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James saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show when he was eight years old.  “Their performance was like a religious experience for me, and I knew right then what I was going to do" he says, as he recalls his father standing up from his reclining chair and pointing to the TV saying "That is a communist plot to overthrow the government!"  

Nevertheless, James began his own professional music career with Delbert in 1976, when he was 19 years old in support of Delbert's first solo album, "Victim Of Life's Circumstances." James came back to the band from '79 to '86 (the "Giving It Up For Your Love" era), and again in '89, and again from 2001-2004… and from 2015 to the present. 

​He has been an active music industry veteran now with over 40 years of touring and session experience. James has performed with the likes of John Fogerty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Levon Helm, Stephen Bruton, Lee Roy Parnell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and a host of other “A” list entertainers.  His recording credits include eight albums with Delbert, as well as albums with Glen Clark, Pam Tillis. Billy Joe Shaver, Charlie Daniels, Danny Flowers, T. Graham Brown, Gary Nicholson, Flaco Jimenez, Leon Rausch and Marcia Ball among others."

James Pennebaker



photo by Jeremy Fetzer

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