Just an entry to fill you in on what's going on.  I'm more active on my social media channels, but here's the skinny: I've been a little depressed.  I had kept hoping perhaps Tracy's hand would show some progress.  I've been delaying moving forward to get a new drummer, but it looks like I'm going to have to.  It's tough when you've played together as long as we have.  We've been great friend for decades, since our first bands, and having him there on the kit was comforting, so I'm a still a bit lost.  I depended on him more than I realized.


That said, things are moving ahead but my focus has been modernizing my home recording studio which had been neglected for some time.  The old MacPro5,1 has been replaced with a new M1 Max Mac Studio with 64GB of RAM and 2TB internal SSD drive.  For you studio nerds, I also added an external 2TB NVMe drive in a USB 4.0 enclosure for my sample libraries that gives me read times of 2700MB/s. Other updates include a UAD-2 Thunderbolt 3 Satellite OCTO for running my UAD-2 plug-ins, a LG 32" 2560x1440 monitor to complement the 43" Samsung 4K TV I'm using for my primary monitor.  I've replaced the old MOTU PCIe based audio interfaces with a MOTU 828es.  I may be adding a 24Ai for additional analog inputs for connecting hardware synth/sampler modules.  Also added an oldie but goodie: A Euphonix MC Control + MC Mix control surface.  Works great with the new mac with latest Avid firmware and EuControl software.  Also a Softube Console 1 and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2 keyboard.

Here's a pic of some of the mess behind my mixing desk... LOL... I just love that little Mac Studio though... those M1 processors are fast!  Feels nice to be on the cutting edge again, even if just for a little while!

So basically I'm gearing up to record some new music.  I still have plenty of work rewiring a lot of stuff and learning my way around the new MOTU audio interfaces and the Pro Control software.  Speaking of software, I'm running Digital Performer which continues to be my favorite DAW by a mile, but I also recently installed the latest versions of Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Cubase for maximum flexibility.  My old studio was really in need of a makeover.  So excited.  Once it's up and running, I'll be getting a live band going again soon.  I already have drummers and bassists who are eager to go.


I'm proud to say I've begun a relationship with Blue Magic guitar strings.  Check out my testimonial on their site.  Basically, after decades of being an Ernie Ball Super Slinky guy, I got to try some and gave them some serious testing.  I was very skeptical, but I ended up being very impressed and switched over and am stringing all my Dean guitars, including my new custom JSV, with Blue Magic strings.  Not only do they easily sound as good—or better—than Slinkys, but they last A LOT LONGER!  And guess what?  I did the math.  Because they keep their tone so much longer, they're costing me LESS!  Plus I'm getting hours of time back not having to change strings as often!

June 2022: Important update

I have some important news to share regarding the future of James Steele Project. Tracy Tripp is stepping down as drummer due to an issue that has been affecting his ability to play for a while now. I made the video below to explain just what has been happening for the last several months.  My apologies if the video is a little long. It was a difficult video to have to make. I‘m sharing this news with Tracy’s permission. ~ James



Previous events

James Steele Project with Robin Henkel at Navajo Live

 —  —

Navajo Live, 8515 Navajo Road, San Diego

And now... the "Not-So-Secret Show" at Navajo Live! James Steele Project will be playing a mix of original music along with some select covers from 8 to 9pm (or later). Opening the show will be legendary San Diego blues artist, Robin Henkel from 7-8pm. We’ll also be having a low key birthday shindig for our bass player, Doc, afterward!

Featured Track

Christmas time is here! We hope you enjoy this original Christmas instrumental. It’s also available on iTunes and Amazon.