Multi-instrumentalist performer and songwriter James Cramer has released his new single My Darkest Hour. We asked him the BIG questions . . .
Cramer has co-written with acts such as Hermitage Green, Luan Parle and Eleanor McEvoy, and he is also the frontman of the alt-folk band Tupelo.
Recently, his song The Road to Kinawley featured on the soundtrack of Normal People.
Tell us three things about yourself?
OK… I've been writing songs since I was eight years old. I’m also a huge boxing fan - I watch old fights all the time and score them like I’m the judge! Outside of music and painting that’s my other big passion as I boxed as a kid. And… I wrote and recorded my new single My Darkest Hour on the west coast Norway in a beautiful studio sitting right on the fjord.
How would you describe your music?
My music is soulful. It’s all laid out there and I just want the listener to take my songs with them into their life, like I’ve done with my favourite records and songs.
3. Who are your musical inspirations?
My musical inspirations are Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, Eddie Floyd, John Lee Hooker - all the old soul and blues music.
4. How did you occupy yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
I transformed my garden into a festival vibe place to hang out in; I wrote plenty of songs; ate like a king and bought myself a new barbecue which I’ve been using to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner on - no matter what the weather!
What’s your favourite song right now?
My favourite song right now is Overseas by Jason Isbell.
Favourite lyric of all time?
I could of course go with one of the greats like Cohen, Dylan or Jackson Browne but, following on from the question before, it’s been a while since a song hit me over the head instantaneously - so it’s a song called 24 Frames by Jason Isbell. I’'ll give you a snippet:
"You thought God was an architect, now you know
He's something like a pipe bomb ready to blow
And everything you built that's all for show goes up in flames
In twenty- four frames"
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
I had to think hard about this! It needs to be a song that’s not to loud, not too soft and is long enough to keep me interested so by the time it ends and starts again I’m good to go! It needs lots of layers, simple layers, in the recording and more of a live feel to it that sounds like it can bounce anywhere on repeat listens... so I’ll go with the duet of the great John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison singing I Cover The Waterfront. I listened to it when John Lee passed away in 2001 and it was like a passing of the torch: 'OK Van, you're in charge now’; it shook me to my spine. When I met Van I asked him what John was like, he said four words: "He had it all".
Where can people find your music/more information?
You can find me on all my social links on my website jamescramer.eu