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Ginger St. James

Victoria Blair
April 06, 2011

I was truly surprised when I found out about the variety of activities Ginger uses to challenge herself. She is a songwriter, musician, singer, the founder of many groups and even an actress. Her music is classified as alternative (which is the miscellaneous section of music genres) but she sounds like an old country singer (a sultry June Carter) meshed with blues melodies and lyrics filled with sensual undertones. Actually, her first and only album, ``Spank, Sparkle and Growl``, came out in May 2010 and that same`year won her the Hamilton Music Award for Best Alternative Country Recording. I think it's safe to say, that EP is her pride and joy. Apparently she has a new album on the way that she promises will be bolder and grittier.

Her style is influenced by the vast knowledge she has of swing and Broadway music, blues as well as suburban jazz, country songs and big band music. Apparently, her musical education was given to her by her family who exposed her to all sorts of music genres and helped her become a music literate from a very young age. She was nineteen when it became a career to her.

She set off on her path to her first real performance in 2002 when she became a part of a burlesque troupe in Toronto: Les Coquettes. This new founded passion quickly became a part of her and pushed her to found the Steeltown Sirens, Hamilton's very own burlesque troupe. Although she mainly focuses her time and energy on her solo career, Ginger says she still participates in burlesque shows once in awhile. Now she has found a place in the industry of music next to artists like Blue Coupe, Gord Lewis and Ronnie Hayward.

Artists have to balance working, networking, friends and family together to stay sane and be successful. It's a struggle to her sometimes, but as long as she works with the blinders on and surrounds herself with mature and understanding people she can keep doing what she loves. She has been a full time musician for 2 years now and her balancing technique seems to be working. She is even extending the limits of her art with acting. Lucky 7, coming out this year, is a gangster movie with a character driven plot. Ginger is playing the role of a "femme fatale", a leading female role. She also appears in Don't Call Me Bambino as herself. The movie is due to come out this spring. It is directed and produced by Dan Langevin.

What is her ultimate goal? "Being able to tour the world and keep making music and perform until the day I die."

Shes playing this Friday at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto at 9PM. I strongly suggest you check it out or at the very least listen to some of her songs. Her style is so refreshing, it's like a breath of fresh air... or maybe more like a gin tonic.

- Victoria Blair -