By CHAD ABSHIRE
WILLIAMSON - A strong dedication to both family and music accurately describes local professional recording artist James Maynard.
James, 22, of Inez, Ky., a 2009 graduate of Lincoln County High School in Hamlin, was the sixth and most recent addition to the repertoire or talent signed by the Lyrick Talent Group, Inc., headed by John Carlin.
However, the idea of being on the road to stardom hasn’t fully set in for James.
“It’s not hit me yet that I’m a professional recording artist,” James said. “But I know what’s possible from it.”
A country music performed, James said that friends and listeners have likened his musical style to Tracy Lawrence. Given Lawrence’s fame and success, James said he was completely OK with that comparison.
He said that he has been playing music for around seven or eight years, and that it was his father who got him started on that path.
“He pushed me far,” James said. “He plays piano in church and has done that for years. He can play anything. I’ve not seen anything he couldn’t play.”
James said he received his first guitar when he was a young boy as a Christmas present, and that his dad taught him most of what he knows.
In fact, the current guitar he plays, a black acoustic Austin, was a gift from his father.
“There’s not enough money in the world that I would sell this for,” James said. “I’ll never get rid of it. This guitar is older than me.”
He estimated its age to be about 25-years-old.
James said that he can’t read music, but plays everything he knows by ear. That also doesn’t stop him from writing his own music.
“Once I get an idea in my head, I have to immediately write it down,” James said. “If I don’t, it’s gone.”
James also hasn’t performed at any big events outside of the Lyrick Talent Quest shows held at the Mountaineer Hotel on Second Avenue, where his best finish is second place, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves.
“I don’t do it for a win,” James said. “I do it for the love of the music.”
Music, he said, is what drives him
“It’s what I’d like to do. It’s what I want to do if it will provide for my family.”
And when not playing music, James said he’s working, “trimming trees for Asplundh.”
He thanked those who had supported him throughout his endeavours to become a professional musician: his wife, Amy; brother, David; sister-in-law, Kim; and his mother.
With a network of support behind him, he said his goals are in sight: Within one year, he sees himself touring all over, performing at different venues.
And within five years?
“I’ll be playing at the Grand Ole Opry.”
James enters the recording studio June 2.