Chris James is an established San Francisco Bay Area singer songwriter that offers an inviting sound of rich baritone vocals, sweeping acoustic guitar, and soulful harmonica. His original songs are often mistaken for covers, while performing cover songs he makes all his own.
Along with his enduring and endearing band: The Showdowns, the group puts on an energetic, engaging live show, meshing the stylings of Southern Rock, Americana, Country, and Blues, often channeling the influences of such heroes as: Tom Petty, The Eagles, Marshal Tucker, The Rolling Stones, and Creedence.
The band is comprised of loyal musical soldiers who are all esteemed pro musicians in their own right: Matt Berg (drums), AJ Leighton (bass), John Paterson (keys), Dan Petruzella (lead guitar) and Whitt Vicena (lead guitar). The musical synergy created between them is contagious and transcends the stage. Together they continue to make lasting rock music memories from the trenches of the grittiest bars and clubs—to festivals, corporate events, and everything in between.
Their most recent album: Vintage Select is a testament to the band's 15 plus years together, showcasing their songwriting craftsmanship and musical depth, while tipping the musical hat to rock legends of the past. An accomplished follow up to their esteemed 2019 release: "Somewhere Out In California."
The Portland Maine native James has performed hundreds of live shows on both coasts as a solo artist, as well as with The Showdowns. He is also no stranger to the studio, having put forth a number of full-length albums over the years that have been played on commercial, satellite, and internet radio.
--"Chris James is a rock star.” – Hot Mittens Productions
--"James' style of writing is hard to deny as it rings of the times and life situations we can all relate to. It's nice to see an artist and band like the Showdowns hold true to Americana roots while still giving you a rock and roll kick in the ass!" -Starita (Producer - Trevor Hall, Tribe Called Quest)
--"Chris is a great singer-songwriter with an honest approach and down to earth style”
- J. Bowman (Lead Guitarist - Michael Franti & Spearhead)
A little back story…
Chris James started out as a budding songwriter performing acoustic material at campfire outings, parties, and coffee houses in and around the Portland Maine area. Gaining confidence as a performer, he realized that he would have to look to larger cities to become more widely recognized and ventured to San Francisco with not much more than a guitar in tow. Shortly after arriving and weathering the culture shock of a country boy in the big city, he formed the rock band Small Change Romeos. After just a few years, the band had built a fairly large Bay Area following and were known for their diverse sound and eclectic songwriting. They also were on the cusp of a record deal with Universal Records when the bottom fell out and the digital age set in. As a father and part time San Francisco bartender, James has had to wear many hats and endure setbacks as so many independent musicians have. He continues to strive forth however; spreading his music to ever growing audiences while writing, recording, and performing with purpose and vigor in the pursuit of his passion.