Beau James
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Beau James

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter




""Indigo Road" Beau James showcases his talent as a nuanced songwriter, lyricist and performer."

A banner which states: “Let the words write themselves” is tattooed onto Beau James’ right forearm, framing a Super Deluxe 55 microphone. “I write what is true to me because if I am going through a hard time, I am sure there are thousands of others going through the same thing,” says Beau.

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Beau formed The Heavy Heavy Hearts. The band’s dark, angsty riffs, machine gun drums, and unmatched musicianship found its way onto the soundtrack for the Sony film Bad Country, as well as radio playlists across the nation. However, after a few years in Los Angeles, Beau became afflicted with wanderlust and, accompanied by the Hearts, made his way to Nashville. While rocking through the local scene, he subsequently rediscovered his passion for an old flame: Americana Music. Over the winter of the Snowpocalypse, he called together some of Nashville’s finest underground musicians to record his first solo record, “Indigo Road”.

n this album, Beau James showcases his talent as a nuanced songwriter, lyricist and performer. The tracks deliver a bluesy, country, rock and folk personality, revealing exactly what Americana is meant to be. This is the kind of music you’d perhaps expect from an artist onto his 5th or 6th studio album.

James also assembled the album, with an elegant song-to-song cohesion and the sense of an emotional storyline. ‘Indigo Road’, ‘Carolina’s Calling’, ‘When I Still Had You’, ‘Best If You Just Leave’ and ‘Ten Shots’ are particularly evocative, while tracks like ‘Ghosts Of Your Past’ and ‘Lucky Star’ will get your feet tapping.

I am a hardcore John Mayer fan, and to be honest, Beau James’ lyrics, music, composition, production, and vocals are all qualitatively reminiscent of the superb musical vibe and aura Mayer dissipates across his tracks and the result is phenomenal.

The maturity of James’ lyrics and the chord progressions, together with his vocal extensions are exceptional and you don’t need to have life experience to really understand the depths James goes through on this one, because he emotionally walks you through it note by note.

Of course, the music is brilliant – however, the meanings behind these songs are probably among the most powerful I’ve ever heard on a debut – because I completely get it. It speaks to me as If I was once there, where he is now. I seem to understand exactly where he’s coming from…and you will too.

Music is not just the sound though, often impressive sounds become a barrier instead of a carrier of something deeper, a message your mind and heart can recognize if you keep it open long enough. Beau James’ songs are structured in this way –sounds that will impress you, but with words and stories to bend, break or uplift your heart!

My absolute favorites are ‘Carolina’s Calling’ and ‘Ten Shots’ because I’m a sucker for acoustic driven ballads and a heartfelt voice carrying a slow-burning melody. But James also comes up with great tunes and beautiful, sometimes gorgeous arrangements all over the 10-track album. “Indigo Road” is an awesome collection of songs with a beautiful, organic sound, full of maturity, carefully and thoughtfully done. - JamSphere

"Beau James, A Modern Troubadour on the 'Indigo Road'"

Many musicians yearn to perform in huge stadiums packed with adoring fans. But for singer/songwriter Beau James, who will celebrate his debut solo album with a release party on his 28th birthday before Indigo Road drops on 19 May, playing smaller clubs and chatting with fans after shows fits him best.

“When you’re onstage, you look like you’re untouchable. People might love your music, but they don’t know anything about the person that’s making it,” James says. “I really hope to bridge the gap where, if you’re a fan of my music, you’re a friend. I want to get to know people.”

Born Beau James Wigington to music-loving parents in New Mexico, James’ family has been supportive throughout his musical career. His mother even helped pick the songs for Indigo Road. “I sent her 20 songs and was like, ‘Pick your favorites,’” James says. “She wanted me to write a song called ‘Indigo Road’ because she always wanted me to be in a band called Indigo Road, but that never happened. So I wrote a new song, and we really liked it.” The title track, which is meant to represent James’ path to fulfilling music, pairs lyrics of scouting “the great unknown” with a jaunty beat, fitting for a walk down any road. “It just fit into the whole spirit of the album, of exploring and finding myself in music.”

With short brown hair, a dark beard, and tree branches stemming from a tattoo of Robert Johnson’s infamous Crossroads visible at his shirt collar, James looks every inch the folk artist he is. Though he grew up listening to his father’s Eric Clapton records and hearing about the Johnson myth, James didn’t seriously consider pursuing a musical career until college. A natural performer with an easy smile, he took roles in musicals and performed improv comedy routines while studying acting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During his junior year at UNC, James formed a folk band with a friend he met through one of the school’s musicals and began devoting more time to songwriting.

After graduating in 2010, James moved to Los Angeles to dive headfirst into the music industry. He formed a blues rock band called the Heavy Heavy Hearts, released a six-track EP with the group, and once again teamed up with his band mate from college, Clark Singleton. After three years in L.A., James and his band relocated to Nashville, hoping for greater visibility in Music City. With the band now indefinitely on hold, James focuses his time, energy, and professional connections on his solo work.

Comprised of songs he never used with the Heavy Heavy Hearts and newer songs written specifically for the album, Indigo Road tells stories of love, loss, and life that are personal to James. “It was a really cathartic album to make,” he says. “These are all the songs I was afraid to play out, because they are so close to home. I love using metaphors to disguise things, but this [album] delved into personal flaws and things that I’ve dealt with for a long time but never really put down on a recording.”

Nick Bullock, a producer who once worked with the Heavy Heavy Hearts and the owner of Awake Studios in Nashville, teamed up with James to record Indigo Road. “My job as a producer is to make artists go somewhere they don’t like to go. It’s super easy to write a song, like, ‘I’m feeling shitty today,’ or, ‘My heart is broken,’ and to dig deep and go there for half an hour. It’s my job to say, ‘You’re not really done going there yet.’ The only thing I can do as a producer is make it safe for artists to be vulnerable,” Bullock explains.

“Nick pushed me hard to connect with the words I was saying and to really believe every word,” James says. “It was the first time I’d really given in to everything, and stayed with the emotion and lived with it in the moment. It really made an impact on me as a songwriter and an artist. I never want to lose that feeling. If I can connect that hard every time I sing, that would be awesome.”

The deep emotional ties James has to his lyrics are obvious to old fans and new. Onstage, his face betrays the truth behind his words; it’s as if he’s living his experiences all over again when he steps up to the microphone with his guitar. Kirstie Lovelady, a Nashville-based singer who invited James to join her band earlier this year for a three-month “On the Rise” tour presented by Pepsi, finds James’ onstage presence captivating. “I remember being so absolutely mesmerized by his talent and in awe of the rawness of his voice and the energy he has onstage,” Lovelady says. “[Beau’s] not afraid to let go onstage where other people might be a little more hesitant. He’s probably one the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. He’s really genuine, really real.”

Lovelady is one of several musicians James called for help with Indigo Road. She sings on “Heart Is What You’ve Found,” a song that James explains is about “that discussion you have with yourself when you’re sitting in a bar and you see somebody, and you want to talk to them, but you don’t have the courage to do it.”

“Beau is the kind of guy you just want on your team,” agrees Singleton, who provided the groove for “Heart Is What You’ve Found.” “Beau struggles with everything, but that’s what makes him who he is and what makes him so amazing. Everything about his music is 100 percent him—no bullshit.”

Some of James’ songs are about the difficulty of letting relationships go, as explored in “Ten Shots”. Others reveal his struggle with alcohol, a theme that has appeared in his songwriting even before he penned “Bottom of the Bottle” with the Heavy Heavy Hearts. After an attempt at sobriety last year, James wrote one of his newer tracks for Indigo Road. “During the time I quit drinking, I’d never stopped drinking abruptly before, and I got really bad shakes. When I was going through that, I wrote ‘When I Still Had You.’” “Demon On My Mind” is similarly tethered to alcohol, its lyrics warning, “I’ve got a demon on my mind / She calls out to me each night / And even though I turn away / She drives her claws into me.”

Other tracks push the serious tone of his songwriting even further. Last year, James participated in an Out of the Darkness event organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Inspired by the event and his connection to it, having recently lost two friends to suicide, he made arrangements with the foundation to donate all proceeds from his song “Best If You Just Leave” to aid research and raise awareness for suicide prevention.

Songwriting is therapeutic for James, but the lyrics don’t always come easy. James, who loves fishing, compares his writing approach to standing at the edge of a lake with a line, waiting for a nibble. “You don’t get a bite every day,” he warns.

Despite the solemn material explored in his songs, James is not above joking around. Years after experimenting with comedy in college, he joined the Nashville Improv Company. As James continues his songwriting and fishing comparison, his comedian side peeks through: “Sometimes you eat a PB&J afterwards,” he chuckles.

There’s a strong co-writing scene in Nashville, but it’s not a trend James is drawn to. “I have a hard time co-writing,” he says. “It’s probably my biggest flaw. There are craft songwriters and there are inspirational songwriters. I definitely see myself as the inspirational kind—I really need to be inspired to finish the song.”

When he’s not writing or performing, James works as a music consultant for Prescriptive Music, creating playlists for small companies like hotels and restaurants. He also tends bar at the Basement, where he played his first gig after moving to Nashville. When he’s not on the clock, James enjoys escaping into nature. “That’s my happy place: being all alone by a river or a pond, throwing out a worm and waiting to see if you get any bites.”

Whether he’s connecting with nature or people, James is intent on making sense of his experiences and finding meaning beneath those deeper ties. “I’ve always been a big storyteller, and this is the first time where it’s not just a character I’m putting onstage – it’s me playing me,” he says of Indigo Road. “It was cool to make an album where I felt I was super honest with myself.” James plans to reinforce this honesty by playing at small venues, where he can see faces in the crowds and interact with his audience after shows.

Relating to listeners is what drives James as an artist. A modern troubadour, his dream come true is a life of wandering, of trading notes on life’s struggles and successes through stories that are just as real to him as they are to his audience. “Humans deserve to be in contact with each other,” James says simply. “I make music that I relate to, and hopefully people will relate to it, too.” - Pop Matters

"[Premiere] Watch Beau James’ Video For “Indigo Road”"

Local troubadour Beau James Wigington dropped his debut solo release, Indigo Road, in May of this year under the moniker Beau James, and it marked a departure from his previous work with his band The Heavy Heavy Hearts. He traded in the heavy hitting, hard driving blues rock, and bared his soul with some heartfelt tracks that lean more towards Americana. The record was recorded at Awake Studios in Nashville by another local musician that we have chatted about before, Nick Bullock. The tandem did an excellent job creating an album that simultaneously tugs at the heart strings, but reserves enough pop appeal to demand repeat plays.

Today, we are excited to premiere the video for the title track of the album. The song, which was recently featured on an episode of Nashville, speaks of wanderlust and the journey of life, while the video features the artist’s difficult journey to live out his dreams in Nashville. Get hip to Beau James and the new video for “Indigo Road” below, and mark your calendar for his upcoming date at The Basement East on Nov. 24. - No Country For New Nashville

"Beautiful New Americana Album – BEAU JAMES – ‘Landmarks’"

Beautiful New Americana Album – BEAU JAMES – ‘Landmarks’
Posted onSeptember 9, 2016AuthorDarciaLeave a comment

Beau James gives us music that is both rugged and tender. His voice sounds like it comes from deep in his core, where all the emotions lay, and as he sings those emotions sit raw and bare right on the edge of the notes. His musical style is probably best described as Americana, with a strong blues influence and a singer-songwriter vibe.

On August 2, Beau James released his album Landmarks, via Randm Records. Beau says this about this collection of songs:

“Each song was written about a specific person or time that made a huge impact on my life. These are songs that I found along my journey, songs that serve as the landmarks in discovering my musical identity.”


1. Broken Hearted Past
2. Shotgun Town
3. Head Start
4. Lost & Found
5. Cowboy Boots
6. She Stayed Home
7. New Chord

This one is New Chord. That ache in Beau’s voice tugs at my heartstrings, just as he sings:

So I’ll keep on writing stupid love songs
Until the day you fall in love with me
And I’ll keep on tugging at these heartstrings
Until they find the words that bring you here to me
Because then we’d finally see what we could be…

This one is Cowboy Boots, which gives us a glimpse of vulnerability:

These two cowboy boots broken in with age
They help me step up on any stage
‘Cause they have got a thicker skin than I…

Beau James is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. - Soundwave Reviews

"EXCLUSIVE: Beau James Returns To Gentler Roots With His New Single, “Broken Hearted Past”"

Singer/songwriter Beau James’ move from Los Angeles to Nashville was sort of like a journey between two musical selves. In Los Angeles, he was the founder and frontman for the Heavy Heavy Hearts, a blistering country-rock band who generated a major buzz in the scene and landed themselves on the soundtrack for a major motion picture, Bad Country. Their sound was a raucous, gritty explosion of noise, the kind that drew bikers to their shows; “The rock n roll equivalent of fighting a bear,” they boast on Facebook. Awaiting him in Nashville was something far different—Music City offered James a place of calm, a space for introspection and growth. In 2015, he released his first solo record, Indigo Road, which took him into the roots of American music, down the alleyways of folk and country.

Between today and its official, September 2nd release, James will be rolling out singles from his sophomore release, the EP Landmarks, out on San Diego-based Randm Records. Today, Elmore is premiering the album’s first single, “Broken Hearted Past.” James has a gift for translating emotional honesty into musical poetry, and the track shines as a gentle, bittersweet rumination on the baggage that we carry with us from heartbreak in our past. His bashful utterings ring true to anyone who’s been in a rocky relationship; “is my heart the one you’re trying to take, or is my heart the one you’re going to break? Please be honest and tell me the truth, so I’ll know if I need to start getting over you.” He has a romantic yet world-weary twang to his vocals, which keep pace with a simple, steady drum beat and the melodic play of keys. - Elmore Magazine

"BLUES VALENTINE: Singer-songwriter Beau James to play Live at Ted’s February 14"

When it comes to writing music, singer-songwriter Beau James lives by a specific motto: Let the words write themselves. While it may seem like an opaque philosophy, he puts it rather simply: “I find a chord progression that writes the first line for me and then I just follow the path.”

The young, blues-inspired musician will perform at Live at Ted’s for a special Valentine’s Day show Friday night at 7 p.m. James’ music is a soothing blend of acoustic blues and folk—a perfect soundtrack for a Valentine’s Day evening.

James has released two solo albums as well as several singles that dance across genre lines. He describes his sound as a slightly less dramatic Ben Howard mixed with the storytelling of Ryan Adams (“too bad he turned out to be kind of a creeper”). James says. “I try to be pretty straightforward with my writing and not go too out of the box.”

When it comes to song construction, he claims songwriters generally fall into two categories: those who stay up all night to complete a song when inspiration strikes (the “inspiration side”) and those who have an idea and work at it over time (the “craft side”). “I always considered myself to be the inspirational side,” James admits.

One of his more popular songs “Indigo Road,” was a product of “craft” composition. James’ mother had the title in mind for years and urged him to make a song from it. The lyrics finally fell into place as he reflected on his travels, being on the road and meeting new people. The song became a hit and was later featured on the fourth season of the popular ABC series “Nashville.”

James’ sound is a product of his environment. He grew up in a musical home, with a mother who played piano and a father who was always playing records from artists such as Eric Clapton, Little Feet and Led Zeppelin. While much of his musical sensibility comes from a mixture of classic rock, he mainly draws influence from blues musicians like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Keb’ Mo, as heard on 2015’s “Indigo Road” and 2016’s “Landmarks.” “I fell in love with the way you could be emotional and open, talking about your feelings,” he states.

James’ latest single, “She Says” is dedicated to his wife. The song’s lyrics focus on the learning curve of a new relationship and the change it brings. Over a gentle, finger-picked acoustic guitar line, James sings, “I don’t want to change what’s in your heart / all the little things that make you who you are / just want to cut out what could leave you scarred.” Released just in time for Valentine’s Day, the song is quickly climbing to the top of his most streamed songs on Spotify.

Currently, James is based out of Greensboro, NC, though he has lived across the country, from New Mexico, to Colorado, to LA. His sound evolved with each move. Growing up in Colorado, he learned to play guitar and began performing in musical theater; however, he didn’t have the deep connection to music he does now. When he moved to North Carolina in 2004, he joined a choir as well as a local improv troupe, The Idiot Box. Both helped him develop his dexterity as a songwriter.

“I would usually make up songs in improv,” James says. “The crowd would suggest the song title and I’d have to write a song on the spot.”

James chased his dream of music to LA after graduation and found himself as the frontman of blues-rock band The Heavy Heavy Hearts. The group had some success, and landed a song on the popular TV show “Shameless.”

Then he moved to Nashville and surrounded himself with professional musicians. They inspired him to constantly strive and work on his craft. “Nashville was a really great place for me,” he says, “I learned you have to write and you have to play and you have to be good at both.”

In 2019 James averaged two to three live performances a week. He still plays with the Greensboro-based indie rock band Chuck Mountain—which will be visiting Jimmy’s at Red Dogs in Wrightsville Beach in August. He recently got back together with The Heavy Heavy Hearts after a six-year hiatus to record an EP. He is also a contributing writer for Songfinch—a company that provides custom songs for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.—and has written a few promotional theme songs for Our State Magazine. “I feel like I’m finally a grownup writing here,” James says.

Beau James
Live at Ted’s, 2 Castle St.
Friday, February 14, 7 p.m.
Doors open at 6 p.m.
$7 • - Encore


Landmarks 2016 

Indigo Road 2015



Beau James is a singer-songwriter based in Greensboro, North Carolina. With a distinctively soulful and relatable voice, Beau has been capturing the attention of audiences from LA to Spain for the past decade, and has landed songs on major TV shows (Shameless, Nashville) and films (Sony’s “Bad Country”) and can even be found in a quick scene beside Billy Ray Cyrus in his show, “Still The King.”

But Beau James hasn’t stopped there.  He’s released two albums (“Indigo Road” with Awake Studios and “Landmarks” with Randm Records), and has been steadily releasing singles as his solo act and his band Chuck Mountain.  Beau can also be found working with Our State Magazine and Songfinch when he’s not out playing shows and festivals around North Carolina. 

“Relating to listeners is what drives James as an artist. A modern troubadour, his dream come true is a life of wandering, of trading notes on life’s struggles and successes through stories that are just as real to him as they are to his audience. “Humans deserve to be in contact with each other,” James says simply. “I make music that I relate to, and hopefully people will relate to it, too.””

—Meghan Roos, 2015

Band Members