JAMES HARMAN was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama-quickly picked up on the black blues and soul music being played on juke boxes and the radio. He sang in the church choir until age 16 when his family moved to Panama City Florida, where he found himself surrounded by like-minded blues lovers. Wearing a fake moustache, young James slipped into a still segregated black nightclub to see Little Junior Parker’s show. He was totally overtaken by the blues and soon became a regular, known as “That boy who sings like a man” by patrons.
While still in his teens, he started playing juke joints and dance clubs throughout the South. His performances became legendary-he was “tapped” by talent scouts, signed and taken to Atlanta, Georgia in 1964 to begin his recording career at age 18. He had a series of nine singles (45 RPM records) released during the mid to late 60's on obscure southern labels.
During his stay in Miami Harman was befriended by fellow record collectors Henry Vestine, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite of Canned Heat, who persuaded him to move to California, promising to help him get re-started. Harman made his move to SoCal in 1970, and true to their word, Canned Heat insisted on Harman’s Icehouse Blues Band as their opening act on many big shows.
James Harman was soon in demand for his own shows, as well as backing every living blues artist who was touring without a band. He also opened literally hundreds of shows for artist who did have their own band. Icehouse Blues Band was a real working blues band. In 1978 James tired of using band names and started billing his act as James Harman Band.
Through his long career starting in the early 60’s James Harman has built up an enormous song catalog and had 20 of his original songs used in movies and television. He has been nominated for 20 pestiferous W. C. Handy (Blues Foundation) awards. He was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and he is the harmonica player of choice on many ZZ Top releases, as well as live with them on many international TV shows. Harman was nominated for a Grammy Award, and won two Blues Music Awards for his contribution to the Blind Pig release, "Remembering Little Walter" in 2014.
in 2015 Electro-Fi release "BONETIME" was nominated for an unprecedented five BMA awards: SONG OF THE YEAR, ALBUM OF THE YEAR, TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR, HARMONICA PLAYER and TRADITIONAL BLUES MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR.