Copyright 2013. learie James. All rights reserved.
A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Redemption and his parents emigrated to the United States when he was a child. Growing up he listened mostly to R & B and especially songs with a message. As a young adult, he would search in record stores for music with a message discovering music from Osibisa, an African group as well as Curtis Mayfield, Earth Wind and Fire, War, and the Philly sound led by songwriting and production duo Gamble & Huff.
In 1977 when he first heard the Bob Marley and the Wailers’ album EXODUS the artist explains “that’s basically what changed my life.”
The origin of his stage name, Redemption Sevenfold (born Learie James) was in 1981 when he was jamming with
In 1977 when he first heard the Bob Marley and the Wailers’ album EXODUS the artist explains “that’s basically what changed my life.” He first began his music journey by writing songs and he picked up the saxophone, but after hearing the EXODUS album he decided to pick up the guitar. He learned the “chicken scratch” of the reggae rhythm guitar that is the signature sound of the one drop rhythm in reggae.
A recent highlight came when Stevie Wonder Joined them onstage jamming harmonica on Bob Marley's "Belly Full". They've also played with members of Earth Wind & Fire, The Wailers, Steel Pulse, Pat Benetar, Peter Tosh, Ziggy Marley, Black Uhuru and many other music luminaries.
Another major influence on Redemption Sevenfold was the legendary mentor for the Wailers and many other reggae artists, the late Joe Higgs. Mr. Higgs, originally of Kingston, Jamaica, resided in Los Angeles at the end of his life and Redemption Sevenfold played with him and experienced his high standards and constant pursuit of perfection in the music first hand. As he recalls, “whenever we were just jamming if somebody would make a mistake, Joe would stop the whole session to correct, or to even do it in a better way.”
The origin of his stage name, Redemption Sevenfold (born Learie James) was in 1981 when he was jamming with friends and got inspired to form a band and name it Redemption. It was at that same time that Bob Marley was in the Sloan-Kettering hospital being treated for cancer and this concept of redemption for the improved health of this music icon is what inspired him to take on
the name. As for the Sevenfold part of his name, his studies in numerology led him to the understanding that seven is the number of perfection.
As for his songwriting inspiration, Redemption Sevenfold explains that he is influenced by “anything that touches my emotions, the songs are inspired by the Bible and current issues of our time.” For what the future holds, he notes, “I don’t want to be known as a singer who just does love songs, but I do have quite a few love songs, I would like for the people to see that message side of me, even though ‘Sweetest One’ also has a message to it.”