December 11, 2013 by Robb Powell

james kirby 1You may have noticed a couple of recent posts that have been written by someone other than myself. I’ve been wanting someone else to contribute for quite some time with being so busy and dare I admit it, not in the slightest bit concise (well, actually I am concise at times but end up just sharing so many different bands/musicians within a post). When the good Mr James Kirby kindly offered assistance following us connecting via Linked In I jumped at the chance of taking him up on his offer. As a musician himself I was all set to give him a little bit of an introduction and feature in my next multi-share post (due imminently) but he has beaten me to it. Further, he has written this excellent piece on why he does what he does. It is not only a pleasure to share his wonderful music but also to have made the acquaintance of such a hard working, dedicated and creative young soul. Even more so to be able to publish his features and articles here on the blog. There will be many more posts from James to come and I will certainly be keeping you updated on his own musical happenings too. Now please go buy his superb 16 track album from iTunes. Thank you. And no he didn’t pay me to write that. It is a really superb collection of songs from a quality musician and songwriter! I’ll now hand you over to the good man himself…

Let me tell you a story…

james kirby  3Once upon a time there was a teenage boy.  At the age of 17 he fell for his first cliché. The cliché being: met a girl, picked up a guitar and started singing for and about her. The music was awful!  Standard chords, little dynamics and self indulgent nonsense. That having been said the “origins” of this musical journey began here. Followed by passing a three year music course in six months and with the lovelorn cliché in a rut, the boy bid “Best wishes but Bad Luck” to the UK and took off to Toronto.

Here he could play as he wanted. He had broken his chains to his history and learnt from street musicians to develop a sound he desired without having it “pending approval” from the muse who started it all. Cafés, bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs and in the studio he improvised entire songs just to test his limits.

He returned to the UK after admitting his travels were “Enough for Now” just as he’d set out, with a suitcase and a guitar on his back. But as soon as he touched down the chains returned as though he’d never “come and gone.” So the day jobs took over, the bills built up and the hers he sung of continued to pass. The memories he reflected on which he drew so much from began to fade and the uses of the purpose he had found in others diminished. Looking back is always a point to learn from but never to live by as we are forever on “the other side of yesterday” and time doesn’t move any way but forwards.

But a point came where he had another to sing of and for. These “brand new days” led him to Asia for his daughter and a fight then began to bring her home to the UK. Due to reasons I shall overlook in this article he had to return both without Partner and Daughter. So, he now works and pushes forward to his “Coda” trying with every effort to support his family from over 12000 miles.  The time passed from where he originally set out but regardless of what was thrown music remained his “Lifeline.”  With the miles, people, reasons and of course practice, the songs, meaning, structure and sound improved beyond belief since his 17 year old admission to the world of music.

This is my story. And the meaning behind what I have written is that music is more than just sound. It’s a life and much like anything else it takes time and work. It is easy to write songs about people or situations that inspire us and those songs no matter how tragic in the early days do pay off. Especially when the day comes that you do have a reason to try and to sing. The songs evolve as we do. I write and sing to help my family as well as work 3 jobs rather than aiming for the bright lights of stardom. But when I was down and out the music saved me from giving up to the odds.

So I ask now, what is music to you?

Why did you start?

Why do you keep playing?

And what means more, a song for the sake of it or a song with meaning?

Note: the phrases and terms that are within “quotation marks” are the albums I have written in order since I began.

Words by James Kirby –

You can purchase the album Lifeline from iTunes via this link >>here<<



  1. […] in the post >>here<<, James writes for this blog and has contributed some awesome articles and features so far. As the […]

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