Teresa James was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she was introduced to music at an early age by her father and grandfather, both guitar players in the old school tradition. She starting playing piano at 5 and hasn’t stopped since. Called a singer’s singer by many, when the SAG Singer’s Committee got together to honor composer Randy Newman, Teresa was chosen as the soloist to perform his favorite song to him. She has recorded with Walter Trout, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis, Tommy Castro, Stephen Bruton, Randy Newman, LeeRoy Parnell, Neil Diamond, and many others. She has performed live with lots of other artists, including: Marcia Ball, Levon Helm, Lloyd Jones, Delbert McClinton, and Eric Burdon & the Animals to mention just a few.
Relocating to Los Angeles in the 80’s, her band, the Rhythm Tramps, is made up of world class players that have toured or recorded with such artists as Eric Burdon & the Animals, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy Reed, Lightin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Vaughan, Johnny Nash, Smokey Robinson, Tom Jones, Tower Of Power, just to name a few and their songs have been recorded by many other artists. As one critic said, “there are no clichés in this band”. They move easily through Texas style grease and blues into Memphis soul or New Orleans flavored grooves and all points in between with fun and abandonment. In addition to having toured all over N. America and Europe, she has been one of the featured acts on Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beaches Cruise for over 20 years.
Her recordings have met with rave reviews (her last four releases have all received 4 star reviews from Downbeat Magazine) and have shown up on radio charts all over the world. Her 2019 release, ‘Here In Babylon’ was nominated for a Grammy for Contemporary Blues Album. In 2008, She was nominated by the Blues Foundation for “Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year”. She is now working on her 12th CD which should be out by fall of 2020.
A final note from Bill Bentley for Sonic Boomers: “This is the stuff they don't teach you in school… These are the keepers of the unknown language. Teresa’s voice is all-knowing, like she's been to the places most of us aren't able to go. It is a mixture of rejection and redemption, … be glad there are still people like Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps who care enough to do this and share their spirits. Each and every one of them should receive a letter jacket with a big "S" for soul on it. Class dismissed.
"Teresa James is a true original. When she sings you can feel it in your bones."
… Levon Helm, "The Band
"Jump on this band-wagon while there is room…"
… Blues 411
"Teresa James has a voice that comes from deep down in the soul, as real and authentic as it gets When she sings, you know she means it."
… Graham Clarke for Blues Bytes
"I haven't heard pipes of this caliber in a long time… this is an amazing body of work…this lady has star written all over her."
… James "the Blueshound" Nagel producer/programmer KPFT Houston
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