He played basketball for a Christian college in Joplin, Missouri. She liked him because he played the sport — she didn't know he could sing. Five years later, Kendall James and Elizabeth Frances, …
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He played basketball for a Christian college in Joplin, Missouri. She liked him because he played the sport — she didn't know he could sing.
Five years later, Kendall James and Elizabeth Frances, two 27-year-olds who live in Parker, are married and making a life around music in the Denver area.
“In many ways, we're already living our dream,” said James, for whom music is a job at Summit Church in Centennial, along with Frances. “We get to do music every day.”
On Oct. 3, they brought their folk-tinged, rhythmic sounds to Koelbel Library, not far away at 5955 S. Holly St., for the Singer and Songwriter Showcase event in the building's small, intimate Forum Theater. Themed as a recurring “behind the music” event, it gives performers a chance to tell the backstory of their songs to the crowd.
That night, only a handful of people sat in the audience, but the couple, who has sung together for five years and been married for more than three, played like the bright lights were on. For about two hours, they ran through a line of original songs interspersed with a few covers.
Along the way, James shared personal stories about the songs: of making a change to treat women with more respect, of playing in a punk band, of people not believing in his decision to follow music. The couple has recorded music with other musicians.
“I'm honored to be here sharing with you,” James said, discussing at time when he closed himself off as an artist and didn't write with other people in mind. “I was like that: `I'm just gonna write for me, man.'
“That's not the way music was meant to be,” the guitarist said.
The couple ran through a cover of Maroon 5's “Sunday Morning,” an original song James wrote for them as a couple and a tune that proclaimed, “I told you so” to those who said his pursuing music was a waste of time.
Frances, originally from Longmont, said she enjoyed that many in the audience were musicians, unlike when playing at a bar.
“You have songs that are really important to you,” and you can be heard at events like the one at Koelbel, Frances said.
James, Frances and other collaborators are set to play Nov. 10 at Lincoln Station Coffee/Pizza/Music, a venue for open-mic nights and live performances in the Lone Tree area just south of Interstate 25 and C-470 along the light-rail line.
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