Local singer to perform at fair Saturday

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, August 11, 2010

COURTLAND—When Colton James takes the stage at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Saturday night, he’ll be performing before a home crowd that, like James, enjoys country music and the great outdoors.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” James said Monday. “I really love the people in Southampton County. We moved up there for our love of the country. Growing up in the outdoors, I’ve done a lot of hunting and fishing throughout my life.”

James was born in Portsmouth, but hunted and fished in Southampton with his father for many years.

“I’ve lived in Courtland for a little over a year, but I’ve been frequenting that area all my life,” James said.

He started performing country music at about age 7. His early influences included Merle Haggard, George Strait, Keith Whitley and George Jones.

“I just have a love for country music,” James said. “The songs, what the lyrics mean and what country music does for people. It can pick you up or bring you down. That’s what got me into it.”

“We listened to a lot of country music and it just got me really inspired at a young age,” he continued. “I’ve always been in tune with it. I’ve had a lot of fun with music growing up.”

James said Saturday would be his first time performing in Southampton County. His favorite venues to play include the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville and Long Branch in Raleigh, N.C.

Saturday’s performance will also be his first to support his new album, “Little Ride in the Country.”

The fair runs 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.