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The Beginning:

James was born in an army hospital in Louisiana, a son of a sergeant and a military mother, - in the middle of a hurricane. Shortly after, he was whisked deep into heartland USA - Cleveland, Ohio. He loved music from the start. Barely seven years old, his aunt would peek in with delight as James spent endless hours alone in the garage playing his makeshift drum kit assembled from boxes, with radios positioned to the left and right to capture that perfect stereo sound. His first gig was for his 5th grade elementary school classmates, in a power pop trio with matching outfits to boot! He was certain of his calling before the applause died down.

James traded the drums in for a guitar, and during the last days of high school it rarely left his side. He performed the class song at his graduation ceremonies, and headed into college as a music theory and composition major. Graduation found his Chevy nova packed with everything he owned - his guitars, amps, and a wardrobe consisting of jeans, t-shirts, and a leather coat, and headed west towards sunny Southern California.

Recording Artist:

On his self titled 1994 release, Grey’s heartland roots and songwriting diversity stepped forward in songs such as “ Ticket in my Pocket “. "A Thousand Lies" and "Sunriver". Local radio formats embraced his cross - pollination of styles. James was welcomed into the vibrant 90’s west coast singer/songwriter scene, showcasing at L.A.’s leading venues such as the legendary Troubadour, Genghis Cohen, and Billy Block’s Western Beat.

His second offering, 1998’s "Windows" was shaped with the help of Producer / Bassist Taras Prodaniuk (Dwight Yoakam, Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams), and a band consisting of many of L.A.’s A-List session and touring musicians. The press said “No “ Grey “ area here, this is a promising artist. “(Music Connection Magazine Vol. XX11, No.14), Radio said “James Grey is ready ... -- A MAJOR DEAL!“ (KLOS FM DJ Bill Hartew), and industry insiders said “A very very talented man!“ (Linda Lorence, V. P. of AR, SESAC). Tracks “Here I Am” and “Won’t Go Back Home” were played on ABC’s Gideon’s Crossing and WB’s Felicity shows. James played such noted venues as NYC’s The Bitter End, Seattle’s EMP Museum, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Austin’s renowned SXSW, and Portland’s NXNW.

“SHADOWS IN LIGHT“ Grey’s third CD, released late fall 2001, was crafted with some of the industry’s brightest talents. Friends Arnold McCuller (James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Collins) and Teresa James (Eric Clapton, John Haitt, TV and Film) lent their amazing vocal talents. Guitarist Billy Watts (Lucinda Williams, Dixie Chicks), keyboardist Giovanna Imbesi (Dave Koz, Andy Summers) played. And legendary Pro Tools master Chilitos Valenzuela mixed and edited. Reviews said, "Grey's work possesses a warmth and intimacy...” "... uplifting Triple A style song craft... "(Robert Kinsler, The Orange County Register 10/19/01). Tracks “Love Changes Everything” was featured on FX’s Lucky show, and was used as a tutorial song sample for Avid’s Pro Tools manual. James opened for national touring acts at Orange County’s Coach House and Galaxy Theatres, in between trips to Nashville to collaborate with songwriters and artists.

In 2006 James went back into the studio to record his fourth project, cut five sides, and released a summer single featuring the Hinson/Grey penned “Every Day’s A Sunday”. The resulting 2007 video of the song showcased James’ hometown Surf City USA pier and beach district like a moving musical post card, and was featured on PBS.


Shortly after the new millennium James’ artist collaborations out of Nashville soon found a place, and over the next few years many of his songs were released. “Suddenly” was a featured title song in the 2002 Golden Reel nominated film “Left Behind II Tribulation Force” and it’s soundtrack, and Contemporary Christian artist Russ Lee’s 2003 “The Second Mile” and 2005 follow up “Greatest Hits” record. James and #1 country hit songwriter Jimbeau Hinson quickly became fast friends and regular collaborators. In 2004 Jimbeau recorded their song “Home” for his “Twelve American Beauties” CD. James had credits on four other independent artist releases throughout the following year.

Northwest blue-eyed soul transplant Tyrone Well’s meteoric rise, fueled by his live performances and the hit potential of the Grey/Wells penned “Seabreeze”, eventuated with the crowd favorite being the second single on his Universal Republic Records debut. Since, “Seabreeze” has been featured on T.V. and Film, listed by Bride Magazine Co. as one of their top 20 hot new love songs, used over 1000 times for various romance themed occasions, and remains a must play concert encore song every night on Tyrone’s relentless touring schedule. Today their writing partnership remains as vibrant and productive as in their beginning, with numerous collaborations being featured in Tyrone’s catalogue.

The second half of the decade found James’ collaborations on a variety of creative endeavors. James teamed up with Grammy award winning classical pianist Angelin Chang to compose a classical guitar/piano instrumental duet for a children’s album. Through referral from respected music industry author and consultant John Braheny, James was introduced to Polish recording artist Luke, and they utilized Internet technology to collaborate for his commercial releases. And as a new singer/songwriter scene was emerging on the west coast, James collaborated with many of the young talented artists on the forefront. James worked with emerging artists at the core of L.A.’s thriving Hotel Café scene. Some releases were Elina (2006), Andrea Hamilton (2007), Tamila & Elina (2009), Holly (2010), and two songs on Casey Hurt’s critically acclaimed “Mended Souls” (2011) release.


Today plans are underway for James to record his 5th CD release. Aside from being signed as a writer to a publishing company focused on T.V./Film licensing, James’ back catalogue is represented by four leading independent music licensing houses. He continues to enjoy the challenge of songwriting with talented young up and coming artists, as well as highly respected and admired accomplished hit makers.

When asked about his songwriting goals, James said “If I could wave a wand over it, I would have hits in every genre of music that I love…and that’s about all of them!”

A cross- pollination of styles continues to influence his music to consistently and effortlessly capture listeners from across the musical spectrum. He calls Huntington Beach, CA. his hometown. When he’s not away you may very well find James walking the Surf City pier aimlessly ... one of his favorite pastimes.