What You're Asking | nccomposer

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About the artist

Thomas James is a songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist who got his first break in the music business in the early 1980s when his band, the Kelly James Band, caught the attention of then-MCA Records Regional Promotions Manager Jay McDaniel. McDaniel had been aware that the South's Marshall Tucker Band was searching for a promising act to jump-start its new Creative Arts label and suggested that the Kelly James Band submit a demo tape for consideration. Ultimately, the Kelly James Band’s demo was enthusiastically selected by producers Doug Gray, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks of the Marshall Tucker Band from more than 400 submissions because of the band’s fresh and marketable sound. The Kelly James Band was invited to record its debut album at the Marshall Tucker Band’s Spartanburg, SC studios and when it was released a few months later, several of the project’s cuts received airplay in the Southeast.

Doors opened fast for the Kelly James Band, which began performing for large, enthusiastic crowds, opening shows for the Marshall Tucker Band, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Dr. Hook, Artimus Pyle Band (former drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd), New Riders of the Purple Sage, among others. James was the main songwriter on the project.

The Kelly James Band’s unique sound was highly regarded by Ken Lanza of CBS Records who, in turn, approached industry legend Paul Atkinson for consideration to sign the band with Columbia Records. At the time, MCA Records and Warner Brothers had also expressed interest in the band. Unfortunately, tumultuous times and personnel changes in the industry never resulted in a deal with a major label, but the Kelly James Band persevered with loyal support from its fans, and continued to build a tremendous following in the Southeast. Sadly, differences in musical direction caused the group to disband a couple of years later.

Through the years, James has played in other bands, in addition to performing in a duo and as a solo artist. He writes in various genres, including pop, rock, country, folk and blues. Additionally, he writes orchestral compositions suitable for film or TV soundtracks. He is a member of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

Lyrics

What You’re Asking

Words and music by Thomas James and Ted E. Kelly


I don’t have the answers to the questions in your mind.
We’ll have to go a-searching just to see what we can find.
You want me to be here with you and never go away.
Well, let me tell little girl, that’s just not how I’m made.
Why can’t you see what you’re asking of me?

Can’t you see just how I feel? I hope you’ll understand.
Don’t stay in one place much too long, I’m just a traveling man.
Now, you can come along a while and see what you can see,
But let me warn now, sweet thing, there’ll be no changing me.
Why can’t you see what you’re asking of me?

Well… please don’t try to hold me down; don’t put no chains on me.
I can only stay around as long as I am free.
Feelings come and feelings go, according to life’s plan.
Forget the questions in your mind, come on and take my hand.
Why can’t you see what you’re asking of me?

Well… please don’t try to hold me down; don’t put no chains on me.
I can only stay around as long as I am free.
Feelings come and feelings go, according to life’s plan.
Forget the questions in your mind, come on and take my hand…
Come on and take my hand... Come on and take my hand.