Dean James, Jr. got his musical start at an early age, first picking up the guitar at the tender age of 3, instinctually looking for patterns in tone and rhythm on his father’s old guitar. James, Jr. grew up penniless in Canton, Ohio, and as he grew, his family and friends could hear the talent underscored by every strum of his guitar. By the age of 9, James, Jr. was comfortable playing multiple instruments and writing original music to compliment his unique baritone voice. He sings with an approach that is all his own, with a tip of the cap to fellow heartland rock music icons: Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mellencamp.
Canton, Ohio is best known for the pro football hall of fame, which is tucked away in the Canton suburbs. Downtown Canton is a mash of forgotten industrial space that has been overtaken by homeless and artists. Despite these limitations, the city itself has enough dive bars and honky-tonks to employ local musicians and bands. James Jr, made enough money playing bars to eat and get by as an adult until in the Spring of 2017, a miracle occurred.
That Spring, James Jr was discovered by pedal steel guitar icon Robert Randolph via an Instagram video. Randolph reached out to James Jr. multiple times before he responded, mostly because he couldn’t believe that someone of Randolph’s stature would be taking a sincere interest. Sure enough, the interest was real, and by Summer 2017 James Jr was out on tour with Robert Randolph as the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, playing sold-out shows around the world.
Dean James Jr has been carried from homelessness and poverty into the national spotlight by the strength of his talent and faith in music, and he is grateful for the opportunities that his gifts have granted him. James Jr seeks to express that passionate feeling through his own original music. James Jr says “I want everyone who hears my music to think ‘this describes my life perfectly’, and feel connected. We all want to know that we aren’t alone, that we aren’t the only ones feeling a certain way, whether it’s good or bad”. James Jr, together with his band, The Treatment, are currently recording their debut full-length LP.