Traditional Country music lovers often comment that no one is making “real” Country music anymore. One listen to Nashville honky-tonk crooner James Carothers is proof that real Country is alive. He’s built a large fan base of fiercely supportive followers who appreciate his Tennessee twang, Southern storytelling and throwback Country style.

“James Carothers sounds like a soundtrack for the grand tour that celebrates classic Country’s history of rowdy crooners and sentimental outlaws,” observed Will Hodge of Rolling Stone Country.

Hodge wrote that Carothers self-penned song, “Back to Hank,” “pulls no punches as it simultaneously pines for the sound of solid Country gold and propels it into the present day.” 

Carothers’s lyrics observe that “steel guitars and smokey bars is something from yesterday, but there’s still hillbillys cutting a rug and living the American way,” adding in the chorus that “It’s a long way back to Hank; It’s too far to turn around, I think.”

His reception at the Grand Ole Opry may be an indicator that the appreciation for traditional Country exists. Just prior to the 2020 shutdown, Carothers received a standing ovation when he fulfilled a lifelong dream by making his Opry debut at the Ryman Auditorium.

Raised in rural McNairy, Tennessee, Carothers grew up leading acapella singing every Sunday in the Church of Christ. His father, Jim, was a hobby songwriter who landed a song he wrote on the Grand Ole Opry – “Puttinon the Dog” performed by Mike Snider. He recorded a couple of studio albums in Nashville before moving the family out west for work while his son was still in grade school. 

Inspired by his dad, James his father, Carothers started performing at honky-tonks around New Mexico during his teens and 20s. Meanwhile, he got married, started a family and paid the bills as a technician at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, working in the same place the atomic bomb was created.

In 2015, Carothers left his job at LANL and returned to Tennessee to pursue a Country music career. Shortly after arriving in Nashville, George Jones’s widow, Nancy, personally hired him for his first steady gig performing at the George Jones Museum, giving him the opportunity to do something he says he is thankful for and that so many aspiring artists moving to Nashville dream of doing – make a living playing music. 

A WSM Road Show Winner, Carothers has opened for stars like Ricky Skaggs, Trace Adkins, The Charlie Daniels Band, Mickey Gilley, Dustin Lynch, Cody Johnson, Ben Haggard, Joe Diffie, The Kentucky Headhunters and others. He was selected by Alan Jackson to open his show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, as well as several other dates on Jackson’s “Honky Tonk Highway” tour from 2019 to 2022.

Carothers has been performing in Nashville since 2015, having played more than 2,000 shows at venues like AJ’s Good Time Bar, Martin’s BBQ, The Nashville Palace and Music City Bar when he’s not on the road. He’s also traveled to Canada, Japan, Scotland, Norway and Lichtenstein for shows.

His 2023 performance schedule on his website,, reflects how much he enjoys playing fairs, festivals, bars, corporate events and private events all across the United States.

Carothers released his latest single, Saturday Night Life last year. Previous album releases include “Whatcha Got Left” (2021), “Songs & Stories” (2019), “Still Country, Still King: A Tribute to George Jones” (2018), “Relapse” (2017) and “Honky Tonk Land” (2014).

“Carothers is continuing to carry the torch for traditional Country music,” wrote Whiskey Riff magazine columnist Wes Langeler, “This first listen of “Someday My Day Will Come” is a much-needed reminder of everything Country music used to, and still should, be.”