Matt Henshaw Recommends … James Byron

I love James Byron, since I first saw him attempt to sing a Sam Cooke song, now I know anyone who knows me will know that I’ve a huge amount of time for anyone who has heard of my favourite singer, then an extra dollop of time for anyone who has the balls to attempt to sing one of his songs, then an infinite amount of time for someone who does it quite well !

I love androgyny, from the first time I saw Suede back in ’93 or ’94, it’s a huge part of music and art, David Bowie and Marc Bolan wouldn’t have found any level of success had they not accentuated their effeminate features, and James Byron Norval has that, an appreciation of a time and an era when music was about changing the world, pushing boundaries and artistic decisions were made, not purely out of shock value or kitsch, but when how you looked, how you sounded, and what you said was of great importance.

You only have to compare our tastes and record collections to know the mutual love of quality runs deep, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Janis Joplin, etc. etc. I’m so pleased he has agreed to join me launching my single and Acoustic Rhythm’n’Gospel soul nights at the Cookie Jar in Leicester, Friday 21st March is going to be a memorable date I’m sure of it.

James is a great advocate for being beautiful, on the inside and out, although in all seriousness, to quote Mama Odie from Disney’s The Princess & The Frog, “it don’t matter what you look like” … and how I like to say, it’s mind over matter, because the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind. One Love !

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