Lydia's Tune in Boom Boom Room when Preston was still alive Jon Hammond Trio
*Note: I started playing with James Preston aka Jim in 1968 at age 15 (I was 15) in my band called Hot Mush which also included John Whitelaw on electric bass, and on guitars Jim Checkley & Barry Finnerty, Paula Larke vocals - Hot Mush morphed in to a band called Beefy Red and a few years later Jim joined Sons of Champlin for a long tenure. We still played gigs together off and on over 45 years - he was a great drummer and solid friend when it got right down to it. Thanks to the Sons for excerpt of JP's bio from their website, Jon Hammond
as follows: "James Preston
James has been a member of The Sons of Champlin since March 3, 1972. Born in Oakland and raised in the humble township of Ross, Marin County, California, James has been a drummer since age 7, having performed professionally for over 44 years. A lifetime student of the Chuck Brown Method, James has been a versatile player throughout his career, enabling him to work with a variety of artists. From R&B, to Jazz, to Cajun Zydeco, James continues to explore all flavors of his trade. James musical influences include John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and James Brown. Among the drummers that have inspired him are Max Roach, Mitch Mitchell, Terry Bozzio, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams.
When he was nineteen James joined a local Marin band, Beefy Red, which included trumpeter Mark Isham. It was during this period of time when Jim met and befriended future bandmate Bill Champlin, already off and running with his group, The Sons of Champlin. When James was 22 years old, he was asked to join the Sons of Champlin. The Sons took him all over the country performing for many avid fans. James continued to perform with the Sons until they disbanded in 1977.
Without dropping a beat, James was asked to join Moby Grape in 1978, when the "Live Grape" album was released. James toured with Moby Grape through 1980. In the '80's & '90's James kept himself busy working with such notables as Dr. John, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, Steve Miller, Maria Muldaur, Norton Buffalo, and most recently again with Moby Grape. James was also involved in a musical project with Bobby McFerrin in the early 1980's and can be heard on his CD album “Bobby McFerrin”, released in 1982.
James has recorded seven albums with The Sons, including the recent project "Hip Lil’ Dreams" CD, recorded at the Expressions School of New Media, Emeryville, in February 2002 and nationally released January 2005. The two other most current projects include the ‘Sons of Champlin – Live’ CD recorded in concert January 1998 and released in August; and the live recording of the DVD & CD ‘Secret’ from the Expressions performance studio in February 2002.
He also appears regularly with Jon Hammond and The Late Rent Session Men.
Currently residing with his lovely family in Little River, on the Mendocino Coast, James is busy performing and recording with The Sons, as well as creating music locally with his friend David Hayes, band leader for Van Morrison for many years. Lately James has recorded with Sheryl Crow for a Hallmark Christmas CD, which features Booker T.Jones on Hammond B3, as well as guitarist Roger Fritz, luthier and owner of Fritz Brothers Guitars of Albion, California, producer Bill Bottrell, Mic Gillette and John Bamont horns, and David Hayes bass.
Being the solid backbeat of the Sons sound, James is enjoying making great music with his friends, The Sons of Champlin once again." -
enjoy this documentary of some of the music we played folks, Jon Hammond - Jon Hammond Organ Group