James feels like singing the blues

James O'Hara from Gomersal who is through to the North West heat of New Brunswick Battle of the Blues ' a UK-wide search for the best of original and unsigned blues talent to take across to New Brunswick's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival
James O'Hara from Gomersal who is through to the North West heat of New Brunswick Battle of the Blues ' a UK-wide search for the best of original and unsigned blues talent to take across to New Brunswick's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival

GOMERSAL singer James O’Hara is through to the North West heat of the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues – a UK-wide search for the best of original and unsigned blues talent.

James will be one of six acts performing tonight at the True Blues Club in Newton-le-Willows on Merseyside, and hoping to reach the London final in March. The outright winner there will win an all-expenses trip to perform at New Brunswick’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Canada.

Competition organiser Lee George said they were keen to attract British talent to the world-renowned festival which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year.

“This is the second year we’ve run this competition and last year’s winners, 24 Pesos, had the time of their life,” he said.

“New Brunswick is an incredibly beautiful part of Canada and we will show the winning act some of the world’s best whale watching, sea kayaking, breath-taking scenery and real New Brunswick hospitality. Travelling to the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival could be a life-changing opportunity to perform amongst the very best.”

James has a wealth of experience in fronting bands since 1985 including The Detonators and The Giantkillers.

He has met and played with many British Blues legends and Chicago Blues royalty. In 2005 he played at 2120 South Michigan Avenue, a hallowed address by most blues fans, which he described as the highpoint of his career so far.

In 2008 James started working under his own name and will be releasing his long awaited debut CD in early 2012.

Blues in Britain magazine describes him as having a ‘gritty unforced singing style that spans the whole of the blues genre. He is hugely respected by Blues reviewers and musicians and adored by his audiences.’