Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
James Maybry - Jamesí mother's classical vocal background and his father's jazz guitar background ignited a musical spark in him. While his dad was stationed in Quantico, VA, as a Marine during the early 1960s, this Philadelphia native began singing and picked up the guitar. Jamesí first band gig was as a lead singer and guitarist in the Triangle/Woodbridge area. James entered the Navy and was stationed in Washington, DC, during the 1970s. While there James joined a hard rock band called Cannabis Trading Company, later renamed Holland. He later continued his musical endeavors, performing as a sideman with a few R&B and Top 40 bands. As part of the First Command Band, James opened for such legendary Blues and R&B performers as James Cotton, Tyrone Davis, Brother to Brother and Confunktion.
These milestone experiences convinced James that his heart belonged to the Blues, and he has pursued this passion ever since. His wide-ranging musical influences include Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Elmore James, Albert King, Jimmy Reed, Louis Jordan, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Big Joe Turner, and many others. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, his guitar and vocal talents were a part of the Daryl Davis Band and the Cathy Ponton King Band. James continues to work with Jacques "Saxman" Johnson and Friends and Steve Wolf and Swing Speak when called upon. Blues Plus released in 1996 by James and Jacques "Saxman" Johnson, features such classics as Elmore James' "Make My Dream Come True"; B.B. King's "She's Dynamite"; and Rufus Thomas's "Walkin the Dog"; as well as "Slidin," one of James' originals. His interpretation of "The Thrill Is Gone," by Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell, includes a Reggae groove that adds a refreshing, new dimension to this Blues standard. James Mabry is an exciting and dynamic Blues guitarist who captivates audiences with his strong, clear vocals. Catch a performance and hear Blues from the heart of a gentleman and a scholar.