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BIO

Maryland born and bred, Erin James is a fresh new face in Nashville. A vibrant singer and songwriter, Erin James really knows how to connect with her audience. In addition to her sassy vocals, Erin plays many instruments including guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and keys.

 
 

Erin James once penned a song “Learned It All the Hard Way” where she reflects on the sum of her experiences that her led her to evolve into the artist she is today. From those experiences, she weaves stories that provide a fun and sometimes riveting snapshot of the world.

Erin James was born August 28, 1981 in Maryland and spent most of her life in Taylorsville, equidistant between Washington DC and Baltimore MD. Her family performed county music across the region – so there were always instruments lying around for her to pick up and play. She participated in the school music programs in elementary and middle school but later taught herself to play ten instruments with ease. Her incredible musical ability eventually led her to discover an outlet for her observations about life and love – namely songwriting.

Erin played in various teen bands from country to rock to punk trying to find her niche in the music world. In high school, Erin was known as the class clown, always in trouble and always breaking the rules. Erin jokes she spent more time in the principal’s office than in class. Erin’s trademark sarcasm and fearless attitude often got her suspended. A few detentions and speeding tickets later, Erin decided to get serious with music. Growing up around country music she developed a deep love and respect for the genre. "Country music tells a story. Both lyrically and musically, it’s real life". Eventually, she landed a job as a back-up singer and musician for Oldies legend Ronnie Dove where she performed at fairs, festivals and clubs around the MD, DC and PA area. Her gig with Ronnie Dove taught her a lot about showmanship and building a fan base. His fans came to know her, love her and support her dreams as she made the decision to move to Nashville in pursuit of a songwriting and solo career.

Erin James had one ace in the whole that few musical ”wanna be's” who trek to Nashville can lay claim to. She had a “second career” and supported herself as an emergency room nurse at a large area hospital in Downtown Nashville. She worked many nights on the graveyard shift and often pulled “doubles” to allow her time and money to pursue her passion – music. Every free moment over the last several years was spent working, performing and learning the business. She worked as a demo singer and worked as a back up musician for some new artists. In between, she hit the studio to record some of her many original songs in pursuit of her solo career.

For a short while, Erin put aside her solo career for a stint with a girl trio. A hit on her myspace page landed her an audition a band named Chasing Dixie that Holden Productions was putting together (later Della Rose Band) that included America Idol finalist Alaina Whitaker and violinist Andrea Young. Tony Holden was seeking a “third girl” to complete the group – someone who could contribute musically and vocally - and songwriting was a definite plus. Erin James was flown to Oklahoma and hired on the spot. In a matter of days, the group appeared on two television shows, had a casino performance and then opened up for county music legends Brooks and Dunn. The group toured the USA during which time Erin had the experience of opening shows for Rascall Flatts, Darius Rucker, Keith Anderson, Jason Aldean, Loggins and Messina, Cowboy Troy and more. She and the girls were also featured on Storme Warren’s Headline Country. All in all, this was a phenomenal experience and she met lots of great people along the way. The group recently disbanded in mid 2010 and Erin could at last return to her songwriting roots and put her solo career back on the front burner.

With every artist is a break through moment. She was recently discovered by Michael Clair of Nashville Ninja Management sort of by fluke. Erin’s fiancée Cody Leppo was working as a drummer for a couple of Clair’s artists – namely Hal Ketchum and Johnny Hiland. One day, Cody happened to play a couple of original tunes and Clair asked “who is that” and commented that “Erin is something new and fresh ….something Nashville hasn’t seen or heard yet!” And the rest, shall we say, is well, you know.

What sells so many people on Erin James and her music is her unique perspective on the world. She’s seen a lot of ‘heartache and pain” from her experiences in the emergency room. She’s witnessed firsthand the fall of many musician and singers who come to the town with dreams only to crumble under the pressure of vying to get noticed. Her songs are not always prim and proper. She does not always see the world through the proverbial “rose colored glasses” so often depicted in country music. But Erin James has been able to capture moments from these diverse life experiences in song. She shares snippets of her personal observations of this crazy, mixed-up, wonderful world we live in. Her lyrics are sometimes hard hitting and emotional. However, many of her songs are story like, spirited and humorous. Take her song “He’s Drunk Again” - written about a guy who can’t seem to make it home past the bar on pay day. And there’s “Breakin” Your Stuff” about a messy breakup that ends with Flat screen TV’s and DVD's sailing into the junk pile. Erin James loves to have fun, and believes in enjoying life to the fullest. Woo hoo!

As a performer, Erin James loves a rowdy, country crowd and really tries to find a way to connect with her crowd. She jokingly quips “I’m not Carrie”, but she is something truly fresh and different – and above all, real. As with any true gem, Erin James is a multi-faceted artist. She writes all her own lyrics and music and skillfully produces each song.

Erin James just finished cutting her new single “Southern Belle” and guitar legend Johnny Hiland even performed on the cut. She’s the feature act at an industry showcase at The Rutledge in October of 2010 and there is more studio time slated for her in the near future. She plans to finish recording more of her originals – there are so many to choose from, it will be tough to decide which make the final cut.

Born and bred in Maryland, Erin James currently calls Nashville home and resides there with her fiancée Cody Leppo and their cuddly dog Charlie. She plans on touring later this year with some local and international shows in the works.

Erin James may have “learned the hard way” but she is definitely is here to stay.

To hear the latest on Erin James, check out: www.myspace.com/erinjamessongs
www.facebook.com/erinjamesmusic
www.twitter.com/erinjames

Erin James is "jack of all trades" when it comes to music and you won't want to miss her performances in 2010!


 

 

 
     

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