Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter James McCartney has announced a string of new dates in the US between March and May of 2017. Kicking off at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia. The tour will then work its way across the United States.
Tickets for the ‘Marshmallow Maiden’ shows go on sale this coming Friday 9th December. Check out the full tour details here!
We caught up with James to discuss the tour. Check out the Q&A below…
JamesMcCartney.com: Are you excited about getting out on the road again and are there any specific cities or venues that you’re looking forward to playing?
James: The Pacific North West, Pacific South West, so places like Tucson. I’m playing Seattle and Vancouver too. With Seattle, I like that city. They’re a bit new-agey and also a bit more alternative. And the landscape’s beautiful, and I think of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix. And Vancouver, I haven’t been there. Tucson, that’ll be beautiful, beautiful desert. Chicago will be cool because [‘The Blackberry Train’ engineer] Steve Albini’s there. And then, of course, New York too.
JamesMcCartney.com: What are you most looking forward to on the tour?
James: Playing the gigs. Hopefully selling them out, and a buzzy atmosphere. And also like the right kind of audience as well. How would I define that? Like, cool, ethical people.
And seeing all the landscapes. Birds, like eagles. I’d love to see a mountain lion, stuff like that. You know nature, definitely. The last tour, I jumped in a river. I can’t remember where it was, roughly on the West Coast somewhere, like North West. What else? Meeting friends and then checking out all the different vibes, and different venues. Clothes shopping too.
JamesMcCartney.com: What songs will you be playing on the tour?
James: I would say it’s pretty much the new ones. It might be ‘Fallen Angel’, ‘Prayer’, ‘Bluebell’. So yeah, it will be more stuff from ‘The Blackberry Train’ because I’m more into that right now.
JamesMcCartney.com: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
James: Not really, no. I used to. I used to do meditation. But now I just try and go with whatever gets thrown at me.
JamesMcCartney.com: What instruments will you be playing on stage?
James: I was thinking maybe more of an acoustic vibe. Just literally an acoustic thing, and nothing else. Because on the last one I did more of an electric on my own thing, which was alright, but it felt like I needed a band.
JamesMcCartney.com: Are there any favourite memories from your previous US tours?
James: Well there were some great storms. It was nice being in the driving seat, you know, and there was this one storm. I can’t remember where that was, but that was amazing. There were all these lightening bolts. It felt like there were people holding staffs of lightening. That was one of the highlights.
There was another moment, when I was in Texas with my friend Soo Soo, and there was like a little dust devil. And we went through it in the van and we just both got goose bumps. It kind of felt like a ghost, or something. It was amazing, man.
I enjoy the driving between the cities, it’s kind of like therapeutic.
JamesMcCartney.com: How will you be getting from venue to venue?
James: It’ll be a van. So I’ll be just driving in a van or someone will be sharing the driving with me.
JamesMcCartney.com: What will you be doing between gigs? Is there a TV show that you’ll be looking to watch, or a book you’ll be reading?
James: I think I need to get into TV a bit more. Maybe ‘Missing’, I was watching that last night. For books, I’ve got ‘Tribes Of Britain’ at the moment. That’s about the Celts and the Picts. Maybe some healing books.
JamesMcCartney.com: Are there any particular artists you’ll be listening to?
James: Not that much, no. I’m trying not to be influenced by music too much right now. It’ll be stuff like spiritual music, a bit like Vedic like Gandharva Veda, rain melodies, and stuff. Like Indian kind of music, but also ambient music therapy. I’ll be listening to audiobooks as well. Last one I listened to was ‘Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee’. And I was listening to the beginning of ‘The Audacity Of Hope’, and ‘Hard Choices’ by Hilary Clinton. ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘The Master and Margarita’ too.
JamesMcCartney.com: What do you do between shows to relax?
James: I do want to get more into eating well and exercising, but on my own terms. But between shows I guess more nature, meeting up with friends, going shopping or window-shopping. And just check out what’s happening.
JamesMcCartney.com: Is there any particular food that you’re looking forward to eating in America?
James: Yeah, veggie-vegan. All the vegan-y kind of stuff. I’m veggie but I lean towards vegan. I like all those vegan foods like Yves. The Whole Foods kind of places, or the local store. And I also like Vietnamese.
JamesMcCartney.com: Do you have a favourite instrument that you play at home, or that you like to write on?
James: Well, I like the piano because it’s like soundtracks, it’s classical. But I’d say probably more guitar though, that’s what I play more. But ‘The Blackberry Train’, was more electric. I’ve been getting into drums a little bit too.
JamesMcCartney.com: Are there particular bands that you look up to?
James: I do like the band Earth. It’s a bit of weird scene, but I do like the music. But it has its time and place. I like Robert Johnson too, super cool. And Robert Tree Cody. It’s like that kind of flute music, but it’s not really a band as such. When I was growing up, it was a little bit of Jimi Hendrix, it was Sonic Youth, it was Madder Rose, you know. Mogwai is another great band. Like that kind of post-rock, soundscapes thing.
JamesMcCartney.com: What are the favourite gigs that you’ve been to?
James: I liked the Cure gig at Bestival. That was cool and emotional. And then PJ Harvey too. Last band I saw, was probably the Jeff Wootton one at Stella’s Abbey Road launch night.
JamesMcCartney.com: As a music fan is there any gig or tour that you wished you been to?
James: Definitely Nirvana, yeah. That ‘Top Of The Pops’ performance would have been cool. The Beatles would have been cool too. Which show? I think probably the rooftop one. That would have been amazing.
Critically acclaimed singer and songwriter James McCartney will embark on his second ever US tour in May and June of this year, to support his new record, The Blackberry Train. Kicking off the tour on May 10th in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. James will bring his songs to fans across the country, stopping in Eugene, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Tucson, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee and other cities. For more information & to buy tickets click here.
James McCartney announces his new album ‘The Blackberry Train’ – Worldwide release May 6th
James issues the sharpest entry of his vision, The Blackberry Train engineered by Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies and PJ Harvey), to be released worldwide May 6th on Maybenot via Kobalt Label Services.
The opening track “Too Hard” which can be described as a jangling rocker, James says: “ I wrote it in L.A, and tried to infuse it with a country feel to really bring out that desperation, and the idea of trying too hard. Dhani Harrison came into the studio and we both collaborated on the guitar solo in the song.”
‘The Blackberry Train’ manages to be both diverse and cohesive. Opening with the invigorating “Too Hard” and closing with the stately and aptly named folk song, “Peace and Stillness.” Between these bookends, highlights include the rough-edged and urgently melodic “Unicorn,” the anthemic “Peyote Coyote,” and the soulful ballad “Prayer.” One very personal song is the winsome and reflective “Waterfall” which was inspired by memories of his mother.
“It’s all been an evolution,” James says. “This set of songs definitely has a harder edge, but it’s a continuation of the last album. The main thing for me is to not conform or compromise.”
To accurately capture the music in his head, James sought out the distinct audio stylings of Steve Albini. The results make for an edgy and eclectic album with fastidiously crafted songs documented in the studio with glorious purity.
“I like the music to have elements of the avant-garde, psychedelic, and be just a little against the grain,” James reveals. “But in the end, it’s about having as much emotion as possible for me, musically and lyrically. It’s all about the music being cathartic, heartfelt and true.”
Pre-order the album now here
New track “Too Hard” available now – listen to it here
The Blackberry Train Track Listing:
Ring a Ring O’Roses
Peace and Stillness
Following 2013′s critically received debut album Me, James McCartney’s journey now continues with the announcement of a three-night residency at London’s The Islington on Wednesday 2nd, Thursday 10th & Thursday 17th December 2015.
Having spent much of 2013 on the road touring the US, Europe and the UK and playing to bigger crowds, who have discovered his songs and music organically, James is now set to release new music in 2016.
“The set of songs I’m currently working on definitely have a harder edge, but the thread of commonality that runs through them, is a great lyric or a great melody.”
Melding influences ranging from current indie rockette’s Warpaint with shades of Nirvana, James’ new material promises one thing; not to conform. “That’s the main thing for me as an artist, not to compromise lyrically, musically or artistically.”
Full Event Information:
Wednesday 2nd, Thursday 10th & 17th December
The Islington, London
Tickets On-sale: Friday 6th November 9am
James will play at Personal Fest 2014 on November 8th. A debut performance with the chance for James to finally play in front of his South American fanbase who have supported him along the way (as have you all). For further details click here
Saturday 6th October – Special Acoustic Show (doors 8:15pm)
On the back of James appearance earlier this year with his band, James returns to Rockwood for a one off acoustic show. Expect to hear some of your favourite songs along with some new ones!
For futher details & to purchase festival tickets click here
For further details & where to buy tickets, please visit “Live” on the website
At Sundance, he will play two shows for ASCAP’s Music Café. Head on over to the SHOWS section for all the relevant details & to purchase tickets. McCartney’s U.S. shows will celebrate the recent release of ‘The Complete EP Collection’ (Engine Company), which combines McCartney’s two previous EP’s with five never-heard bonus tracks. The special two-disc set was produced by David Kahne and Paul McCartney. Critics praise his songs’ “strong pop hooks” (Rolling Stone) and “many bold, original touches” (Times of London).
James will perform at:
Hare & Hounds, Birmingham – Tuesday 13 December 2011
Ruby Lounge, Manchester – Wednesday 14 December 2011
Barfly, London – Thursday 15 December 2011