Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame inducts Regina's Colin James
James debuted his first album in 1988
Sharing the stage with music legends like Carlos Santana over his illustrious career, it can't come as a surprise to hear Regina's own Colin James is the latest Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee.
This week, the Western Canadian Music Alliance presented James with an induction ceremony during BreakOut West, a four-day music conference and a three-night music festival combined with the Western Canadian Music Awards.
James spoke to CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend about his 17-album journey, developing his skills as an all-around musician along the way.
"All these years plugging away the fire is still there, I still want to create better music than I did last time, all that stuff is still there," James said.
Although he showed a keen interest in music at a young age when his parents took him to the Winnipeg Folk Festival, James said where is he now is the result of years of hard work and perseverance, doing everything he could to write and play music.
"Back then I had made the decision to quit school, made the decision to be a musician. I played on street corners and in front of liquor board stores for quite a long time and it took me until I was 25 to really get things going."
Not long after James said he met one of his musical heroes Stevie Ray Vaughan. James remembers rehearsing with a band for the first time 40 minutes before they were set to hit the stage.
Vaughan found that hilarious, James said, adding in the 1980s Vaughan took James under his wing and embedded some of his blues knowledge into the young musician. That relationship eventually blossomed into a show in Alberta where James opened for Vaughan.
Congrats to Colin James for his induction into the WCMA Hall Of Fame presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/FACTORCanada">@FACTORCanada</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BOW2016?src=hash">#BOW2016</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FACTORfunded?src=hash">#FACTORfunded</a> <a href="https://t.co/vRBOn2PzWT">pic.twitter.com/vRBOn2PzWT</a>—@BreakOutWest
Then the music world took notice. James would go on to join Keith Richards on a U.S. Tour and shared the stage with the likes of B.B. King, Lenny Kravitz, Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy.
Fast-forward to 2016: James is promoting his latest album Blue Highways, which pays tribute to some of his blues idols.
"There's so many types of music and so many types of blues alone," James said. "I wanted Freddie King, I wanted Muddy Waters, I wanted Junior Wells and Buddy Guy and that's what we did and it was great."