James Guckenheimer | SoultoneCymbals.com

James Guckenheimer

James Guckenheimer

Prophets and Outlaws

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, James Guckenheimer has been playing the drums since
before he could reach the pedals. It was always a forgone conclusion that he would bond
himself to some kind of instrument having grown up in a constant musical environment.
His father cut his teeth in the early rock & roll era when he started playing drums with the
Four Seasons when he was a mere 16 years old. His experiences recording and touring
with the iconic group gave him a first rate music education, which he passed on to his
young son, teaching James the rudiments and philosophies of the instrument. James got
truly serious about the drums at age 11 when he got his first kit, a 7-piece zebra striped
bottomless Pearl set. From then on he started mining his chops all through middle school
and quickly became seduced by the sounds of classic rock. What followed was an endless
journey through diverse genre landscapes where he digested various percussion styles and
disciplines, including an appreciation in jazz improvisation. By this time James had come
into his own vocally as well and quickly found profound influence from other vocalist
drummers like Phil Collins and Don Henley. Above all the techniques and styles he learned
over the years, he discovered that the most important talent a drummer can have is
knowing when not to play. “The job of the drummer is to enhance the music. It’s a selfless
act. It’s not for you. You can have chops for days, but ultimately you are there to be solid.”

James put himself through college in Denton, Texas playing music. Although he would have
liked being a part of the music program at UT, the rigorous tour schedule of 200 plus dates
a year simply wouldn’t allow him. By then he was touring with the Rusty Brothers, starting
out in Norman, Oklahoma then moving into the Texas live music scene. He humbly admits
performing at the renowned South by Southwest Music Festival before he knew what the
event was. Over the years playing on stages across the Midwest and on bills with some of
the biggest names on the circuit, he decided he wanted to play with his own brother Steven,
a budding young guitar slinger who was working up some tunes with his friend, vocalist
Matt Boggs. So, together they formed the Matt Boggs Band that years later would become
Prophets and Outlaws. Deemed “Texas Soul,” PAO was born out of the neo soul/gospel
sound that was coming out of Dallas at the time. They quickly recorded their first self-titled
EP that included their first signature hit song in Texas called “Soul Shop,” an evergreen song
that has seen over 100,000 views on YouTube and over 500,000 streams on Spotify. Since
2011, PAO has released five critically acclaimed music projects and have produced three
Top 20 singles on the Texas Music Chart. They have had song placements on a slew of
national television shows, have been invited to perform at some the most significant and
renown events in the region and have surfaced as one of the very best performance bands
on the live touring circuit. “I learned how to be a musician on the road. If you get it wrong,
you won’t have a job. I pride myself on my live performances.”

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