Album is a 50-year dream come true

Keremeos musician’s CD release party will take place at the iconic Elite Cafe

Fittingly, tucked between the Elvis Festival and the Peach City Beach Cruise this Saturday a 50-year dream in the making will come true for a Keremeos musician.

And, appropriately, the party for Paul James’ first CD release will take place at the iconic Elite Cafe on Main Street.

“I love music and I’ve been playing ever since I was a kid and I always wanted to do my own record, always, and I just decided now is the time to do it,” said James, 65, who has been playing at a number of venues throughout the Okanagan for the last three years. “My first band was called the Generation Gap back in Montreal and I’ve been playing ever since.”

A self-described product of the sixties, James’ music career suffered a setback early on. It happened shortly after he’d just purchased his first guitar for $10 from a Montreal pawn shop.

“I was at a buddy’s place and there was a bird bath on the lower level in the yard and I was a smart aleck and I decided to throw a coke bottle and see how badly the bottle would smash,” he recalled. “It didn’t. It went right through the bird bath so my mother made me sell my $10 guitar to pay for it and it was six months before I got another one.”

The album recorded at Little World studio in Keremeos is a mix of country and good old time rock n’ roll, mainly from the ‘50s and ’60s cover and original tunes.

The one song on the recording he wrote, I’d Love to Love You came from a chance encounter with a woman he went to see perform in Montreal.

“I was sitting there watching this lady play and we went out for a coffee after and we sat and chatted all night and I went home and went to bed and woke up two hours later and wrote the song,” said James.

They never saw each other again.

Saturday’s party gets underway at 8 a.m. and James will be performing a number of songs from the CD and his heart.

“I to relate to people with music. I thinks it’s the best way to express your feelings. It truly is a universal language,” he said.