Jo James Is Bringing His Polished Gospel-Soul Rock to Waco

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Jo James has blues in his blood and the spirit of the church in his soul. The Austin-based singer/guitarist is taking his electrifying live show on the road, with a special studio taping performance at the new Texas Music Cafe in Waco on Saturday August 24th 2024.

For those unfamiliar with Jo James’ incendiary brand of gospel-tinged rock & roll, think Blues club collides with a spirited Sunday service. “A gritty blues club on a Saturday night meets a gospel church on a Sunday morning – that’s the whole vibe,” James tells Texas Music Cafe®.

“Great raw talent and voice is lovely to listen to.”

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The upcoming Waco show will feature James and his red-hot backing band capturing the raw energy of their live performances in a studio audience setting. The entire taping will be made available in the coming weeks exclusively to Texas Music Cafe’s Patreon supporters, before arriving on our YouTube channel in the fall for public consumption.


With a background steeped in gospel from playing drums at his father’s church growing up, James carved his own path, studying at the prestigious Musicians Institute in Los Angeles before relocating to the musical hotbed of Austin in 2014. He’s an accomplished sideman, writer, and collaborator, but in recent years has been focusing on his own searing, spiritually-infused original material.

“Life inspires me – my relationship with God, my wife, family, friends, and people I meet,” James says of his creative process. “I really pull inspiration from lots of places.”

Jo James

One particularly memorable career highlight was sharing the stage with sacred steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. But some of James’ most electrifying performances have been closer to home, like a recent show at Austin’s Saxon Pub where the band earned a raucous three standing ovations.

As for the origin of his musical moniker, it hearkens back to James’ childhood when his dad’s bandmates referred to him as “Jo James” rather than his full name Joseph James Lewis. The nickname stuck.

These days, Jo James is focused on crafting a debut live album due out next year on vinyl, recorded with the help of his diehard fans and supporters. He’s an artist firmly rooted in spiritual conviction, shunning commercial considerations in favor of honest self-expression.

“I’m not worried about the commercial demands of this industry,” James states matter-of-factly. “I just do what I do, and do what God has called me to do.”

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Opening the show is Austin singer-songwriter Ray Prim, setting the stage for what’s sure to be a musically rapturous night of passion, soul, and some good old-fashioned rock & roll.

For those ready to get their spiritual recharge from the Church of Riffs and Rhythm, Jo James and his flock will be testifying in Waco on August 24, 2024. Doors at 7PM, Jo James Band at 8PM.

Connect with Jo on his social platforms