August 6, 2017

Singer Teresa James imbues every note with searing honesty and emotion. For her, blues is the genre that feeds that soulful sensation.

“In pop music, half the time they’re not really singing,” James says, laughing. “Along with that, there’s the big extravaganza — dancers, lights, smoke, action. But for me, it’s always about the connection between the singer and the song. When the singer connects with the emotion of the song — the music and the lyrics — then the audience will be drawn into it. That’s when the magic happens. That’s why people like blues — it’s something they can relate to.”

James says every blues performance is made special by what the individual artist brings to a song.

“There’s a million versions of ‘The Sky Is Crying’ [Elmore James]. Each one brings a little different flavor, a different intensity and a little different emotion. And that’s what I’m all about. My whole thing is that I like to be in the moment, singing what I’m feeling in that moment, having what’s happeni...

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