James Van Cooper is a charismatic young man who creates music that sometimes
conceals deep wounds referencing a time when he relinquished power to his
demons, now James is liberated, rejoicing in life's rich pageantry.
Lifes wrong turns are fertile ground for story telling and James Van Cooper
harnesses that past darkness telling tales of misfortune and redemption. James
music as well as being rooted in melancholy is also loaded with a new found
optimism and gentleness that's disarmingly incendiary and subversive.
For James his music career commenced in full throttle when threw himself head
first into the assorted over indulgent cliches that bestow a young rock star in the
James now 21, had since the age of 15 been lead singer/guitarist in an Australian
hard rock band. He has performed with Bruce Kulick of KISS and other rock
luminaries but by the still tender age 21 James abandoned a lifestyle of Rock N
Roll excess and retreated to a safe harbour working behind the scenes on
Australia's The X Factor. It was not long after that James made a journey to
Australian Country Music heartland of Tamworth and had chance meeting with the
legend Bill Chambers.
James shared a story and a laugh with Bill and discovered they were kindred spirits.
James found a mentor in Bill and although on first glance they may have seemed
from different planets their worlds had collided. Bill recognised talent and set about
developing James songwriting craftsmanship, Bill also fine tuned James
remarkable yet raw guitar playing. James an eager student absorbed Bills sage
advise and was exposed to different artistic influences. James gravitated towards
new sounds especially The Alt Americana stylings of Justin Townes Earle and
former “Drive By Trucker” Jason Isbell.The seemingly incomprehensible event of
the aligning of James and Bill soon began bearing musical fruit and the two
collaborated on James debut EP, Bill producing and playing on James 6 track solo
recording "Highrise Skyline".
Since the beginning of 2016 James has performed over 100 shows all around
Australia as well as touring Europe supporting Bill.
In a world often starved of originality James is breathing a fresh take on Americana
songwriting, all brought together by his starkly truthful and personal lyrics depicting
a man who was once cloaked in darkness but can now see an ever widening clear
James music is a tapestry, coming face to face with spiteful self awareness while
blissfully embracing a new found optimism, championing a celebration of life.
Take a listen to James Van Cooper.
"James has the combination of dedication, passion and talent that so few young artists possess.
It will serve him well and i look forward to watching him grow".
Lloyd Spiegel, Australian Blues Icon
BMA MAGAZINE CANBERRA AUSTRALIA
19 - JAN - 18 with DEAN RAY COMMERCIAL HOTEL DEEPWATER nsw
22 - JAN - 18 with DEAN RAY MOONSHINERS TAMWORTH
- 23 - JAN - 18 with LOUISE ADAMS (TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL)
- 24 - JAN - 18 MUSIC FOR MATES CHARITY SHOW @ THE ALBERT (TCMF)
- 25 - JAN -18 FANZONE STAGE with DEAN RAY (TCMF)
- 27 - JAN - 18 with LOUISE ADAMS BAND PORTLAND FESTIVAL VIC
- 9 - FEB - 18 EDDIES, COOLANGATTA QLD
- 10 - FEB - 18 THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE
- 11 - FEB - 18 SCOTTISH PRINCE BAR , PALM BEACH
R U OK?
JAMES IS PROUDLY A R U OK? AMBASSADOR.
I've faced certain challenges in my personal life over the years. As a musician and from a young age, I was performing in environments where alcohol and drugs were easily accessible and as a result I battled addiction for many years. I knew I was at a low point when a friend said to me, "If you keep going like this you're going to die.” And he was right, if something didn’t change, I would have and all before I even turned 20. It hasn't always been easy to know where to turn and for a long time I didn't know what I was doing or where my life would end up. But it was through having some life saving conversations with people who cared about me that I was able to get my life back on track, one step at a time. I know I’ll still have some tough days occasionally, but life has opened up since I let people in and allowed them to support me. That’s something I now want to do for other people who might be going through their own personal battles. I want them to know things can get better and circumstances can change when you let yourself connect with people you trust.
R U OK? is all about that- reaching out to those around you and checking in with each other. It can be a simple conversation that could save a life, because for me it did. I feel honoured to announce that I have become an ambassador for suicide prevention charity R U OK?
R U OK Day is September 14th, but any day is a good day too ask the question R U OK?"