JVC at a glance by: Gerry Stanek
I can’t think of James Vincent Carroll without immediately pivoting into a personal anecdote. But I think my little digression speaks directly to who he is. I was moving to Greensboro in 2014, and I knew, before the fact, that I’d need gigs. One morning that April, I was fumbling through Google searches about music in Greensboro and not having much luck. This Carroll guy kept popping up, though, so I found him on Facebook and shot him a message. I was probably changing a diaper or something, or picking up Cheerios off the kitchen floor in my humble Pennsylvania abode, when my phone rang, about fifteen minutes after that initial message. It was James Vincent Carroll on the other end of the line, about to bridge a distance of four-hundred miles with his giant personality.
I’ll skip the details and tell you that in the course of forty-five minutes, I felt like I’d gained a friend, and Jamie (as some people call him) assured me, more than once: “I will help you.” My reaction was probably what yours might have been. Can this guy be for real? “I will help you,” he said again. What’s his motivation to help me? I’ll just say that James Vincent Carroll has proven, again and again, just how real he is. He’s helped me countless times over the past five years. And if it weren’t for his generous spirit, I might not have begun working so quickly in North Carolina.
If you forced me to pin a single word to James, to identify the thing that makes him special, it would have to be eager. The man is eager to live, eager to breathe, eager to love, eager to sing and write, eager to perform, eager to meet and enjoy new people. Have I ever met someone so eager to just turn up the volume on experience? I don’t think so. I have no idea how he does it, but he’ll crank the knob to ten and take you along.
James Vincent Carroll brings that same eagerness and enthusiasm to every show, every venue, every audience—large or small. Occasionally, you’ll hear someone using hyperbole, as in, “That guy gave 1,000 percent.” I don’t know how many times I’ve seen James perform, how many times I’ve watched and listened to the dude pour his heart into every song—but that’s really it with him. 1,000 percent is not hyperbole. Dude pours heart and soul into every song, every word, every guitar lick. Beyond his talent for writing and singing, which is formidable, James Vincent Carroll possesses an enthusiasm that is lacking in most other musicians you might find, the guys who aren’t so famous, the guys at the corner tavern or local winery.
The folks who go out to listen to music already know. They follow him around. They sing his songs. Listen to him in the car. Because the thing James Vincent Carroll brings to the table is infectious. He’ll make you feel good. He’ll make you smile. He’ll offer you something above the fray. He’ll know your name! And then you’ll say, “Dammit, where’s that boy playing next? Let’s go, honey. Get in the car. And bring that JVC CD. Crank up the volume.”
Gerry Stanek – February 2020
*Gerry Stanek is a Singer/Songwriter/Performing Artist in Greensboro, NC. He is also the Author of “They Came Here Looking For Light”.