Born and raised in San Diego, James Ruelas is definitely a local boy. But he finds his musical influences in another place and another time. Digging deep from Depression era blues, New Orleans jazz from the twenties and sixties soul.
He decided at a young age not to take music or singing lessons, instead he opted to learn from his collection of old vinyl records. He plays a steel bodied resonator guitar not for the bluesy appearance but because in his words, “it’s the only guitar as loud as I am.” In fact James employs his loudness often choosing not to use a sound system at his shows. “Before the P.A. system you had to project, sing from your gut or you didn’t get shows. You had horns and drums, guitars, a hall full of loud dancing people and you had to be heard right over that. I think that’s one reason those old time records have so much character and soul.” James frequents local song circles and has been playing solo and band concerts since the early 2000′s.