R.I.P. Colorblind James
Photo courtesy of Jim Schwarz
by David Lee Cross (July 2001)The music world lost one of it's good guys this week with the death of Chuck Cuminale, creator and leader of The Colorblind James Experience. His death came as a shock to his friends and family. He was 49. Cuminale was found dead in his pool, the local paper said he had a history of heart trouble. Chuck Cuminale leaves his mom, his wife Janice, three sons, five sisters, a brother and innumerable friends and fans worldwide.
Colorblind James Experience recorded some 7 albums (probably best known for their "I'm Considering A Move To Memphis") and recorded a Peel Session. They toured Europe 3 times though rarely played outside upstate New York here in the US. They would play great shows: Bob Dylan Birthday Shows, Elvis Birthday Shows... I must have seen this band 40 or 50 times.
During the early 1990's Chuck did more than consider moving to Memphis, he actually did it. His whole family relocated and he tried his hand at songwriting for a spell but found that to be "A little too tightly knit a community to break into".
In the mid-1990's Chuck and family came back to Rochester. He was working with an at risk youth program. I seem to recall him liking it. Colorblind were playing again, with personel changes. There are very few places to play out here (in our little musical outpost), Chuck seemed to be playing solo or with the band nearly every week, an impossible chore. This had to do with his easy charm, dry wit and his enormous talent.
Chuck Cuminale, was one of the good guys.
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