Anouncement: Questions For Kathryn


Within the next week or so I will be doing an exclusive interview with Kathryn McCarney, DurbNet’s resident vocal expert. Topics for the interview will include:

  • James’ voice and range
  • His pre idol performances
  • Those comparisons to Adam Lambert
  • The “James can’t sing on pitch” nonsense
  • And more

Kathryn has stated in her profile that she is willing to answer any questions about James from the public.

So Durbinators here’s your chance to ask Kathryn about anything “James Durbin”.

Post your questions in the comments below!

Alexia (Durbinator #380)


19 thoughts on “Anouncement: Questions For Kathryn

  1. 1. How would Kathryn compare James’ voice to Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury?
    2. If she could talk to James and give him advice and/or a critique to help him improve in any area what would she advise him to do or change?
    3. What is the most remarkable awe-inspiring thing about his voice?
    4. What is his vocal range and is there anyone else that she can compare his range too for reference?
    5. When James was sick for the Northern Cali part of the tour, how did that affect his voice?
    6. Will James be able to sustain singing the high notes on the chorus of Uprising throughout the over 50 date tour without burning his vocal chords out?
    7. When evaluating a singer – of any kind – what do you look for and how much emphasis do you place on each area. For example, technical skill, range, depth of emotional resonance, believability. Is a technically excellent singer good if they don’t show emotion? What is important?
    8. How important is it that James energizes and engages the crowd? Would he be better off staying still and focusing on perfect vocals? What is that perfect combination – that “it” factor?

    • SistaWyze,
      These are wonderful questions. I need some time to think about these and rime to write the replies. Will probably have time over the weekend!!
      Thanks again !

    • sista wyze,
      Just a note to tell you that all of your questions ,as well as any others that are posted here for the purpose of the interview with Alexia, will be addressed during that interview process.

  2. My question is more will you write a review when you get to see the live tour.
    I also would love to see a critique of my favorite song of James A Change is going to come. To me I think Sam Cooke would have been amazed at what he does with it.
    Lastly Kathyrn I hope your chance to see James live is all you wish for.

    • Thanks so much Vanilla,.I will write a review of the performance I see live in Baltimore, Md., August 11. Would be wonderful to meet James. Looks like I will be writing a lot on his behalf going forward. I will add a critique of A Change…. perhaps over the weekend and the week of July 25th!! The next few days I have unexpected company, am casting for La Traviata- which opens in Nov., , negotiating with a performing arts center in N.J. and have my other businesses to attend to. I won’t forget about you!!

      • Hey, make sure you review the LONG version of “A Change” — the shorter clip has more viewers on You Tube,b ut there’s a longer one on there. SOlo-Hollywood week I think is what you have to look forward. THANKS! -Elie

  3. @SistaWyze

    Fantastic questions! These will definitely be included in my script for the interview.


    Yes Kathryn will write a review of the Baltimore show, with emphasis on James of course. And yes in the interview we will talk about James’ performance of A Change is Gonna Come.


    Again I couldn’t be more thrilled about everything you’ve contributed to this site, you rock!

  4. I asked this under week 5 review, but will bring it here where it belongs. When James talks to the audience, asking for participation, counting the beat (1,2,3,4), and even his “whoo’s!”, seem musical to me. As if you could go to the piano and find the note. Is this planned and practiced, or part of his innate musicality? Even in the wrestling vid from the season, when he looks in the camera and goes “Whoo!”, it’s very musical to me.

  5. My disclaimer: I know next to nothing about the techinacal side of music…I just know what I like, and I like everything about James! So not sure if I am using the correct terminology, etc.

    I have worked with and am friends with several people who are ‘on’ the autism spectrum, which includes Aspergers.

    To me, it almost seems as if James is savant-like when it comes to his music. His muscicality, range, rhythm, and performance blow me away everytime. It seems to come so easy for him. When I watch videos from the tour, (or any performance) it amazes me to watch him dance, and use his voice to come in at the exact right times, and to always be ‘right there’ on the songs, including the group numbers. Like you said…the songs seem to sing him, which is a perfect description! It seems like he could hear a song once and be able to learn it and perform it right then. This goes along with what Leslie is asking above…

    I don’t mean this in ANY way to demean James or his amazing talent(s), but you can see that he goes almost somewhere else when performing and he admits that. It is one of the things I love about him!

    Anyways, not really a question, but would like to hear your take on this and James’ off the charts talent in general. Hope this makes sense!

    I have really enjoyed your reviews…thanks!! Hope you get to meet James…


  6. Kathryn, so fun and interesting to read your reviews. First, want to second the request above to hear your review of James’ “Change is Gonna Come” because I think that performance is one of the best of the entire season. Incredibly soulful, moving.

    I’ve heard some other vocal critic, and can’t think exactly where, who said James had trouble with his lower register all season. Something about too much breathiness– I would say if that is true, then possilby I heard that in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” maybe a little in “Uprising” on the lower choruses in between the high notes at the end and perhaps in the very beginning (though I would say the beginning was perfect– very dramatically pulling in the audience (and honestly, what he did with Uprising was so difficult I can’t see how anyone could criticize any minute flaw) and definitely in ‘Without You.’ I’m a HUGE James Durbin fan, so whatever flaws exist here in my opinion are minor compared to his abilities and tone of his voice (I now like his version of “Don’t stop Believing better than Perry’s). What do you say about this critique?

    Finally, when you ended your LP#9 review with ‘Come on baby light my fire’ I couldn’t stop but think of the possibilities! 🙂 – Ellie

    • I’m pretty sure it was Masterclass Lady, as her reviews were the only other vocal oriented reviews that I know of. I distinctly remember her commenting on James’ lower register, that he has trouble with it.

      • I have plenty to say about James’ lower register , Alexia!!. Please include in the interview!!

      • Of course I want you to address James’ lower register in the interview, we’ll devote a whole paragraph to it cause it’s so underrated.

  7. So, guess we wait until after the Baltimore show to hear the review of “Change is Gonna Come?” Just want to stop checking for this if I know it won’t be available for a while. 🙂 Thanks!

    • No you won’t have to wait that long. I sent Kathryn my draft script (which includes a question about James’ ACIGC) today so the interview will be ready for publication within the next few days. You will however have to wait until after the Baltimore show for Kathryn’s recap of that show.

      I will announce on twitter when the interview is up.

  8. I have one more question I noticed that he is drinking water during his performance on tour is there some reason other then hydrating. Just wondering if its something to do with voice.

    • The cavernous arenas are extremely dry. I noticed them misting the area heavily before the show in Baltimore. He is drinking to continue to hydrate the throat and chords. If they get too dry the chords can shut down instantaneously for a split second . It has happened to me.If he is on any antibiotics for his recent illness he would also need to drink a lot of water Heat and lack of sleep would demand increased hydration as well.

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