James played in the blues and rock scene in Dublin and in the eighties joined Clannad with whom he composed music for the successful ITV series 'Robin of Sherwood'. Since then he has collaborated with many other artists including Davy Spillane and Kevin Doherty. He has played on countless recordings and has toured or recorded with the likes of Chuck Berry, Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, Sharon Shannon, Four Men and a Dog, Andrew Strong, Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison, Shane McGowan, Henry McCullough, Martin O'Connor, Republic of Loose, Jerry Fish, Steve Earle, Jackson Brown and Dessie O'Halloran.