Paul James is a saxophonist, bagpiper, singer and composer from England who makes music influenced by English and European folk/folklore traditions. 

Paul James is een saxofonist, doedelzakspeler, zanger en componist uit Engeland die muziek maakt die beïnvloed is door Engelse en Europese folk / folklore-tradities.

Paul James est un saxophoniste, cornemuseur, chanteur et compositeur anglais. Il crée une musique influencée par l'anglais et traditions folk / folkloriques européennes.

Paul James è un sassofonista, suonatore di cornamusa, cantante e compositore inglese, che produce musica influenzata dall'inglese e tradizioni folk / folcloristiche europee.

Paul James es un saxofonista, gaitero, cantante y compositor de Inglaterra, que hace música influenciada por el inglés y  tradiciones folklóricas europeas.

Latest album The Drowned Lover & Other Dark Tales

Paul is a member of the band Blowzabella and Paul James and the Drowned Lovers. He also composes and arranges music for theatre and leads ensemble/band workshops designed to get people playing together more creatively.

Paul was composer and musician for the critically acclaimed production of John Milton’s Comus - A Masque in Honour of Chastity by John Milton and Patrick Barlow directed by Lucy Bailey at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London in  2016. Reviews Independent Telegraph The Stage Evening Standard 

Paul James comes from Newbury, England and lives in Belgium. He has been playing traditional folk music since he was a teenager. Some of the tunes he’s composed are “standards” in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Initially inspired by a love of traditional English folk music and songs, he joined Blowzabella in 1980 and toured all over the world.  He organised their live appearances and recordings and was initiated and ran their music and dance workshop festivals/events. He formed folk / funk / new music band Scarp in 1991 with Victor Nicholls, Patrick Bouffard, Jo Freya, Martin Hughes and Luke Daniels. Scarp won a French World Music award for their album and Paul’s composition “Goatkiller” was voted one of the top twenty tracks of the 1990s by the audience of BBC Radio 3’s new music  programme “Mixing It”. Paul's acoustic / electronic / dance-ambient album project "Horse" (2001) with composer Mark Hawkins featured Sheila Chandra, Eleanor Shanley, Luke Daniels, Nigel Eaton, Victor Nicholls, Kenny Stone and James Carter. Paul was invited to participate in two mediterranean music projects led by Maurizio Martinotti - “Viaggio di Sigerico” about the cultural exchanges through the pilgrim routes across Europe - with singer Lucilla Galeazzi, Jean Blanchard (La Bamboche), Carlos Beceiro (La Musgaña), Maurizio Martinotti (La Ciapa Rusa), Gigi Biolcati (Riccardo Tesi's Banditaliana) and "Pau i Treva" about the musical and poetic influences of Islamic culture in Europe with Catalan singers Jordi Fabrégas and Toni Torregrossa, Occitan singer Renat Sette and others. He formed the band in 2009 to play mostly new music inspired by European traditional music with Patrick Bouffard, Luke Daniels, Carlos Beceiro, Victor Nicholls and Gigi Biolcati. In 2013 he and Paul Hutchinson formed The Playford Libertion Front with Fiona Barrow, Karen Wimhurst, Victor Nicholls and Chris Green to put some fresh energy into the interpretation of the many fantastic English dance tunes published in London by John Playford in the 17th century. In 2019 he formed Paul James and The Drowned Lovers with Victor Nicholls, Jo Wadeson, Fiona Barrow and Emma Holbrook, initially to play the music from his solo album live.

Paul has also composed music for television, radio and the theatre and appears on albums by other folk, world music and rock artists.


  • Dr Cosgill. Douce Dame. Goatbag Records. 1980
  • Blowzabella. Blowzabella. Plant Life Records. 1982
  • Blowzabella. In Colour. Plant Life Records. 1983
  • Blowzabella. Bobbityshooty. Plant Life Records. 1984
  • Blowzabella & Frankie Armstrong. Tam Lin. Plant Life Records. 1984
  • Blowzabella. Wall of Sound. Plant Life Records. 1986
  • Blowzabella. The B to A of Blowzabella. 1986
  • Blowzabella. A Richer Dust. Plant Life Records. 1988
  • Blowzabella. Pingha Frenzy. Some Bizzare Records. 1988
  • Blowzabella. Vanilla. Special delivery Records. 1990
  • Scarp. Silex Records. 1994.
  • Viaggio di Sigerico. Ethno Suoni Records. 2000. Maurizio Martinotti, Lucilla Galeazzi, Jean Banchard, Paul James, Gigi Biolcati, Carlos Beceiro, Devis Longo, Banda Osiris.
  • Horse. Ethno Suoni Records. 2001.
  • Pau I Treva. Ethno Suoni Records. 2003. Jordi Fabregas ( Catalogna ) : canto, chitarra, gralla. Toni Torregrossa ( Pais Valencian ): canto, buzuky, percussioni. Renat Sette ( Provenza ): canto. Maurizio Martinotti ( Piemonte ): canto, ghironda. Paul James ( Inghilterra ): cornamuse, flauti, tarota, sax. Enrico Negro ( Piemonte ): chitarre, mandola. Jean Louis Ruf ( Provenza ): mandoloncello, mandola, fifre, percussioni. Sergio Caputo ( Piemonte ): violino, percussioni. Paco Pi ( Catalogna ): basso, violoncello. Gigi Biolcati ( Piemonte ): batteria, percussioni
    Hassan Boukerou ( Algeria): percussioni.
  • Blowzabella. Octomento. Blowzabella-1. 2007.
  • Blowzabella. Dance. Blowzabella-2.  2010.
  • Evening Star. One. 2010.
  • Blowzabella. Strange News. Blowzabella-3. 2013.
  • Paul James. The Drowned Lover and Other Dark Tales. Mummerfy Records. 2016
  • Blowzabella. Two Score. Blowzabella-4. 2018


As producer. English Melodeon Players - Plant Life Records, 1986. The Late Night Band - The Kings of Baroque-a-Billy, Plant Life Record,1986. English Fiddle Players - Plant Life Records, 1987. Bass Instincts - Bassland, Mayday Records, 1987. Tony Hall - Plant Life Records, 1989. Desmond Simmons - Pass it around, 2012.