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James Jeffrey-West: News

Back in Action - October 16, 2011

Friends... After over a year of shear misery, I am back on my feet and clawing my way back to health and normality. For those who don't know, my ulcerative colitis spun out of control and led to nine hospitalizations, four surgeries, and over two months of hospitalization in total. I've got some wicked scars and crazy battle stories, but am stronger than I've been in a long while. I'll finally return to teaching December 1, and have started to make a bit of music again as well. And, wonderfully, am able to play with our beautiful kiddo Ellington again.

HUGE thanks to everyone who helped out, kept tabs on me, sent prayers my way, looked after Ellington, brought meals, stayed with me in the hospital, and assisted us in our darkest days. We love you all and feel amazingly blessed. Things felt pretty insurmountable at times, and all of the support allowed us to keep hanging on by our fingernails and not fall into the abyss.

I look forward to seeing all of you under better circumstances in the coming months, and to sharing in music again.

Namaste,

James

Work Begun on New Album - November 11, 2009

Friends,

I've begun work on a new album, and am quite excited to be recording again. If you've been out to some shows recently, you've probably heard some of the new songs. Others are still being polished, and have not been debuted publicly yet. Stayed tuned...

I was recently interviewed by Acoustic Conversations. They've sent the interview off to Idaho for mastering, and will soon post it at:

http://acousticconversations.com/

I had a great time chatting with Pete and Kurt, and playing them some of my songs. The interview and individual songs will be available for listen at their website and will also be on iTunes. If you're not familiar with Acoustic Conversations, I highly recommend that you check them out and subscribe to their podcast. It's a classy site, with fabulous interviews, photography and music.

As I begin work on new recordings, I just want to remind folks that they can still pick up my other release at shows, Portland's Music Millennium store, CDBaby, and numerous other online retailers. Just Google "James Jeffrey-West."

Lastly, I've been uploading some live recordings to YouTube. Feel free to drop by there and check out songs from recent shows.

Happy Fall!,

James

Free Music - April 4, 2009

Hey All,

Check out the new "Links/Photos" section on the website if you haven't seen it yet. There's some slideshows and video. Chris Romans shot the video of me at Costello's doing a Bob Dylan tune, and if you pay close attention you'll get a surprise.

And, if you've been meaning to download my CD or some of the tunes, here's a chance to get them cheap or even free.

AmieStreet.com is running a special to help promote their artists, and they’re giving a 50% discount to download my songs (while I still get paid regular price). The other cool thing about AmieStreet.com is that the songs start out free on the website and then rise in price to 98 cents as more people download them. Since this is the first time I've mentioned AmieStreet to anyone, my stuff is still free as of today.

All you have to do is click on the link below to get your 50% discount and find my music – and there’s tens of thousands of other great independent artists on the site to check out, too.

http://amiestreet.com/?pytr=cdbaby

Best,

James

Happy New Year! - January 5, 2008

Friends,

Welcome to 2008! This year promises to be another full and exciting one for music. My Winter/Spring calendar is filling fast with shows, and many new venues getting added into the mix.

I continue to write and record new songs, some of which have become a part of recent shows. I'd love to be working on a new cd as I get a little deeper into the year. I'm really enjoying my membership in the Portland Songwriting Association(http://www.portlandsongwriters.org/), and have also recently taken a first guitar lesson from the gifted, internationally known, and 2008 Handy award nominee for "Best Acoustic Artist" Mary Flower (http://www.maryflower.com/).

A high point from last year was playing at a benefit at the Concordia Ale House for Portland's School of Autism. I'm hoping to make benefit concerts a quarterly event this year. Please let me know if you've got a worthy cause that we could raise some money and awareness for. We can team up to create something powerful and useful.

I'm also intrigued by the possibility of doing some house concerts in 2008. Although I've attended house concerts, I've never played at one myself. Let me know if you've got any experience with these wonderful events, and would like to host one with me playing. Or, let me know if you've never hosted one before, and we could learn the ropes together. I'm definitely open to traveling as well, if someone lives outside of Portland. One of my goals for 2008 is to start playing more concerts regionally, in addition to my regular spots in Portland.

As usual, I'm always looking for folks who would like to share a bill, open a show, collaborate on stage, invite me to share a bill or open, or come out and read some poetry or stories. And, as usual, my most recent CD continues to be available for order or download online in numerous spots (http://jamesjeffreywest.com/links-group-8.html). I don't think that any of my older CDs will come back into print any time soon, but I've been kicking around the idea of posting some songs from each of those for free download. Drop me a line if you'd be interested, and I'll upload some music if there's a demand for it.

I have a couple of quick requests, for anyone who is interested. Firstly, I've really enjoyed creating a photo diary of this last year's shows (http://jamesjeffreywest.com/photos.html and http://jamesjeffreywest.com/calendar.html?showcal=past), but would love to perhaps invite some other folks to take over the camera work so that I can keep my focus on the music. If you'd like to shoot photos at one or more concerts, let me know. It would be as simple as showing up, grabbing my digital camera, firing away, and then accepting a very hearty hug and thanks from myself. I would also love to reward you with some great "limited edition" item of James Jeffrey-West music that I haven't quite determined yet. Also, of course, you will be credited for your photography on my website... My second request is simply that you all continue to pass me and my music along to folks that you think may be interested. Thanks so music to all of you who have forwarded my gig listings and who have brought friends out to see the shows. Thanks also to all of the venues and folks who have invited me to play and to be a part of their scene. What a treat!

Take care everyone. May this new year be one of deep peace and health for you all, and may you find yourselves surrounded by family, friends, and blessings. See you soon.

Bummed about Amazon.com - August 20, 2007

Friends,

Just a quick heads up about something that really bummed me out. Apparently Amazon.com, who I use fairly regularly, is the only online retailer of subscriptions to animal fighting magazines in the United States. They also sell some gory dogfighting videos. As of this year, dog and cockfighting are now illegal in all 50 U.S. states. In spite of pressure from customers, and a campaign by the Humane Society, Amazon has held to the belief that the 1st Amendment makes these sales o.k. I just don't buy that... and can't buy from their website until this stops.

If you want more info, check out https://community.hsus.org/humane/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=13753710.
You can get the full scoop, sign the petition if you want, and find out how else to be involved.

Peace,

James

Back in the Saddle! - July 17, 2007

Friends,

Hello, hello. Although I have not by any means stopped making live music, this past year has been a bit sparse. But, sparseness be gone! I am currently booking my summer and fall concert calendar. Please check back regularly, as I intend to continue adding events.

This past year has been satisfying and BUSY. For those of you who don't know, I had the opportunity to help start a brand new high school. You can check out LEP High (Leadership and Entrepreneurship Public Charter High School) at http://www.lephigh.org/. It's nice to have some time off this summer, and get some momentum going in regard to gigging, but I am also looking forward to another fantastic year at LEP.

If you're a fellow musician, and would like to join me on stage or open for any of my upcoming shows, please drop me a line. The more the merrier!

Also, I am still looking for your favorite charitable organizations to link up to on my website. If you've got a good cause that deserves attention, send me their web address and a description.

Take Care,

James

James Available for Charitable Events - June 18, 2006

Friends,

I just want to put out a quick offer that I will remind folks about from time to time. I am available for charitable events of all kinds, and typically work for free or close to it. Shortly before leaving Portland three years ago, I was a part of a David's Harp benefit concert which featured Michael Allen Harrison. I also participated for two years in the Doernbecher Childrens Hospital program "Harmonic Hallways", where guitarist Weston Roth and I brought music to the hospital hallways. That's just a couple of events that were memorable and hopefully give a bit of a flavor of some of the work that I've done. Anyhow, let me know if you are looking for someone to be a musical part of a benefit event or other worthwile cause. I am available.

It's a wild and crazy world out there right now. I know that you're all doing your part to bring a little light to the dark places. Let me me know if I can help.

James

James Goes Worldwide! - June 15, 2006

Hello All!

It's a wild wild world of music out there. More and more, we're all getting our music from varied sources. I've been busy lately trying to make the new CD release widely and easily available in many formats and venues. Some of you may have noticed that the CD is now available on the Tower Records website. Well hold on tight, because that's only the beginning.

While most of these distributors are still processing my music, you'll soon be able to download the songs individually or as an album from many familiar and new sites. Check out my "LINKS" section for a complete list, but here are a few:

Apple iTunes
(German-based) Arvato
AudioLunchbox
(Japanese-based) Daiki
(Australian-based) Destra
GreatIndieMusic
(Swedish-based) Inprodicon
(Polish-based) Interia
(Latvian-based) Music Is Here
Napster (they're legit now, haven't you heard?!)
(Canadian-based) Puretracks
Rhapsody

Other fun possibilities include: checking out a musical "wrap" at the WrapFactory, downloading my tunes to your telephone for a ring tone, perusing my tunes at an in-store kiosk and burning select songs to CD, and buying my music from Bitmunk to sell and get out to others.

I'll keep you posted as things develop. Feel free to surf the complete list under my "LINKS", and look for your favorite sites. The easiest way to purchase the new CD is still probably through CD Baby. There's links all over my website, and one at the end of this message.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay in touch. Work for peace in this crazy world.

James

album cover

A good honest acoustic blend of folk, blues, and pop-inflected songs, with plenty of fingerstyle guitar.

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Returning to the States - June 12, 2006

Friends,

After two years in Santa Barbara and one year in Nottingham, England, I have returned to my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Everything feels novel and new right now. Actually, it's this weird blend of new and familiar. My brain still demands that cars must drive on the left side of the road, and I can't figure out which side of the car to get into. I also want to keep multiplying price tags by two. Damn that British pound! Why did we have to be living abroad when the pound is so strong and the dollar so weak?!

Well, what can I tell you all about my observations of England?... We had a wonderful stay. We found Brits to be friendly and bright. They keep up on politics and world events MUCH better than the average American (sorry folks, but it's true). They were remarkably forgiving and generous in not blaming us personally for the myriad follies of our current President. Although Tony Blair's England is theoretically our closest current ally, we were hard pressed to find ANYONE that ANYTHING good to say about our current administration. In other words, we fit right in. But here's something scary to think about: I keep telling myself that the world won't put up with U.S. bullying, greed, and insanity indefinitely. At some point they're going to revolt and stand up to us. Well, as someone said to me over there, "We can't believe you Americans will put up with this nonsense indefinitely. We keep waiting for you all to revolt." Uh-oh...

O.K., the scoop on health care. I kept using the phrase "health insurance" during conversations with Brits, which of course makes no sense to them. They don't have health "insurance", they have universal health "care". Here's how it works (prepare yourself, because this may sound strange): You walk into a doctors office and say, "I'd like to see a doctor." They ask for your NHS (National Health Service) number. You say, "I don't have one, I just moved here." They say, "Fill in your address and signature on this tiny form." Within five minutes you're a member of NHS and have an appointment... Sound to good to be true? Well, there are drawbacks. The biggest drawback is just that it can take months to move up the waiting list to see a specialist (unless its bleeding or broken). But, everyone's got basic health care, and you can typically get in to see your regular doctor within one day or less. And, prescriptions cost about twelve bucks to fill no matter what they are for. Pretty cool, huh?

And, the scoop on castles. As most of you know, what we refer to as an "historic district" is little more than new architecture to a European. In my mind, castles seemed more fairy tale than reality, and our first visits seemed very surreal and unreal. We explored castles of various makes and centuries, including the Tower of London, Scarborough Castle, Edinburgh Castle, and many more. While some have been well preserved, others are ghostly ruins giving just a hint of their original granduer. Truth be told, we thought that the ruins were more fun to explore. They're cheap or free, leave more to the imagination, and allow you to get close up and touch it all.

Well, that's your teaser. There's many more stories to tell (and photos to share). Feel free to drop me line if you have any specific questions or topics you'd like to know more about, or if you'd like to tell me that I've got it all wrong... Hey, have you checked out the video of "Click", the Amazing Guitar Playing Cat? Let me know what you think. Also, let me know what you've thought of the new CD release. And, feel free to review the CD online at CD Baby or Tower Records.

Take care. Drop me a line in the guestbook. Talk to you soon.


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New CD Release! - May 31, 2006

Wow! After several months of recording and post production, the new CD is finished. I'm so excited about the CD and the new website. I'm always amazed at how much longer these things take than I think they will. But, it's all very rewarding.
The CD has 11 tracks, all of which are original compositions. Many of these songs were written in the U.K., and "The Last Bus From the Old Market Square" particularly represents my time gigging here. Drop me a line in the guestbook once you've had a listen to the songs. Also, I'm hoping that some of you will review the CD on the CD Baby website. There's a link there to write a review.
I hope that you are all in good health and good spirits. My life has been a whirlwind lately, but all is well. Take care!... James



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Welcome to the New Website! - April 17, 2006

Hello Friends. Thanks for visiting the new website. From now on, this will be the place to visit for news of upcoming gigs, cd releases, and any other musical goings-on in my life. Aside from the new website, the big news is that I've completed work on the new cd. I'm in the graphic design phase currently, and hope to have the cd available later this month. Talk to you all soon!

James

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