Country musician set to rock PDCCC

Published 10:33 am Friday, July 11, 2014

FRANKLIN—Country music artist Colton James said he likes to give back to others. He’s helped with Wounded Warriors, programs for cancer research, and now he’s working with Paul D. Camp Community College to boost scholarships.

Country music artist Colton James will perform tonight for a benefit concert at Paul D. Camp Community College.

Country music artist Colton James will perform tonight for a benefit concert at Paul D. Camp Community College.

“It is going to be a good fun time, to bring awareness for what we stand for and what the college stands for,” James said. “We have had a lot of people be kind to us around here, and we wanted to get involved and come help do a fundraiser to give back to the community.”

The event was sort of stumbled into, as he was speaking to its president, Dr. Paul Wm. Conco, about something else.

“I was talking one day with Dr. Conco, and I said, ‘Hey, would you guys entertain a concert fundraiser?’” James said. “He said that they sure would, and he brought some folks in and we kind of brainstormed it from there.”

James, who himself went to such a college, said these these types of institutions are important to the community, as well as improving people’s lives.

“I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and he was talking about being a part of the refrigeration program here at Paul D. Camp,” he said. “He said the teacher was one of the best he’d ever had. It was a great experience for him to learn to do something to help improve his life.”

Not only do schools like this help adults, but they are also a good opportunity for children who can’t afford to or may not be ready to go off to a four-year college.

“There are a lot of kids that don’t get a chance to get a great education, and if we can better that opportunity, or bring things to the table to get them that opportunity, that’s what we are about,” James said. “I’m real excited about it.”

James said his own son, Austin, who just graduated from Southampton High School, is considering going to PDCCC. James said family was very important to him.

“The music business is a crazy business,” he said. “You can go down a lot of paths, but staying down the right one is a good way to go. My family is the greatest attribute of my life. They are what keeps it real.”

James, who is getting ready to put out a new album, went to community college when he was out of high school, and he was also working and playing clubs at night.

“I did an apprenticeship with the Union Millwrights 1402 for four years,” he said. “I worked all over the state. It was tough, playing music and going to school and working.

“But you’ve got to pay the price of passion.”

Working with the college has been great.

“They are a 101-proof team, definitely,” James said. “They definitely put every effort into it — getting the word out about the function.”

James said he wanted to thank all of the sponsors, as well as the others who have gotten behind the event.

The concert is set for tonight at 8 o’clock in the Workforce Development Center at the Franklin Campus. As far as what he’s going to play, he wanted to keep that under wraps.

“I will leave that as a surprise,” James said with a smile. “We do have a few surprises in the show that we are excited about doing for Friday night. We might do a few covers.”