Darrin James touches on Robbie Robertson’s gruff soulfulness, Tom Waits’s vaudevillian menace and Paul Westerberg’s ramshackle charm ... James has a knack for perceptive lyrics and memorable tunes; his crack band supplies the laid-back grooves." Time Out NY
Darrin James is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, composer and producer known for his serious, thought-provoking lyrics, his characteristic gravelly voice, his soulful musicianship and his eclectic production style, which combines the electric and gritty sounds of blues and rock with acoustic, rootsy elements of Americana. James' more recent albums feature tightly arranged funk horn sections and more percussive, syncopated, and odd-meter flavors from around the globe.
James has released three critically praised albums of original songs: Thrones of Gold (2006), The Lovely Ugly Truth (2009) and Strange Storm (2016). His music has found it's way into TV and film such as Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch and the 2019 film, Peel, starring Emile Hirsch. In 2018 James provided the soundtrack to the documentary film, Meet Me at the Lindell, The Story of America's First Sports Bar, which premiered at Detroit's Freep Film Festival and aired on PBS.
In 2018 James released the first album of his instrumental jazz-funk project, Disaster Relief, which he intended to provide an escape from all the negativity and seriousness of the political climate of the time. In 2021, James collaborated with Detroit's "Queen of the Blues," Thornetta Davis, writing and producing a two song release, How I Feel by Disaster Relief & Thornetta Davis, which bridges Disaster Relief's funk with Thornetta's bluesy soul swagger and a fair dose of social commentary. In 2021, James released the second full length album from Disaster Relief, titled Back into It.
Darrin James was born in Kentucky, raised in Metro Detroit, and attended University of Michigan in the 90s, where he studied literature and music. He spent the first decade of the 2000s cutting his teeth in New York City where he released his first two albums and established himself in the Brooklyn music scene, performing at venues like Galapagos, Jalopy Theater, Southpaw, Pete's Candy Store, and more. In 2010 James returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan and has been active in the Ann Arbor and Detroit scenes, performing regularly at places like the Blind Pig, Old Town Tavern, the Ark, and Cliff Bells. In 2014 James started Ravine Records and Ravine Studios A2 to focus on recording, producing, and releasing new musical collaborations. James and Ravine Records have many new exciting releases on the horizon in 2022! To check out all of James's other projects, go to www.ravinerecords.com