Country-Rocker Dillon James Rises From Homelessness To ‘Walking Man’

Dillon James 'Walking Man' artwork - Courtesy: UMG Nashville

West Coast singer-songwriter Dillon James has released his major label debut song “Walking Man.” It’s his first since the Core Entertainment artist signed to Buena Vista Records/UMG Nashville/19 Recordings.

James wrote the introductory song with Paul Sikes and Paul Wrock, and it’s produced by Sikes and Paul DiGiovanni and Sikes. The track features autobiographical lyrics about the artist’s triumph over personal adversity, “from a dead man walking to a walking man livin’.”

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The Bakersfield native first picked up a guitar at the age of ten and drew his first inspiration from classic rock. He was then attracted by the representatives of the city’s individual country sound such as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, as well as figures from further afield such as Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley. Dillon developed his own country sound, winning several local singer-songwriter competitions.

He had a brief time as an actor before falling into a dark period of substance abuse and homelessness, but healed himself by pursuing his musical goals, moving to Nashville to write and record. In 2020, he was a finalist in season 18 of American Idol, in which he performed Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”

At the time, Dillon proclaimed on his website: “I play the guitar and write songs about the trials and tribulations of my life. Each one of my songs are true to my heart and I try my best to describe what I’ve experienced so far in this journey called life.” He has further observed: “Human connection is the goal, music is just the vessel.”

UMG Nashville Chair & CEO, Cindy Mabe enthuses of his talent: “Dillon is going to leave an indelible fingerprint on country music. His purpose and vision is to share his fiery lyrics and his raw gritty sound infused with his life’s journey with the world, bringing in his story of loss, hope, faith and redemption to country music. I’m so proud to add Dillon to our UMGN family.”

Buy or stream “Walking Man.”

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