I was born on top of a hill and raised near the apple orchards just west of Grand Rapids, MI. I was singing in the choir before I was old enough to go to school. I began writing songs in elementary school. Around that same time I told my parents that I was gonna be a rapper, to which my dad replied "If you want to be a performer, perform every chance you get." Sage advice. Advice I've followed for the rest of my life. As a teenager I launched a brief career as a radio DJ during which time I taught myself guitar and harmonica and met some people who encouraged me to follow my dreams. I knew I had found my life. I was born to live a life of music and I've never forgotten that.
People always ask what my music sounds like. I call it Organic Midwestern Folk. That don't really say much, unless you're from the midwest, so this is what I've come up with to describe my music; My songs are folk songs drenched in honesty and authenticity, served warm on a bed of classic country. Sometimes people say nice things about me in the papers. Like this: "He's everywhere, as an artist, a supporter of fellow musicians, and a community member. Kind, approachable, thoughtful and passionate, he is the embodiment of that socially conscience songwriter with a guitar strapped to his back." - Juliet Bennet Rylah, Revue Magazine. Thanks Juliet.
Barefoot is my debut album. It was released in April of 2010 and was nominated for 6 WYCE 88.1FM Jammie Awards including best new solo artist, an award which is now proudly and prominently on display in my living room. Barefoot received rave reviews such as this one, by Ryan Cunningham for Recoil Magazine "Michigan Americana/Country at its most organic. . . Thomasma's music has a lot to say about his personal approach to things, making one totally expect to hear him at a benefit concert for clean water or the end of sulfide mining. The songs are always gentle, but push with a focused consciousness." Thanks Ryan.
A recipient of the 2010 Elyse Fishman Scholarship Award by the Wheatland Music Organization, I eagerly pursued my songwriting abilities at Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters. Filled with inspiration upon my return, within a month I recorded and released Lone Star in the Northern Sky, my second album in less than a year. It is an acoustic collection of home recordings culled primarily from my experience at Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters.
Shortly after the winter thaw I decided to take my traveling band into the studio for another full length record. In July of 2011, Nicholas James and the Bandwagon released Saturday Night, my third album in under two years. The Bandwagon is a rolling cavalcade of musicians which is constantly changing to suit the musical desires of the band leader. Nicholas James and the Bandwagon currently consists of Paul Geoghan on Bass, Pete Weatherhead on Pedal Steel and Fiddle, Greg Baxter on Guitar and Dan on Drums.
Last year I played nearly 150 total performances, traveled to 23 cities and 6 states on a midwestern tour that included Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Louisville, Columbus, Toledo and more. I performed at many festivals including the Earthwork Harvest Gathering, Hoxeyville, Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts and Farmfest.
I'll play as a solo artist, with my string trio and with the Bandwagon. Cd's are available at all shows and downloads are available at www.HopontheBandwagon.com. Catch me live to feel the true spirit and energy of my music. And make sure you take the time to say hello.