with songs that fit under the stars or in the open air. Family camps, backyards and retreats.
to sing for gathering in worship, reflection, celebration and prayer.
to make music close enough.
I want to sing where it matters. I've made a career out of finding any chance to sing about the lives of people and play in the hearts of those who want (need) connection. It's not performing as much as swinging open the door and letting in the breeze. So like any troubadour, I'm trying to catch your ear. But when it transcends entertainment, that's when the dream comes 'round.
In all the ways music moves us, I want to be right there. I want to be about music's power to reach us, hold us and keep us together. That means I'm going to sing in the small room, the big room, the patient's room and the classroom. Under a big sky, over the candle light, on a stage or in a living room. That's my plan.
For over thirty years acclaimed songwriter, singer and guitarist James Hersch has been quietly building a repertoire of work that puts him squarely on the edge of acoustic music's importance in North American culture. • James has a rare mixture of straight forward musical talent, humor and sensitivity that allows him to create songs that speak to what is common in all of us. James is one of those few performers who allow his listener to experience his music through intimate images which confront and celebrate today's human condition. • James, a native of Osseo, Minnesota, has fifteen album credits to his name and has become known for his story song releases "Innerweather" (strictly one voice and one guitar, no edits or overdubs) and "BackTracks". Hersch has been nominated National NACA Coffeehouse Entertainer of the Year several times and has been a finalist at the international Kerrville Folk Festival. He won a 'Telly' award for his original soundtrack for the 2009 PBS documentary, "Paving the Way: The National Park to Park Highway", featuring guitar, fiddle (Peter Ostroushko) and cello (Joseph Englund). • Although James has a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical guitar, his songwriting and performing styles are eclectic and broadly appealing. Hersch performs as a solo acoustic artist and his music has taken on a life of it's own, deeply planted in the minds of the thousands who hear him each year. • In 2009 and 2012, James undertook to write, record and publish one song per week for 52 weeks. Both projects resulted in CD releases that include 16 songs most popular with online followers of the projects. • James' REACHWITHME residencies have become a useful outreach program aimed at the profound effect music can have on elderly. REACHWITHME has been honored with the Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity by the National Association for Campus Activities. His NOISY SONGWRITING WITH KIDS residency is a popular program with K-12 schools and libraries.by scott jones
James Hersch is an artist who paints pictures with his songs. His music invites us in as his words color the canvas... A brush with true emotion gives us permission to look within. Perhaps not a folk singer, but a man who sings for folks... An artist who sings folks songs about themselves. Their stories are his stories ... History in a modern style. He tells us tales of days gone by and makes them come alive... Presents from the past that will thrive in days to come. His voice is warm, clear, and lyrical. His guitar ... Crisp, deep, precise. His songs speak of hope and hopelessness, of homes and the homeless, of grandmas and grandpas, of memories dark and light. He has the wholesome look of the paperboy and the lonesome view of a man on tour. Now he's delivering nationwide, traveling to towns and colleges... Learning life lessons while his songs are teaching theirs.more on how i got here
Early in my career, I worked as a songwriter in Los Angeles and Nashville. I grew convinced that I was in the wrong place. The entertainment industry revolves around lots of things unrelated to what I love about singing to people. My best moments have always come when music is more than just a means to entertain people. So I volunteered my singing to the world around me, and I found that music has a powerful effect on many - the elderly, young kids, those hospitalized or incarcerated - really anyone feeling vulnerable. I also found a kind of crossroads of what I could provide and what people need from music. I proposed to anyone who would pay me to sing, that they might also offer my singing to others who might need what music provides. Doing this has reminded me what I love about being a singer. It's been good for me, and it's the reason I'm still singing. Reach With Me is what I call it. It has led to thousands of little concerts and sing-a-longs in the small rooms and forgotten corners. I'm drawn to putting my music into the flow of people's lives. I've seen it's value to some. Now I'm hoping there's a gift in it for more.