Call his style what you will – a Canadian take on Americana, Roots Rock, maybe just plain old Rock and Roll – but singer-songwriter James Ferris knows how to connect to an audience and deliver.
It’s a skill he’s honed for the past 20 years, fronting bands or out on a limb as a solo artist first in his native Halifax, and now in the newly reborn Hamilton, Ontario. Each city has left an indelible mark on his original songs, which capture the unpolished beauty, genuine personalities and working class values of their denizens. His are songs of struggle and despair and hope and redemption, romanticizing the back roads and side streets where real lives are lived.
With a vibe that’s part stadium show, part kitchen party, James’ live performances harness a traditional east-coast, throw-down energy with a heavy dose of raw vocal power at its centre. A dynamic performer with a bare-bones approach to arrangements of both originals and an extensive catalogue of cover songs, he’s as comfortable connecting with 20 people as he is 2,000, with a band or alone with acoustic guitar in hand.
Hamiltonians know him from weekly residences at the Corktown Pub and Pub Fiction fronting the Kitchen Party. He has recorded one album and an EP with Halifax band BIG ethyl, three with Toronto band dharma, and has two recently released EP's as James Ferris & The James St. North. James has opened for headliners The Grapes of Wrath, Platinum Blonde, Nickelback and Australia’s Powderfinger