Interviews & Features

James Harrah interview

Veteran L.A. session guitarist speaks on Stan Kenton’s influence, a new solo album and more

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
By David Sands
July 28, 2017

Mention the name James Harrah to a Los Angeles session musician who’s been around any length of time, and you’re likely to get a knowing look of recognition. A veteran of the L.A. studio scene, the easygoing Harrah has a reputation for being able to conjure up rich tapestries of sound almost effortlessly with his guitar.

He’s also known for his wide range, having recorded or toured with Huey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Travis Tritt, Gladys Knight, the Yellowjackets and Al Jarreau, just to name a few of the more well-known artists he’s worked with over the years. The musician, producer and composer has also lent practiced hand to a number of Hollywood soundtracks, including The Nice Guys (2016), Dinner for Schmucks (2010) and Open Range (2003) as well as the TV series Friends and Supernatural. Harrah also released the 2009 solo album Words Fail Me and has another solo project in the works.

FGPO’s Jon Liebman caught up with the consummate studio guitarist at the 2017 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California. Together they speak about his musical origins and influences, famous gigs and how his longtime relationship with Xotic effects and guitars began with a single pedal.

Watch our interview with James!