Beckley, West Virginia
newspaper article
May 20, 2005

Artist searches for truth in song
James Nihan to share personal spiritual journey

By Kathy Zirckel
Post Report Correspondent

     Soldiers Memorial Theatre & Arts Centre will feature Nashville singer/songwriter James Nihan in concert today at 7 p.m.
     Nihan will perform songs from his CD, “Rays of Light,” released in August 2003, and its sequel, his newly released “All Creation.” These recent works are based on Toltec and Native American wisdom and are an expression of his own personal spiritual journey. Much of this music was inspired by the book “The Four Agreements,” written by don Miguel Ruiz.
     “'The Four Agreements' opened my eyes to new truths," James said. "I believed that by telling the truth with an open heart through song, I would connect with the hearts of others. Since the release of 'Rays of Light,' I have received wonderful responses from the music, poetry, spiritual, and therapeutic communities.
     "In the treatment of addictions, I am seeing patients respond who had remained inaccessible through other means of communication. Spiritually, I am requested to perform at everything from churches to medicine wheels. Elsewhere, the songs are used by folks in their daily lives to nurture, reflect, heal—and smile. They are about living in the moment with faith and gratitude.”
     Nihan's current work is backed by a long and colorful relationship with music. He began playing guitar at the age of nine and started writing songs at fourteen. He performed extensively in his native Massachusetts in the early years of his career, and later entertained throughout Texas, Arizona and California, singing in venues from rodeos to folk societies to vineyard restaurants through the late ‘70's and ‘80's.
     In 1987, Nihan found himself in Nashville, where his songwriting gained attention from notables in the industry. He was first published by Ed Bruce and George Strait. In 1990, he was voted “Songwriter of the Year” by the Tennessee Songwriters Association. “I Can See Arkansas” was released by Anne Murray and can also be found on albums released by David Ball, Steve Wariner, Larry Stephenson, and Ninjamian.
     His songs have been performed on The Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits, Nashville Now, The Regis Philbin Show, CMT, You Can be a Star, Pillow Talk, and Video PM. He is now the owner of Composure Music and had twenty of his songs recorded in 2003 alone.
     James has taught songwriting to children through Words and Music, a non-profit program at the Country Music Hall of Fame, for over a decade, and brings his songwriting workshops into schools across the country. He has worked with patients in addiction and psychiatric treatment, where poetry and music are used to encourage self-expression and healing.
     “We are thrilled at the opportunity to host James Nihan in concert,” said a spokesperson for SMT. “James' music transcends barriers; it speaks to all of us. If you're confused about life, if you're seeking truth, if you are interested in a spiritual path, if you're happy or sad, old or young, or just love wonderful music, you'll enjoy this concert.”
     Tickets are available in advance at SMT for $6 in advance, $7 at the door. The doors at Soldiers Memorial Theatre Arts Center open at 6 p.m.
     For more information, call 253-ARTS. To learn more about James Nihan, visit

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