For a long time I have wanted to record an album of blues that did justice to the rich variety of sounds and dynamics available from an acoustic piano - with no props and no accompaniment. I also wanted to record something that dug into the tradition of 20th Century piano blues yet at the same time was forward-looking and personal.
When I sat at the piano, it was the improvisations and my own compositions that came alive and allowed me the greatest vehicle for expression. The result is an album comprised of original pieces encapsulating my feelings at the time and reflecting some of the approaches to playing solo I have developed over the years.
“I can’t praise this guy’s playing too highly, fans of piano blues will have to have this one, it’s the dog’s bollocks with bells on!” Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm
“His music is straight from the heart – bare bones expression and foot-tapping groove to move your soul and keep the great tradition of piano blues alive in the 21st Century.” Cleanhead Phil Speat, US Bluesman.
“The sound he teases out of his instrument is ineffably tasty, delicate and yet affecting…” Blues in Britain
James Goodwin soaked up the styles of his piano-playing forefathers and cut his blues teeth playing many hundreds of one-nighters and shows throughout Holland, Belgium and the UK in the 1990s. He has appeared on stages at British and Dutch blues and jazz festivals as well as performing extensively at smaller venues and events.
Influences vary from barrelhouse pianists such as Jabo Williams, Romeo Nelson and Fred Dunn to the slicker city sounds of Jay McShann and Lloyd Glenn, in addition to being inspired by the rich traditions of itinerant delta bluesmen and guitar evangelists.
He can currently be seen as a regular supporting pianist at the Shakedown blues gigs in Castor, working with performers as diverse as Elmore James Jr, Joe Jonas, Terry Harmonica Bean and Mojo Buford. In addition to solo and supporting work he has collaborated with Welsh bluesman Dave Thomas for over a decade in both duo and band settings, resulting in the albums Black Dog Boogie and Blues For Otis.