Location: AMERICA NORTH: USA: California (CA)
Genre: AAA - Roots - Americana - Folk
Influences: Ian and Sylvia, Paul Simon, The Band, Crosby Stills and Nash
James Kahn began his career writing the novelizations of many great films, including Return of the Jedi, Poltergeist, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and The Goonies. From there he segued into writing for television, doing multiple episodes of William Shatner’s TekWar, Xena:Warrior Princess, and writing-producing Melrose Place and Star Trek:Voyager.
In recent years he’s become a singer/songwriter creating his own, more personal, Americana music. He previously wrote/performed four CDs: Waterline, a mostly folk album; The 12th Elf, songs for kids that grown-ups can enjoy; Man Walks Into A Bar, a concept album in which each track is about one of the people in a certain bar on a certain night; and Instrumental Scenery, all instrumental versions of previous songs, for mellow backgrounds or TV licensing.
His latest project, Matamoros is a book and CD combo ... is a rousing Civil War adventure romance set on the Rio Grande in 1863.
By 1862 the Union had blockaded all Confederate ports. Just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, Matamoros – a foreign port – was the only harbor where the South could ship its cotton to Europe, and smuggle in arms for the rebellion. So it became a haven for Yankee and Rebel spies, gunrunners and cotton smugglers, runaway slaves, Mexican guerreros, Texas Rangers and rogues of every stripe.
But Matamoros was also full of French Foreign Legionnaires and Austrian footsoldiers – because that same year, Napoleon III had invaded Mexico, to install Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Emperor.
Set against the backdrop of two wars, this is the story of Clay – an expatriate Southern gentleman running a gambling hall – and Allie, his ex-con artist partner, bringing her cotton train to market – in a star-crossed affair that may or may not survive their conflicted allegiances amidst the tides of battle.
If Matamoros were a movie, it would be Casablanca meets Gone With the Wind in Deadwood. A Civil War saga in the Old West.
But Matamoros isn’t just a novel. It’s also a CD of songs – each track about one of the characters in the novel. There’s an Irish folk tune sung by the Irish Legionnaire; a mariachi anthem about Quintero, the Cuban revolutionary-turned-Confederate-Spy; a sea shanty sung by the naval blockade runner; all rounded out in the Americana folk tradition. The CD is available now at Amazon, CDBaby and Spotify.
'Matamoros' by James Kahn
2. Scully's Redemption
3. La Llorona
4. The Printer's Devil
5. So Long the River
6. Solomon's Shanty
7. Rio Allie
8. The Mighty Fine Texas Rangers
9. Mildred's Waltz
10. El Guerrero Quintero
11. Gypsy Moth
12. Harley's Lament
13. Teddy Two-Worlds
14. So Long the River (Reprise)
Watch the new video for "O The Things I've Seen" here: https://youtu.be/KSZP6X4m_Rg
The Meaning of Life
1. Another Year Gone
2. The Meaning of Life
3. O the Things That I've Seen
4. He's Down in Blue
5. Who in the Hell
6. Workin' That E.R.
7. Time to Go
8. She's Down in Blue
10. Santa Barbara Rising
(The new tracks will be added soon; we are having technical difficulties)
James Kahn has been writing and producing his Americana CDs since 2011, with occasional performances in Santa Barbara as his busy film and television work permits.
Originally a doctor, he began his career as a novelist with the sci-fi trilogy World Enough and Time published by Del Rey Books. He was soon asked to be a medical technical advisor on Steven Spielberg’s ET: The Extraterrestrial, at which time Spielberg read one of his novels and asked him to novelize the movie Poltergeist. Kahn went on to pen a spate of novelizations, including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies, and Return of the Jedi.
From there he segued into a long career in television, writing-producing numerous series, as diverse as Melrose Place and Star Trek: Voyager. He’s sold several pilots, and was nominated for a writing Emmy for work on All My Children. In 2011 he wrote, produced and directed an award winning music video (Dolores Quits Dancing) taken from his second Americana CD, Man Walks Into A Bar. Most recently he produced the award winning indie feature, The Bet.
He's in longterm development on his film Wrongside Bob. Inspired by his CD, Man Walks Into a Bar, it’s a comedy/drama full of roots music, about a quirky old guy with a secret past, and the regulars at a roadside bar who help him confront it.
His full bio can be found on his website.
Here is his full IMbD credit list.
His award winning music video can be seen here.
Track Listings for all Music Found on this site