L.A. 'Til Morning
When he was growing up in New York in the 1960s, Sleepy James listened to the wide variety of music that was then common on AM radio. Artists as varied as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson, Simon & Garfunkel, Lorne Greene and the Rolling Stones could all be heard on the same station's playlist. "Although my main influences were the Beatles and Bob Dylan," Sleepy says, "I listened to everything I could." After some 40 years of working as a musician - and taking time out to wear many other hats, as well - Sleepy James' songs reflect the passion, the range and the freedom of a guy who's been around the block and seen a lot of changes. He released his first CD, 'L.A. 'til Morning,'' in 2001 and his second, "The American Prisoner," in 2007. 'L.A. 'til Morning' is definitely the singer/songwriter at his most eclectic. From the R&B flavor of 'Sunrise on Sunset' and "Fantasy," to the urban country feel of "Fool's Gold" and "No Need to Explain," to the rockin' fervor of "Long Night" and "No Regrets," Sleepy spans a range of styles while still making the music totally his own. Other songs exhibit Sleepy's droll sense of humor: 'The Fly Song' is about an unrequited love of poisonous proportions, and 'Ole' Jose' may be the first-ever tequila-infused San Fernando Valley drinking song. Sleepy even let's loose his blues/folk chops with "Satan was a Beautiful Angel" and the classic 'St. James Infirmary.' Collectively, Sleepy James' songs represent his far-reaching musical roots and varied background, from playing in Long Island rock bands as a teenager, to sharing the stage at Los Angeles folk clubs and coffeehouses with Jackson Browne and Don Henley, to becoming a fixture at Southern California nightclubs during the '70 and '80s. But at this stage in his career, Sleepy James has come full circle and he's back to the place where it all began - the music and the way it makes him feel.