Jeffrey James – I’m Wide Awake

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“For a guy whose dad’s-uncle wrote the book on How to Play the Guitar, I should be a better guitar player…” but no matter how well tuned or strummed his instrument may be, Jeffrey’s voice alone could carry him alongside his band.

Baritone and brassy, his melodies roll like thunder across audiences, unintentionally bridging regional stereotypes as his Indiana-bred body belts out sounds of the deep south.

“Being such a low-key signer, there’s only so many guys you can idolize. I was into my parents’ music growing up, naturally, so I was filled from an early age with a love for groups like The Temptations and The Doobie Brothers.” As of late, he accounts Jonny Lang and Marc Broussard for inspiration.

“It’s been a long search trying to find something that was really me… having a different voice has kept me from choosing anything easy.”

Somewhere along this journey, he found himself performing at a German theme park for three months over a summer break at Belmont. With another male student and two female students, they dished out endless American music reviews of classic rock and pop hits.

“I’ll go wherever I have to go – chasing opportunity. I Love touring – I play guitar only because I have to. Love having the band because I want to be able to focus on putting on a show!” With a background in show choir throughout high school, he’s received plenty of training on how to perform and entertain. He pursued this “nerdy” extra-curricular through college until he began exploring the songwriter’s sphere of performance with three to four writer’s rounds a week Senior year.

But as much as Jeffrey loves to entertain, he loves more the feeling after writing a good song and playing on stage with his band when the song is clicking together perfectly between them all. “Whether the crowd is feeling it or not, I think they’re feeling it and I know I am doing my very best.” And whether his crowd is saturated with fans or new audiences, Jeffrey noted additionally, “Nothing pushes you more than a crowd thinking ‘who the hell is this kid?’”

While his frequent touring has accrued within him a love for big cities – especially New York – his stay in Nashville is for now indefinite. And, while his pause seemed lengthy after asking him how long he felt he would remain here, he did concede, “I can’t see a future right now that would pull me somewhere else.”

The Wide Awake Project |

“The idea behind the Wide Awake project is to not wait around for an EP. Things went really well in the recording process with my producer Mark Snyder, and after finding someone who really got it I was all set to just keep pushing out songs.

We have put out as much content as possible… we live in a “singles world” where people usually want to just buy one track on an album anyways.”

Beginning with six-or-so songs each month, Jeffrey and Konrad work their way down to the best track for recording. This process of living wide awake has not only reflected benefits for audiences but for Jeffrey as well: “I am constantly writing and being creative so I’ve been growing.”

“We’ve been doing this since February. For a year we will continue the project, learning and growing as we go. After that point, we will re-assess.”

Jeffrey offers you his whole world as he follows up each song with videos and vlogs for days. “I want to connect with people like that, to be open. They can learn anything and everything about me.”

“I’m Wide Awake” was their 4th single, and his “Bad Woman” will show her face august 6th for audiences all a-broad.

“With releasing these songs in such proximity to one another, they are coming out with potentially the same album-like sound. The last two releases and this upcoming one could possible end up in a set together.”

Catch Jeffrey with house-show-circuit Cause a Scene on August 14th  at The Basement – catch the details HERE

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By Kaitlyn Crocker,
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