Ragman Jones

Biography

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where’ – said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘ – so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’

Recently James told me that growing up in Danzey Green he used to play in the fields and graveyard in Tanworth-in-Arden, home to the late Nick Drake; ‘I used to sit under the tree that shadows Drake's simple headstone, I recall it having unusual items around it, but didn't know anything more until a few years later when a friend who had introduced me to his music took me back to Tanworth.’
James lived in Spain and then America for a few years at a time, which is where he first started to write. In Spain the songs flowed & in America a gift of an old typewriter from his grandfather gave James the opportunity to write a book‘

Reviews

Ragman Jones brings credible music to the table, with the kind of songs that are crafted with caring hands and experience.’

‘This is a very schizophrenic album, what a journey...’
‘Ragman's world, is beautiful & precious; will the next world be the same?’

‘I was expecting to hear a 10-12 track album with only the 'produced' songs, it makes a pleasant change to hear some of the songs on an album that you would normally only get to hear on a bootleg. That is not saying they are less profound or beautiful as tracks such as the title track precious time, she's a mocking bird or beautiful world, it is just that as an album, you feel welcomed into the world of Ragman Jones’

Musical Influences:

50's rock & roll, elvis, otis reading, the rolling stones, the beach boys, neil young, bob dylan, paul simon, nick drake who had lived very close to my childhood home; townes van zandt, stil the best gig ever. steve earl, the eels, flaming lips, led zeppelin, and even the beatles - nowadays - anything from all above to classical pieces. Current favourite bands - the cave singers, birdcircus, wilco & a camp

 

Writing Influences:

The first book I wrote on an old typewriter, I thought I had invented ‘trip trash' which turned out to be nothing new, burroughs, dylan, cohen & others had been there before, still my first book, written on the shores of the florida keys. - I then read those books and loved them. My novel writing is inspired by writers like j.p. donleavey, tom robbins, and other old books that I find form the 40's & 50's.