folk noir singer-songwriter
BIO & TESTIMONIALS
James Kasper captivates audiences with an unorthodox yet refreshing hybrid of dark, dreamy roots-rock songs and angsty, almost reckless blues-harmonica solos. Highlights of his music career include opening for the legendary Ray Charles in 1998 (BCTV's Variety Club Show of Hearts), collaborating with current and former Blue Rodeo members Bob Egan and Bob Wiseman, releasing five full-length albums, touring Canada on five occasions, and releasing an award-winning music video for his song "The Gospel." Festival performances include Artswells in Wells BC, Cortes Island Music Fest, Victoria Folk Fest, and Art in the Park & Firescape in Kitchener Ontario. Other venues Kasper has showcased at: The Poor Alex Theatre (Toronto), Free Times Cafe (Toronto), Railway Club (Vancouver), Metro Theatre (Victoria), and Victoria Event Centre (Victoria). In 2008, Kasper was named "Hardest Working Person in Local Music" by Victoria BC's Monday Magazine. Kasper recently released the album Twenty, which features twenty tracks (a mix of previously unreleased & released songs) and also signifies the 20 years since he recorded his first (cassette) demo tape in 1993.The album can be found here: James Kasper Bandcamp. Kasper has lived on Vancouver Island for most of his life.
"With the burning wail of his harmonica and his smouldering lyrics, Kasper artfully wrenches empathy from listeners. The noir side adds depth of character and individuality to his music, helping to distinguish him from the thousands of other singer-songwriters in the country roots genre."
- exclaim! Magazine.
"If Leonard Cohen and Chris Isaak were melted into one man who had grown up in a Western film, that would be Kasper. Rich vocal range…could lure a she-wolf out of her den…a stirring experience. A listener can’t help feeling like an old country barn stroked tenderly by a fresh paintbrush of song.”
- Leah Callen, freelance writer.
"James Kasper soon entrances your ears, and it is fair to draw comparison with the likes of Chris Isaak, only with rather more tears and whiskey...a warm, melancholic voice."
"James Kasper's musically progressive folk noir explores the dark recesses of the human heart through a hauntingly iridescent mood: pain, love, loss, and longing refracted through the rough-but-tender husk of his smoky voice. This is the folk of the new millennium - a battle cry of wonder and soulfulness alchemically blended with an ostranenie of powerfully effervescent charms."
– Kevin Cryderman, Singer-Songwriter.
"James Kasper's songwriting skills take the listener on a journey with each phrase turned. Layer upon layer of rootsy goodness."
- Rob Pingle - 101.9FM CFUV.
"The Old-Fashioned Way is, hands-down, the greatest song I have heard all year."
- David Johnson, GX94 Country Radio.
"Good lyrics and strong, interesting melodies are hard to find in much of today's music. James Kasper delivers and then some."
- Michael Burke - Cordova Bay Entertainment Group
"The Old-Fashioned Way is the kind of song that any songwriter would give anything to have written."
- Frank Smith, Ottawa Singer-songwriter.
"Smart, original songs framed by a seductively whimsical sound."
- Joseph Blake - Times-Colonist.
Hayden, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Mark Kozelek, Blue Rodeo, Peter Himmelman.