Colin James books date in Penticton

Six-time Juno Award-winner Colin James will be performing in Penticton this October at the Cleland Theatre.

Juno Award winner Colin James is playing in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre Oct. 15.

Juno Award winner Colin James is playing in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre Oct. 15.



Six-time Juno Award-winner Colin James will be performing in Penticton this October at the Cleland Theatre.

James has worn many hats during his long and storied career. Since he first hit the scene a quarter-century ago and topped the charts as a pop vocalist, he has since recorded an acclaimed blues album, led the swing revival with his Little Big Band, sold multi-platinum albums, sells out shows coast-to-coast and now has come full circle with his latest album titled Fifteen. The release, aptly titled as it is his 15th album, takes him back to his rock roots.

“We really wanted this album to rock, but I tried to showcase some pretty tunes and soulful stuff as well,” said James in a press release.

James co-wrote some of the rock, blues, gospel and pop songs with Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar, Grady), Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings) and Thomas “Tawgs” Salter (Lights, Josh Groban) on four high-octane tracks, including the driving rocker Stone Faith, which is the album’s first single.

James also checks in on a range of covers including Allen Toussaint’s funky Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley and the early Fleetwood Mac tune Oh Well. He also delivers a deeply soulful take on John Lennon’s Jealous Guy.

“John Lennon is fascinating to me because here’s this guy who’s one of the best lyricists of all time, but he loved the rockabilly of Gene Vincent and all that early be-bop-a-lu-la stuff. There were a lot of different sides to him.”

Although much of the attention James has received has been focused on his guitar prowess and songwriting, these days, Colin’s focus is on something else — singing. This may sound surprising, coming from a guy who took home the Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year twice, but Colin says it’s all a process.

“I’m still becoming a better singer,” he said. “I feel like I’m in the middle of the learning curve and I’m just starting to get it. I saw Solomon Burke in Norway before he died and I thought, ‘this man is a better singer now than he’s ever been.’ I’m inspired by that, by the idea that I could be lucky enough to do this forever and still be learning how to hit a song like I want to.”

James is performing at the Cleland Theatre on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 and it is an all-ages event.

To purchase tickets contact the box office at 250-490-2426 or purchase at the Penticton Community Centre reception.