Dean James

Artist Profile
By Emily Ireland

We had the chance to catch up with local singer/songwriter Dean James this month, and we had a great conversation full of lots of laughs. It was wonderful to hear about where Dean comes from, how he got to be where he is today, and what has inspired him to pursue music. A true easy-going personality who is unapologetically authentic Dean kept the conversation flowing and it was an honour to hear his story.

Dean, born and raised in Peterborough, ON has been immersed in music right from the beginning. He spoke kindly and eloquently about the impression his Grandpa has had on him, raising him up through music and performing. Deans Grandpa, Doug Montgomery – a talented local performer in his own right – took Dean under his wing early on, bringing him to local country music stages throughout Cottage Country; playing a vast selection of traditional country music. Dean James grew up on stage, going to local country jamborees and events on weekends, standing up there strumming a guitar at his Grandpa’s side from the time he could hold a plastic play guitar right up until he was playing the real thing right alongside him. Dean says as he was growing into the performer he is now; local legions really supported him and kept him going.  Dean says: “I grew up in a musical atmosphere. Without being rushed my Grandpa nourished who I was growing into. Without him I would not be doing what I am today.” During our chat he fondly recalls being small and dragging his Grandpas big ‘ol guitar to shows; he remembers that was exactly where he wanted to be. Some kids do Sundays with cartoons and cereal – Dean James did Sundays on stage, growing his musical knowledge.

In 2015 Dean jumped at the chance to move to Nashville, TN where he took a residency on Broadway at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Dean says: “It was definitely a big turning point in my life, it’s when I started to take music really seriously. It was THE step for me to realise I wanted to focus on music as a career.” During his residency he fine tuned his contagiously fun stage presence alongside the best in the industry. Deans’ musical abilities alongside his uncanny jukebox-like knowledge of country music showcases his powerful passion for music and performing.

In 2016 Dean placed third at The Next Country Music Star Talent Search, and earned the chance to take the stage at The Havelock Country Jamboree.

Since then, Dean James has been hitting the road, playing a multitude of sold-out shows and opening on big stages for the likes of Meghan Patrick and the Road Hammers.

With a voice full of emotion, a little country twang and a hint of gravelly underbelly Dean James sings from the heart, and leaves you swaying in your seat waiting for the next hit-maker to explode from the speakers. He brings strong lyrical meaning and combines it with a traditional country roots sound to bring an edgy country sound to fans. To Dean, it’s all about the show – he is a true performer, bringing to the stage an energy, and love for his music you can feel thick in the air.

Singles ‘With You’ and ‘What I’m Doing Now’ are out on all popular streaming services, and Dean let me in on his plans to release a fresh new single in 2023.

Follow Dean James on social media to keep up to date on where you will catch him next. It is a show you don’t want to miss.