Christopher (Singing Hawk) James‘ musical journey began at the age of five when he got his first guitar.
His mother and uncle taught him a few chords and simple songs, and he was hooked. While still in his teens, Christopher headed south, to the place where blues began, to play with various blues groups in locations such as Clarksdale, Mississippi to Dallas. After returning to Maryland, James founded his own group and went on to win the Baltimore Blues Society’s Blues Challenge contest. He was then a finalist in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where “They played a blistering 30 minute set, demonstrating tight dynamics, outstanding showmanship and originality” (Bob Sekinger, Blues Rag, vol. 16, issue 2).
He has released five CDs, which have been played on stations such as WRNR (103.1) and WPFW (89.3). His fourth CD, Out of Wooden Boxes, received two Wammie nominations from the Washington Area Music Association for Best Blues Recording and Best Blues Vocalist. After his father died, Christopher immersed himself in learning to play the mandolin, an instrument played by his great-grandfather who immigrated to the US from Italy and his older cousin, Michael Sassano, who is a well known mandolinist in New York. Christopher’s mandolin playing is featured on the latest release, When the Moon Gets High Tonight: The Blues Mandolin Experience.
Christopher’s love of music is expressed in his songwriting, singing, and playing on the mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica and ukulele. He has written over 150 songs, and performed with or opened for such luminaries as John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Etta James, and many others. He and his band have performed at clubs, theaters and festivals from NYC to Dallas, including venues such as Artscape (Baltimore, MD), the Baltimore Blues Festival, and Roots Music and Arts Festival (Westminster, MD).
To learn more and to sample some of Christopher’s music, please visit www.christopherjames.com.