Biography


Galen James is a multitalented singer, songwriter, producer, and performer. Known for his pure tone and display of virtuosic skill and vocal agility, Galen is both versatile and fresh in his approach to music. R&B, pop, middle-eastern, jazz, gospel and rock are among the musical genres that continuously influence Galen’s style.
 
“Galen’s music takes you on a journey and is instantly infectious as you travel through its twists and turns”.
The Western Herald

“Every performance is completely unique, and completely awesome.”
The Kalamazoo Gazette

 
Galen James was born Galen Bostian-Kentes, into an artistic family in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His singing career began at a young age with the encouragement of his mother and Grammy Award-winning choir director at Huron High school, Richard Ingram. Galen was then accepted into the prestigious music & jazz program at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan to study voice, piano, guitar, composition, arrangement and sing in the renowned vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company directed by Steve Zegree. 

In 2009, Galen won five Downbeat Awards from the renowned Downbeat Magazine. “It’s a great feeling when people appreciate and respect your work, and that moment reinforced my decision to dedicate my life to making good music.” Soon, Galen was performing all over with jazz legends Kurt Elling, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Johnny Mathis and Darmon Meader, just to name a few.

While he is incredibly proud of his recordings, Galen feels the best way to experience his music is to see him live with his band, Compendium. This is why he recorded his next album in full, live takes. He crafted the plans for this album meticulously with the guidance of his friend and engineer, Doug Messenger. Doug is one of the original guitar players for Van Morrison among other big names and eventually ended up owning a studio in North Hollywood, helping craft multiple hit records including Jimmy Eat World, "Bleed American."

Before recording the album, Galen and Doug rehearsed Compendium, preparing the band to for one weekend in June where they recored all nine songs in full takes completely analog to two-inch Scotch tape without the use of drum-machines or click-tracks, no pitch correction, and without a single computer. The only audio effects were the analog Echoplate, an analog AR300 Tape eliminator delay line and an Ibanez analog stereo chorus on one guitar.  

All but three of the songs took no more than eleven tracks.  This is noteworthy, given that upward of fifty tracks are commonplace in digital recording sessions.  Here, crucial decisions were made before the recording, not after.  Imagine that, a band that is all right just as it is. 

Galen's newest album, Love & Bad News is available worldwide August 1st, 2014.

In 2015, after living in Los Angeles, CA for five years, he moved to Austin, TX to be a part of its booming music scene.