Kraig James is a squatchy performing singer/songwriter from the Duluth, MN area. Kraig’s style is a hotdish of genre’s, with dashes of rock, blues, alternative, folk, praise, county, and Americana. His unique “North Country Campfire Americana” style often includes a fire drum burning next to him on stage. The style is more brazen glass-raising than Kumbaya, although the generally upbeat and lyrically melodic sets include introspective ballads for good measure.
His mellow but spirited baritone vocals are a perfect fit for venues who want to bring their live music forward, but also provide patrons with the ability to visit with each other comfortably. His pleasing vocal muse is accompanied by a makeshift stompbox that gets the audience tapping their toes, harmonica for occasional melodies, and his trusty acoustic guitars. Kraig performs solo or with a dynamic lineup as a band that goes by Kraig James and the Campfire Stars.
He has cataloged over a hundred original songs, which he dips into dynamically during performances that leave catchy lyrics and melodies resonating post-show. His original songs reflect the trials and tribulations of living with, not in, Northern Minnesota and his shows sprinkle in familiar traditional covers ranging from Prine, Dylan, Young, Cash, Nelson, Eagles, Denver, Taylor, Travis, and Buffett, along with more current Trampled by Turtles, Mraz, Coldplay and several others from his vast catalog. His style is a perfect fit for pubs, coffee houses, brewery tap rooms, opening and supporting slots for regional/national artists, and festivals.
As a songwriter, Kraig James is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association, and has gained prominence after penning and donating the recording of a Christmas song called “Holiday Tradition” which was included on Duluth’s Christmas by the Lake CD. His stirring performance of this tune kicked off the 2014 CD Release party at Duluth’s renowned Greysolon Ballroom and was the featured clip on Duluth’s ABC affiliate, WDIO during the evening news that night. He was also the featured performer on a TV story covering the 2015 New Year’s Eve party at Beaners Coffeehouse in Duluth.
As a performing singer/songwriter, Kraig James is also familiar with sound setup and promotion, and can provide his own pro sound for both smaller and medium-sized venues. Kraig co-founded the Highway 61 Folks Festival in 2002 with his good friend and music affectionado Jim Myhre, which included a Songwriters Contest that featured future stars such as Haley Bonar, Teague Alexy, Justin Roth, Eric Pollard (Actual Wolf), Sara Thomsen, Bill Isles, and Colleen Myhre. The headliners for the first few years were future national greats Charlie Parr and Trampled by Turtles. Kraig currently books and hosts a songwriters series at the Streetcar Pub in Carlton, MN.
Throughout 2016, Kraig James & the Campfire Stars are releasing 1 song a month as part of Campfire Americana: Volume 1. Check out the Music page for this month’s free song and links to digital downloads.