JJ Thames & The Violet Revolt
Mixing R&B, rock, funk, Motown, and soul with strong blues and gospel vocals, and tossing in ska and reggae rhythms for occasional seasoning, JJ Thames has a powerful stage presence, and more than enough talent to back it up as a songwriter and as a performer. Her story reads like a classic Hollywood biopic, full of early joys, tragic losses, and a seemingly
predestined turn to music as a career. Signing with Dechamp Records in 2013, she recorded a debut album with producers Grady Champion and Carole DeAngelis.
In 2012, unable to pay even the weekly rent in an extended-stay hotel, Thames and her two sons ended up in a homeless shelter for a month. While there, Thames wrote what would become her early signature song, “Tell You What I Know.” Her life seemed to be at its bottom rung, but along the way she had shared stages with Bobby “Blue” Bland, Peggy Scott Adams, Willie Clayton, Denise LaSalle, and others, and had branched out to sing background vocals for ska, reggae and reggae rock bands Outlaw Nation, and touring with legendary acts like Fishbone, Israel Vibrations, Bad Brains, and others, developing a fully formed, diverse and powerful stage presence. Meanwhile, though, she was in a homeless shelter. Family and friends stepped in, after Thames and her two boys moved once again to
Mississippi, where her luck finally changed.
The completed Tell You What I Know album was released to early critical acclaim in the spring of 2014. Her highly anticipated sophomore effort, Raw Sugar, was released April 2016, and has already begun to receive some commercial success.