Send a Message to James Head

James Head...yes, that IS my real name thank you

Info

Greetings one and all. You must be mildy curious as to what I'm all about or you wouldn't be here, right? Hmmm. Where to start? Well, I'm 22 years old. I'm currently working as a servant missionary down here in Haiti, teaching English. I grew up in Rochester, NY but my family is from the country. I play an old vintage Guild fretless bass from the eighties that I found at a used guitar store. It's real heavy! If you see any videos of Sting playing with the Police early on when 'Message in a Bottle' first came out you will see he's using a guild fretless as well. That's pretty much my bass except a different color and probably a different year. I've been playing the bass for about two years, but I've had experience with the guitar since I was 13. Now I know some people might say that if you can play guitar, you can play bass. I think most of us would have to disagree with that. But my years playing the guitar has certainly helped me pick stuff up faster. I also play percussion, such as congas and other world instruments. I'm actualy the most skilled in this area, having played secular gigs at bars and coffeehouses as well playing on the worship teams at large Christian conventions.

Why I play

Let me say first of all that I believe the desire to create and experience music was planted in our hearts by the hand of our Father in Heaven. I have always enjoyed learning new songs as well as composing my own. But nothing completes me more that playing my bass in a setting of worship. This is the reason we were created, anything less then that will always leave our heart thirsting for more... That being said, please allow me to take you back to when I was younger. The Super Nintendo had just recently arrived on the scene. If any of you remember, the SNES had an amazing sound capability at the time. It sounded so life like compared to the muddy splats and klinks offered by the Sega Genesis. One sound in particular realy caught my attention and imagination as a kid. The warm, moody fretless bass tone. I didn't know what a fretless bass was all about, but that sound just captivated me. I guess others felt the same way since many a Japanese game composer frequently took advantage of that cool tone on countless videogame tracks. Then one day when I was older, probably in middle school, I found an unlabled cassette tape that belonged to my Uncle Jim. (notice we have the same name?) Don't you love tapes that leave you clueless as to who the artist is? Well this one had Peter Gabriel's first solo album on one side and Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love' on the other. I recognized Peter Gabriel but I had no clue who the lady was on the other side. And I just LOVED the sounds that were coming from her bass player! Well as I grew older I eventualy solved the mystery about Kate Bush and began to dig deeper into the 'lore' of fretless bass. Everybody talks about Jaco and Tony Levin as some of the fretless greats, but I was clueless about them until much later in my bass career. Instead I knew Del Palmer from Kate Bush, and I knew that the 'Land of the Dwarves' song from Final Fantasy II had one of the most kick butt fretless bass lines ever!

Musical Influences

  • Del Palmer - Main bass sound on almost all of Kate Bush's albums.
  • Tony Levin - Please tell me you know who Tony Levin is.
  • The Super Nes - Some of the coolest fretless bass riffs I've ever heard. Seriously.

Favorite Recordings

  • Hounds of Love: KATE BUSH
  • Close to the Edge: YES
  • Jars of Clay: JARS OF CLAY - (their first album is still the best)