An Interview With James Dunne

Q: Welcome! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

A: Well, before I started attempting to make a go of this music thing, I served in the British Armed Forces (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) for just under a decade where I ended up deployed overseas on operational tours of Afghanistan etc. I’m a Dad to two boys, In my day job I’m in the tunneling and mining industry. I’m a scruffy bugger, there are no two ways about it, honestly what you see is what you get and that is true to be said for my music.

Q: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s not heard your music before?

A: I fall into the genre of Outlaw Country and it’s very much a continuation of telling the authentic, raw, and unapologetic stories of the real world, carrying on the torch from the original Outlaws of old. These legends made Country music what it is today and their legacy needs to live on.
There are those people out there not living the ‘all American dream’ that a lot of mainstream Country music glamourizes, that isn’t relatable to the working man living day to day.
I understand some people may want an escape from the real world, but there are others that want to hear real songs from real people that have shared the same hardships living hand to mouth, excruciating hard work that’s broken their bodies, heartache, hard decisions, seeking redemption for unavoidable choices, etc. and I feel my music is something they can take solace in, knowing they are not alone. Giving those people a voice and telling the stories that go untold.
I guess it’s a similar premise to what Tupac said, his music may not be what ‘you want to hear’ but it’s real, reporting what’s really happening on the streets.

Q: You recently released your new single ” Black Train ”, can you tell us what the song is about?

A: I think it’s a reminder to always be a better man, no matter what spanners are thrown in the works, difficulties that stand in your path, spite and venom fired at you, or temptation presented at your door to distract you from the present, always fight it. I admitted my faults, and this song is about my journey to atonement and riding that Devil back to where he came from. It’s not gonna go down this time the way it has before.

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a musician?

A: I’m not going to lie to you, music wasn’t my first calling. I spent a good chunk of my life racing motorcycles semi-professionally at the British Superbikes level. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up with the mentally younger coming through who had absolutely no fear…..and a lot more money to put into the sport. Becoming a Dad, I suddenly had other priorities. Sadly, I had to hang up my leathers and admit a gracious defeat but I don’t regret a moment of it!

That being said, I grew up with my Irish family, music was prevalent in our household growing up, from all American Country to Irish Folk music. Mum and Dad would always be at the music halls in North London on a weekend and tell stories of the night and the music they listened to. The radio was always on and I’m from the era where you’d end up in the pub with a Coke and bag of crisps watching the bands whilst your parents had a drink or two, so I had very little option from an early age but to get sucked into it!
It’s only back in August 2022, when I started to pick the guitar up more and more, and my partner Sally suggested I give an Open Mic Night a go. I exhausted every Open Mic Event in a 30 miles radius for around two months, just playing and playing and the music I was playing was getting amazing feedback, and I thought there is something here.

Q: What inspires you the most to write your songs?

A: I tend to wake up at the most random of times of day as do shiftwork and my body clock is all over the place 90% of the time, and just start scribbling away, and songs pour out in minutes. It’s so organic.
Honestly, right now seemingly there is a lot of pent-up anger, resentment, and sadness from years and years that just got buried and it’s just coming out, and that’s what’s been fuelling my pen when writing songs recently. Maybe once I’ve got all those feelings out and I’ve got some personal closure, something happier may come your way!

Q: Who would be your ultimate dream collaboration with, and why?

A: Ashley McBride, what an incredible voice and songwriter!

Q: If there’s one song from your catalog that you wish everyone in the world could listen to, which one would it be?

A: Right now it’s pretty limited on choice until the EP is out. So I’ve got to say Black Train!

Q: What do you have planned for the year ahead?

A: I have the release of my debut EP later in the year with the EP Launch held on 20th May at the Dukes of Highgate London, I am featuring on a Help For Heroes Charity single, and I’m going to be working with Tom Pointer of BBQ Life to release my very own signature, BBQ Rub!! I also hope to be working with Producer and Song Writer Tyler Spicer. I have a few festivals on the cards (Country on the Coast, BCMA Fan Fest, Weeting Steam Rally, Live in the Living Room, and a Hells Angels Poker Run Event!) and I suppose, get writing for an album!

Connect with James:

Facebook / Instagram

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