Back to His Roots

Steven James of popular local rock band The Shake Down releases his solo album, a more personal collection of songs he’s excited to share with the world.

Special to Inspire Coastal Bend  //  Photos by: Eric Alaniz, Back to Life Productions

ive years ago, Steven James came to Corpus Christi as an Austin transplant looking for a new start by the bay. Within just a few weeks, he got his first shot at performing live in South Texas thanks to the folks at Cassidy’s Irish Pub on Water Street, which he still fondly calls his “home stadium.”

James fell in with a group of local musicians and soon formed popular Corpus Christi rock band The Shake Down, which toured Texas the past few years. The Shake Down’s well-received debut album was recorded with acclaimed Corpus Christi producer Dylan Ely of Loop Studios, who has produced records for Linkin Park, the Backstreet Boys, All-American Rejects and more.

When two band members took time off this summer to welcome new additions to their families, James got to work on his solo debut, releasing a fresh batch of alternative country songs that had sat on the back burner, waiting to be heard. He got back to his roots, returning to his former producer in Austin, Lars Goransson at Sounds Outrageous Studios. Goransson has produced hit records from groups including The Cardigans, and Austin music royalty including What Made Milwaukee Famous, Alpha Rev and Fastball.

“It’s exciting to share these new songs with the world,” James said. “I feel like they are more personal – they’re about my life, my relationships and good times.”
This summer, James released his debut single, “Best of Your Love,” and hosted CD release parties in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston and Los Angeles. And he’s just getting started.

The single’s debut music video, filmed by Reagan Johnson, features beautiful footage of the Corpus Christi bay front, and it received 1,000 views in its first week alone.
It’s an exciting time to be playing music in South Texas, according to James, as an unprecedented economic boom and an influx of new visitors have created a vibrant live music scene.

This fall, he plans to release more music both as a solo artist and with his band, The Shake Down, while continuing to tour between Texas, Nashville and Los Angeles.
And it all started with that first shot at Cassidy’s Irish Pub and the support from his adopted home. “There’s so much talent here in Corpus Christi; I just feel lucky I got here when I did,” James added. “We’ve got one of the best music scenes in Texas right now.”

For more information, follow Steven James online at or

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