James Houlahan is a singer, songwriter, and guitar player based in Los Angeles, California. A founding member of Boston-area bands such as Dogs on Television and The Jody Grind, Houlahan has come to be known as a songsmith who channels both tradition and poetic innovation. His 2012 solo release “misfit hymns" has found airplay on over 100 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada, and was released in Europe on the Continental Record Services label. Houlahan's songs have been used in commercials, television, and film. He performs regularly in the L.A. area and tours throughout the western U.S.
Born and raised in New England, Houlahan began to seriously write songs in college as he juggled the possibilities for writing poetry with writing music. Influenced by writers such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Neil Young, Houlahan is attempting a dynamic musicality, inextricably bound to a need for approaching human stories, half-stories, mythic themes and mental pictures with a sense of poetic innovation and a fierce urge for the truth. More recently influenced by writers such as Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt, he has become interested in combining aspects of traditional music with evocative, more personal lyrics. Stumbling into Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music and the writings of Joseph Campbell have also opened numerous doors into What's Next.
In 2009, Houlahan released the debut solo record “Seven Years Now.” That album has gone on to achieve a dedicated following in the Boston area. Due to the positive response to this work, Houlahan decided to focus all of his efforts on a follow-up. That follow-up is “misfit hymns,” a place where folk meets rock, tradition meets noise, and stories both come together and fall apart. As mentioned above, the new album has found airplay on over 100 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada, and has been released in Europe with the distributor Continental Record Services.
In performance, Houlahan’s shows can veer from quieter, intimate solo gigs to louder, band-rocking, exercises in face-melting bliss. He has performed shows all over California, the western U.S., and the New England area. He is intent on bringing his music to the largest audience possible.