Davin James is bigger than life, but not big enough to contain the music that explodes out of him every time he picks up a guitar.
He's a showman through and through. James figures there's no point in getting up on that stage if you're not willing to strut your stuff - that's guitar playing that rivals the likes of B.B. King, Toy Caldwell, and Stevie Ray Vaughn; and powerhouse vocals tailor-made for music that stretches from Cajun and Gulf blues to rock and traditional country. He tops it off with showmanship that grabs an audience and never lets go. James is an entertainer right down to the tips of his flashy handmade boots.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, he grew up in Louisiana and Arkansas, and landed in South Texas when he was twelve. James soaked up the music around him along the way; especially the country music he picked up from hanging around his dad. When James was just knee-high, his father would take him on hunting and fishing trips, and at night, after cooking their catch, they'd sit by the fire and Dad would play his guitar. Those times made a real impression on James, and when he was thirteen, he started playing the guitar himself. The first song he learned was Merle Haggard's "Ramlin Fever". "I knew when I hit that first chord, I wanted to play music for a living." He says.
James was deeply influenced by his father, who passed along his love for the music of the South and a passion for playing. Other early influences included Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Bob Wills, as well as Southern rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd. But James' world stopped when he heard Hank Williams, Jr.'s "Whisky Bent and Hell Bound". "He put all that stuff together," James says. "Hardcore honky-tonk, blues, gospel, Dixieland, Southern rock. Like Williams, James is unwilling to confine himself to a single genre. With echoes of the greats of southern country, rock, and blues in his heart, he puts his unique stamp on the rich musical heritage of Texas and the South.