James grew up in Troy, Alabama and realized he could seek a career as a musician at age six when he watched a local musician play covers at a family function.
He began playing the guitar at age sixteen when he was gifted one for Christmas. At the age of 21, James moved to Birmingham, Alabama to pursue music professionally. It was here that he met Adrian Marmolejo and formed their band, Early James and the Latest.
Early James released some early songs on his YouTube channel and performed them from 2016 to 2019 such as “Tinfoil Hat” and “Gravy Train”.
Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys discovered James while the songwriter was working in Birmingham. Auerbach liked James’ unique style and asked to produce his debut album.
On December 5, 2019, James announced his debut album Singing for My Supper would be released on March 13, 2020, by Nonesuch and Auerbauch’s Easy Eye Sound.
He also released his first single from this project, “Blue Pill Blues.”
Subsequent singles from this project, “It Doesn’t Matter Now” and “High Horse” were released on January 23, 2020, and February 13, 2020, respectively.
In a performance covered by Rolling Stone for its changes to the Band’s The Last Waltz, James rewrote lyrics to “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” to reframe it as a critique, rather than what some saw as a celebration, of the Confederacy
On August 19, 2022, James released his second studio album Strange Time To Be Alive. One song, “Real Lowdown Lonesome”, featured Sierra Ferrell. Songs such as “Wasted and Wanting” and “Dance in The Fire” had already been played live, as early as 2018.
In late 2022, Early James started his first headlining tour, beginning in Texas, which he showed his enthusiasm for by writing a song about the tour.
From the album ‘Strange Time to Be Alive,’ available now: https://click.ees.link/ejsttba
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