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Reader Spotlight: Kenny James

Kenny James

Meet Kenny James, a man who stays very busy as a working bassist, teacher and producer. His 35-year career has a lot of interesting stories, which he shares in this spotlight feature. Kenny is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of December 23, 2013.

Bio:

Aside from playing bass, Kenny is also a producer under the moniker “Invisiblemann”, producing music for rock, pop, jazz, soul and R&B. Kenny joined Plugged Music Group as a producer in 1996, and their first big break came that same year when H-Gun Productions – famous for Public Enemy and Anthrax’s video “Bring the Noise” – approached Kenny and his partner Jim Colao to do the music for the MTV Movie Awards. This led to commercial gigs as diverse as Comedy Central, Levi’s and Cartoon Network. They also attracted a wide range of artists from all over the world. Additionally, Kenny has provided music for documentary films such as the most acclaimed, In a Diamond’s Shadow.

Day gig:

Teaching bass or drums, creating music for the Plugged Music Group and writing songs for other musicians and singers.

Years experience:

35 years.

Bands & Gigs:

I’m the bass player with True Funk Soldiers (funk covers), Family Funk (original funk) and Invisiblemann (my solo project). Invisiblemann just released Volume 9, which features musicians I’ve worked with from all over the world.

Gear:

  • Brubaker and Spector bass guitars
  • Hartke Heads and Cabs (25 years+)
  • Soundblox Envelope Filter
  • Bass Harmony Machine
  • Hartke Bass Attack Preamp pedal
  • Dunlop strings medium gauge

Why I play the bass:

Seeing Larry Graham and Rodney Curtis when I was a a young. It changed me forever.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Holding down a groove and keeping the bass thud flowing and getting tones without effects. I try and bring something different when I can tone-wise and always a pro when it comes to playing my bass.

My influences

Bass players of Funk, Raggae, Ska, Rock, Classical, Samba, Salsa, Gospel, Bass & Drum, Jazz and really anything that moves me. Music comes to me in so many different ways everyday.

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