative, and a downright freakin amazingly skilled drummer. Together with James' maturing vocals, the band is better than I've ever heard it sound. It was a excellently cohesive unit.
Three new songs are debuted and carried through all four sets from various stages of James' career. "Lost Boys" opens each show at a hard-driving and almost frantic pace. "Riot on Sunset" quickly claimed a spot in my favorites, from James' days with his old band, the Hollywood Scars. But the real gem is "In the Shadows," an almost painfully tender ballad in which James manages to whisper AND wail. This song could easily hit #1 on the Billboard charts - we really hope it gets a chance to be heard.
Check out YouTube for a few videos of these latest shows, you won't be disappointed!