The late great Leonard Cohen once said that “being a songwriter is like being a nun: you're married to a mystery.” James Houlahan has been deeply engaged with that mystery for all of his creative life. Over the course of six albums, he has sought to explore and reveal this mystery through his craft, rooted in a wide spectrum of folk and Americana sounds.
Influenced by writers such as Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Tom Waits, Houlahan’s music is a vast net cast in a sea of musical possibility. Bringing to the surface sonic treasures from the depths of an old yet vital collective American spirit. An odyssey of exploration, bent on unlocking the transformative powers of music. One song at a time.
Based in Los Angeles, Houlahan has been active on the local music scene since arriving from his native Boston in 2012. His music has found its way into commercials, television, and movies such as 2017’s “Little Pink House,” starring Catherine Keener. Until the pandemic broke in 2020, he was busy touring, playing stages throughout much of the American West and Europe. Having released two new albums over the past couple of years, he returns to touring with a slew of new songs. New desires for expression, humbled yet longing for the light of day and the open road.
Glide Magazine wrote that Houlahan is “near the top of must-see and hear indie singer-songwriters.” Climbing all the time, one step after another. Sometimes wrestling, sometimes dancing with that ineffable mystery of songwriting. Houlahan’s music straddles both the personal and the universal, transporting the listener to realms of enigmatic wonder and delight. A music of restless, roving, imminent possibility for mind and spirit alike.