b. 22 August 1967, Portland, Michigan, USA. Singing in church and listening to blues and rock on record, by her teenage years James had become a confident and accomplished performer. While at Michigan State University she met guitarist Craig Calvert and they began to play and compose together. Their band, the Flying Tigers, built a solid following in and around Detroit and soon they were eager to expand their base. Moving to Chicago, Illinois, and with a new band named Jewel Fetish, James and Calvert played in many locally noted blues clubs, including Buddy Guy’s, Blues Legends, Taste Of Chicago and The House of Blues. As James’ prestige grew she began performing under her own name, with Calvert continuing to provide powerful and fiery support for her singing. James sings an engaging and exhilarating mixture of traditional country blues and classic rock, with strong undercurrents of gospel and even hints of country music.
In the mid-90s, James added to her dedicated local following through the release of an album on the Netherlands-based Provogue Records. Her European audience has continued to grow and although recorded in Chicago, her next few albums were also released by Provogue and received rave reviews in Europe and the UK as well as back home in the USA. In Chicago James appeared in a stage presentation of Love, Janis, based upon letters written by Janis Joplin, a singer to whom she has been favourably compared, and built around her life and music. The recorded work of James and Calvert shows them to be decidedly superior to many better-known artists.