Issue No.2
August 2012
OC Blues News
Greetings Blues Fans,

We have some very exciting events coming up in August, a new series of Blues Shows to be taking place at the Encore Dinner Theater in Tustin, The Muck Roots Blues Revue in Fullerton and of course for our third consecutive year; The Reals Blues Festival of Orange County 3 in Santa Ana.

Sign up for our mailing list to stay on top of all Orange County Blues Society news and events or better yet, Join the Orange County blues Societ and help support the Blues in all it’s forms here in Orange County.

Let Your Blues Flag Fly!
Papa J, President


Muckenthaler Cultural Center

The Muck Roots Blues Revue
Thursday, August 16th
Join us for a fun-filled day of Blues in Beautiful Fullerton  at 
the historic Muckenthaler Cultural Center 
1201 Malvern Avenue, 
Fullerton, CA 714 738-6595
1ST MUCK FESTIVAL BENEFITS BETTER VISION FOR CHILDRENThe recently-formed Orange County Blues Society presents its first-ever concert event – “The Muck Blues Roots Festival” – under the stars at the scenic outdoor Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, Thursday, August 16. 8 p.m. Advance tickets available atwww.orangecountybluessociety. com  or through the Muckenthaler ( ). Info: (714) 328-9375 or (714) 738-6595.


Portion of proceeds to benefit San Diego-based Better Vision For Children Foundation, a non-profit charity working to prevent and cure partial or total blindness in pre-school children resulting from Amblyopia (Lazy Eye), Autisim, Diabetes or Eye Cancer.


Artists scheduled to perform include “The Brooklyn Bluesman,” acoustic guitarist-vocalist Calvin B. Streets; “Mistress Of the Blues,” bassist-vocalistRanda Lee and Friends; L.A. blues-rock trio, The Hellhounds; and teenage trio blues upstarts, the Chase Walker Band featuring 13-year-old Chase Walker on guitar and vocals.

  Check the Orange County Blues Society at

Here it is…
Orange County’s Premier Event
Brought to you by Your
Orange County Blues Society
Featuring the Brightest Stars of the Orange County Blues Scene. 
This Event will be Starring: 
on August 26th in the Heart of Orange County at 
Malones Bar & Grill
604 East Dyer Road
Santa Ana
Call 714 328-9375 or 714 979-6000 for information
White Boy James getting live on stage
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In This Issue
Muck Roots Blues Review
The Real Blues Festival of Orange County
White Boy James Explains it all for You

White Boy James Explains it all for You 
We met with White Boy James at a secret location deep in the heart of Orange County for a clandestine meeting to explore the myth, the legend and the man who would be White Boy James! 

OCBS: James where did you grow up? 

WBJ: I grew up in Compton, Paramount and Cerritos. I spent summers in Kentucky with my mom’s whole side of the family. It was a really, really rural area of Edmonson County about 40 miles southwest of Mammoth Caves. I spent my summers there from the time I was 9 until I was 16.

OCBS: You were a teenager when?


WBJ: The eighties, the early eighties.

OCBS: What got you interested in music?

WBJ: I had an Uncle named Edd Tunks, he owned a produce market in Garden Grove. My dad would drop me off over there on weekends. My uncle was a guy who used to play guitar in some bands in the thirty’s and forty’s. He said he played for Bob Wills for a while, I don’t think he did but he said that. He had all these really cool records and he used to teach me about music and play me his old records. He was a grouchy, crochity old fucker and I was one of the only people he liked and I was probably one of the only people who liked him.

OCBS: Who were your musical influences?

WBJ: Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, my uncle Edd Tunk,Phil Alvin and James Harmon

OCBS: Anyone other than your uncle who was instrumental in your musical development?

WBJ: No, not really. My brother played and a bunch of my cousins in Kentucky played but they never really showed me anything. They weren’t any kind of huge influence on me.

OCBS: What are your first musical memories?

WBJ: My mom playing records and stuff.

OCBS: What is the best record you ever owned?

WBJ: Oh man, I had a lot of really cool records. When my uncle died he left me all his records. He had a shitload of 78’s, I had seven or eight crates of them. Everything from western swing to fifties rock and roll and everything in between. A record I really liked in the early seventies was the American Graffiti record.

OCBS: Back in the early days, what kind of material were you playing?

WBJ: Blues, swing, rockabilly. Pretty much the same stuff as I play now.

OCBS: How old were you when you started to play music?

WBJ: I started learning how to play when I was 10, 11, 12. I started playing in bands when I was 14.

OCBS: You were doing live performances at 14?

WBJ: Yeah

OCBS: Where

WBJ: Any place I could, parties, little bars. I started playing in clubs when I was 16. I was always big and bald so it was pretty easy. Nobody ever questioned how old I was.

OCBS: What was your first band called?

WBJ: The Moonlight Wranglers.

OCBS: What was the most embarrassing song you ever played?

WBJ: Rock around the clock, I hate doing those kind of standards.

OCBS: What was the first instrument you ever played?

WBJ: Guitar, no probably piano.

OCBS: Why the Blues?

WBJ: I like it. It talks about life and what happens. Everyday life, good things, bad things, happy things, sad things. I can talk about what’s going on in my life and let everything out, it’s like therapy every time I play.

OCBS: Is there a particular genre of Blues that you call your own?

WBJ: We are lumped into what they call West Coast Swing, it’s just music to me. It’s American music, it’s a little bit of everything. OCBS: How come the Blues seems to last?

WBJ: I think it’s because it talks about life, about things everybody experience

OCBS: How does a white guy deliver an authentic blues experience?

WBJ: Same way a Chinese guy does, by tellin’ the truth. I believe if you’re singing about something that happened to you, something that’s real, something you experienced it’s going to get through in a way that says, “This isn’t bullshit” like you’re singing about something you’ve never done or someplace you’ve never been. It’s a lie to sing about something you’ve never done or someplace you’ve never been.

OCBS: When you write a song are you writing a story or are you writing the music first? What’s the process for you?

WBJ: It works both ways, most of the time it’s a story I’m telling. The music and the story come kind of at the same time.Every once in a while some kind of little musical hook will pop in  and then something will wrap around it. Usually it’s kind of around the same time. I sit there with a guitar and come up with something and keep working it over until it works.

OCBS: Do you collaborate  with anyone when you write or is it a solo effort?

WBJ: It starts out with just me and then I usually get with one of my guitar player friends after that and mess with it a little more. The final product is a collaborative effort engineered by me.

OCBS: Why White Boy James, other than the obvious?

WBJ: It’s just a nickname that stuck when I was younger.

OCBS: What do you like most about being a musician?

WBJ: I like everything about it, I like the people, I like the other musicians, I like the way people look when you’re playing. I like making people feel good.

OCBS: What do you like least about being a musician?

WBJ: Club owners.

OCBS: What was the best rumor ever started about you?

WBJ: Probably one of the ones where I died, anybody who knows me knows that I’ve never been dead for more than a couple of minutes.

OCBS: People have the idea in their heads that musicians party non-stop, any comment?

WBJ: It’s not like that. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of stress, there’s a lot of bullshit, logistics and work that go into a just a little bit of performing. I not a very good businessman, I have a low tolerance for bullshit.

OCBS: Would you share any personal life experiences that got in the way of making music?

WBJ: I had a heroin addiction problem for about twenty two years, that got in the way. Went to prison for almost five years from 2001 to 2005, that got in the way a little bit.

OCBS: How were you able to rise above those experiences?

WBJ: I realized that’s not what I wanted to become or who I was even though I ended up there. There’s real criminals in there, it made me realize that’s not where I wanted to be.

OCBS: When was the first version of White Boy James and the Blues Express?

WBJ: 1989, Scott Abeyta was in that one too. Things changed and the other players went on to other bands.

OCBS: Tell me about the current White Boy James and the Blues Express

WBJ: Scott Abeyta on guitar (he also runs Rip Cat Records),Blake Watson on bass, Max Bangwell on drums; it’s a great line-up.

OCBS: What is the future of White Boy James?

WBJ: I want to travel more, I want to go overseas, the music does really good over there. I want to travel the U.S. more. I’ve got a bunch of new material, I’ve got enough material for three new CD’s right now. I’m in the Screen Actors Guild, I do voices for video games. I want to be in films, it’s gonna happen. They’re grooming me to play bad guys and weirdos.

OCBS: Go figure



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