After years of producing music in a home studio, James takes a band, and 12 new songs to the historic Church Studios in Downtown Tulsa.
James Korzelius is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who's written, produced, and recorded virtually every note of 4 full-length albums and an EP. The EP is available for free download at: www.noisetrade.com/MrK
James has also recorded dozens of radio commercials, film soundtracks, and albums for bands and other singers/songwriters. In addition, James has recorded the awe inspiring soundtrack for a premier Tulsa area Halloween event over the past several years. Amazingly, he's accomplished all of these things from the spare bedroom of his home using a ramshackle assortment of equipment and virtually no budget.
"I've really taken that about as far as I can, honestly ..."
James recently told me. "There's really only so much one can do
in virtual seclusion. In the end, everything comes off sounding so … 'Produced'."
Then came one of life's unexpected turns.
"One morning I was having coffee with my friend Steve Brubaker who is a local filmmaker. Steve received a call from a client he'd been working with on a piece for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and he needed to run to a local studio to shoot some interview footage. He asked me if I wanted to come along."
It was on this haphazard excursion that James was introduced to the legendary Church Studio in downtown Tulsa. Founded by Leon Russell, Church Studio has a long and storied history. "I looked around that place, and listened to those rooms, and touched those classic instruments, and thought, 'I could do something really special here.' It's the kind of environment that living, breathing music comes out of."
But, not without a lot of help.
James called on his friend John Wortham first. John is a stellar bassist, and one of James' oldest friends. "I've known John for twenty years. We've worked together both live and in the studio... I mean, John was at my wedding, and at the hospital the day my daughter was born... he's a landmark guy in my life." John agreed to make the drive from his home in Kingman, KS to work on the project (and his wife, Michelle, generously agreed to let him.)
Next came legendary percussionist Mark Hill. An extraordinary drummer and friend for over a decade. Mark and James had previously worked together on a two (2) DVD drum instruction set that Mark recently released. The DVDs are available at: www.drumsandstuff.com. Mark happily agreed to serve as the backbone for this new project.
James also called multi-instrumentalist Joseph Callery to jump into the mix. "Joseph and I met some months ago, and he's just blown me away with his passion, and his heart." He also happens to be a great keyboardist, which will be something altogether new for James. "Yeah, aside from church, I've never played live with a keyboardist. I think it's going to be a huge factor in these sessions."
James has also called upon several colleagues from the band he plays with at his local church to help flesh out the sessions. There will be a variety of guitarists and singers lending their talents to the album.
When it all comes together in mid-September, they'll be setting up in one
big beautiful room at Church Studio,
in a circle, and banging the tracks out live. "I think that's been
the missing link... real interaction. We've got great material, and it's all
about finally hearing it come alive."
And when it's finished?
"Package it all up pretty, and get the stuff out there. Honestly, I've never been a fan of the business of music, and I've never been seriously driven to make "my living" from it. But, I have always wanted to make the music widely accessible and the Internet revolution has made that possible." There are obviously plans to press a CD (with cover design and photography by James and his wife Juli) as well as a frame-worthy Poster. ("It'll be art..." he tells me.) Additionally, James and his friend Steve Brubaker will be filming The Making of 'Swagger and Sway' for release to Kickstarter backers (of $100 or more,) and James will be pounding out an Acoustic disc tentatively titled, Shuffle and Twang (for release to Kickstarter backers of $150 or more) to coincide with Swagger and Sway.
Having heard James' previous work, and sensing his overwhelming enthusiasm for this new project, I'm convinced that Swagger and Sway is destined to gain some much deserved attention from the Inde circuit.-Yvgenie Djoubintu for Tulsa Style & Times
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