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Artist Spotlight :: James Hampton

Bio

James Hampton

I have been a bass player and vocalist in the S.E Michigan and N.W. Ohio region for over 20 years. Often described as a "pocket" player, mixing classic styles and tones with a modern approach. As a vocalist, I'm mostly covering a variety of upper harmony and backing vocal parts but am often called upon to sing lead vocals as well. I play bass in Second Hand Mojo, based out of the Detroit area and playing all original music, but have been involved in a number of groups and projects over the years, ranging in styles from classic rock, blues, funk, old school country, and acoustic music. For Second Hand Mojo and me, we are all in with Rattlesnake cables. They hit all the marks for us and are a rare combination of a top-quality product, best in class service, made in the USA, and a family-owned business. In the days of direct to digital recording and playing on a variety of stages and venues, having durable and high-quality cables from Rattlesnake, has never been more important.

What/Who inspired you to pick up your instrument?

I come from a musical family. We all sang, played instruments, etc. I have four older brothers and hardly remember any sports being played or watched. It was almost always music. One of my older brothers played bass and was an early inspiration. I remember thinking that there were a lot f guitar players and drummers but few real bass players, so I decided to focus on the bass exclusively.

What piece of musical advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to the beginning of your musical journey?

Disassociate your sense of self-worth and identity from your playing and performance. No one can thrive under that kind of pressure.

What keeps you excited about playing?

I was in a variety of cover bands and did sub work for years. I am now focusing most of my efforts on all original music for the first time in my career. Contributing to the writing process and finding my unique tone and voice has been very rewarding. I also like new challenges, being thrown into unfamiliar musical situations, and making it work.

Desert Island 3 pedal pedalboard (not including tuner)

Probably a compressor, chorus, and a DI. A lot of bass players these days have as many pedals as guitar players, but I like a more natural and clean tone that brings out the character of the bass and amp.

When you find yourself in a musical rut, what techniques do you do to break out of it?

Listening to new styles and genres, reading, or sometimes just taking a bit of a break really helps me to recharge. Sometimes going to open stage jams, where you can really go all out and try things you may or may not be able to pull off:)

Who is your favorite artist/band today? And who was your favorite artist/band ten years ago?

I really am a fan of the newer music that Second Hand Mojo is currently recording. It's been a long time since I really listened to a particular band. When I was younger, it was bands like Iron Maiden and Rush. I spent several years where I listened almost entirely to Jazz, bebop, hardbop, and big band. I really like what the Buddy Rich band was putting out in the '60s and '70s.

When you find yourself in a music store - what is your go-to riff when test drive gear?

Probably chromatic types scales up and down the neck. This really helps identify fret or neck issues.

What is your most prized/cherished piece of gear? And why?

In no particular order:
1977 Fender Jazz - it was my older brothers who bought it in the '80s, it's seen thousands of shows.
My Mesa D800 and Subway cabinets - They are the "before I die, I want to own my dream rig" rig. I saved up a lot.
1996 Stingray- my first new pro-level bass I bought in 1996. It was my number 1 for a decade.
2018 Stingray Special - a more recent purchase, but my new number 1. It just sounds and plays fantastic and is very lightweight.

What is the next big musical purchase you're hoping to save for?

Possibly more Mesa gear for larger stages and backups. Maybe road cases.

Gear Breakdown

James Hampton Gear
For Second Hand Mojo, my primary bass will be a vintage Stingray or a new Stingray Special. From here, I use a Rattlesnake snake head / snake weave into a compressor, then a Rattlesnake patch cable into a Radial direct box. From the direct box, one path goes to the main PA through a Rattlesnake XLR and the other into my stage rig via a short Rattlesnake black cable. My stage rig is Mesa Subway head and cabinets, and I prefer Neutrik Gold connectors on all my instrument and patch cables.

Bands / Projects

Second Hand Mojo



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Reviews on Google

Bob Kondrk
Bob Kondrk
10/26/2021
I recently placed 2 cable orders on two separate dates. I was SO impressed with the customer service by Hank and the quality of the cables that I ordered merch so I could advertise just a little. I am not a rookie player. I am 72 and still an active musician. The Rattlesnake Cable Company and of... Read
mike singer
mike singer
3/14/2021
My custom cable exceeded my expectation. Customer service is top notch.
jason sandstrom
jason sandstrom
11/10/2022
Amazing service! Very fast and uniquely personal. The patch cable, TRS cable, and TRS splitter I purchased are also fantastic. I will definitely come back for more gear as I need it.
jason sandstrom
Bob Kondrk
10/26/2021
I recently placed 2 cable orders on two separate dates. I was SO impressed with the customer service by Hank and the quality of the cables that I ordered merch so I could advertise just a little. I am not a rookie player. I am 72 and still an active musician. The Rattlesnake Cable Company and of course Hank , has a business acumen that other businesses should definitely use as a model. I will be buying more products from Rattlesnake in the future.
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jason sandstrom
mike singer
3/14/2021
My custom cable exceeded my expectation. Customer service is top notch.
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jason sandstrom
jason sandstrom
11/10/2022
Amazing service! Very fast and uniquely personal. The patch cable, TRS cable, and TRS splitter I purchased are also fantastic. I will definitely come back for more gear as I need it.
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