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Peter Noble's eulogy for James T of Canned Heat Options
bluesfestadmin
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 3:45:50 PM
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Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 647
Points: -1,483
I am saddened to hear of the passing of James T on the weekend. His battle with leukaemia has ended.

James Thornbury was one of the nicest people, quiet, respectful, friendly and both interested and interesting. A truly beautiful human being.

He came from Cincinnati, Ohio and was lead vocalist and guitar player with Canned Heat when I met him. He had already played with many of the Blues greats, including John Lee Hooker, he had an impressive resume as an artist.

I toured The Heat with James on lead vocals a number of times in the 80's, and also visited him in Eugene, Oregon where he was living at the time.

Canned Heat played at the first ever Bluesfest, or East Coast Blues Festival as it was called back then, in 1990 at the Byron Bay Arts Factory. They were great. It was there he met Molly, a beautiful lady from Stokers Siding, I remember him being smitten with her.

Over the next few years, James made the decision to move to Australia and married Molly. He left Canned Heat, and started a Blues band here called The Last Volunteers, comprising members of the Cyril B Bunter Blues Band, who toured successfully. He also had a magnificent solo career.

James and Molly raised two beautiful children in the Uki on the North Coast of NSW where they lived happily together for over 20 years.

James was struck with Sudden Hearing Loss Syndrome in 2014...He completely lost his ability to hear. Despite this he still loved performing and asked to play Bluesfest in 2015. I don't know how a musician who cannot hear himself play or sing could pull off such a performance, but James did, never saying a thing to the audience. It was a triumph over adversity for James, and sadly the last time I saw him. He was hot... the audience lapped it up, whilst at the same time, not knowing what that man on stage had overcome to be up there.

I was sad to hear James had leukaemia earlier this year. He deserved better. He fought against it in his quiet way. We all hoped he would win that battle... it was not to be. What a great musician we have lost... even more, what a great guy. I'm proud to have worked with James T and to have shared the road.

Peter Noble – Bluesfest Director.
Flegal08
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 4:00:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: 12/16/2012
Posts: 293
Points: 830
Location: Queensland
Not a great day all round really.

Very sad to hear of his passing. Canned Heat are always on rotation in our household.

Will I never know silence without mental violence?
greybeard
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 5:59:16 PM

Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 1,509
Points: 2,134
Location: Sydney Northern Beaches

Its a sad time all round
I saw James T a couple of times at The Basement , always great and left wanting to see him more often




Heading out for the East Coast / Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through, / Tangled up in blues.
jandjhill0000
Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 6:54:07 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 9/1/2017
Posts: 7
Points: 21
Location: Beech Mtn.
Man what a year for losing great musician's of all ages. Roll on 2018 Easter.
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