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Keith James Leaves ‘Showtime’ – Read His Letter To The Band

photo: Showtime ‘The Band’

Yesterday, social media blew up after my longtime band Showtime announced that I’d be leaving and I’m sorry to say that what you’ve heard is true. Maybe three years isn’t an extremely long time by today’s standards but it was long enough to feel like a permanent part of the brotherhood that existed inside the band. I thought you’d like to be a fly on the wall and read the letter I wrote to the band shortly before the news broke on Facebook:


photo: Nedra Isenberg

Hey guys. I’ve been thinking about something quite a bit and have been trying to find the perfect time to bring this up but once again, gigs are just not appropriate and we can’t seem to get into the rehearsal room where the atmosphere is more relaxed. But given our upcoming photo shoot tomorrow, I can no longer put this off.

Since this past summer, I’ve been feeling a tremendous pull to begin devoting even more time to my family and have come to the conclusion that I need my weekends free especially and just more discretionary time in general. I know this means that I will need to leave my brotherhood in Showtime as I can’t expect the band to function well with a part-time keyboard player given how much we work.

The timeframe is entirely up to you, but my personal goal is to be released from my obligations in the band no later than our New Years Eve show, which should give you all plenty of time to both find a replacement for me if you want and to get a new well-oiled and rehearsed show together long before next summer’s rush.

I have enjoyed my tenure with the hardest working band in town and am very thankful for the shot you gave me three years ago to share the stage with the best bunch of guys that I’ve ever had the opportunity to play with. This was not an easy decision to give up the best keyboard job in this area and I hope it doesn’t mean I’m giving up my friendship with you as well, but I am convinced this is for the best.  -Keith


photo: Duane Isenberg

So, in summation I’ve been blessed over the past 8 years playing on stages all over CNY and beyond getting my start in the United Booty Foundation and playing as a member of New Day, Dashboard Nixon, The Next and Poor Tim after that. Although I played lots of piano, I didn’t know much about keyboard playing back in the day and used to look at Showtime’s website (pre-Facebook), perusing pictures and going over their set list wishing I could be in a band like THAT! Now, 10 years after day-dreaming, my head is still spinning that I actually WAS in that band and it makes it all the more hard to leave.


photo: (Brady, Stephen, Morgan & Abby) Keith James

That said, I have dedicated my life to teaching and playing music for the better part of two decades and my family has been supportive through it all and watched me leave time after time and now I want to stop walking out that door and start staying. I’ve had some really big moments onstage and have been missing some big moments with my family. A BIG thank you goes out to my bandmates for the experiences I’ve had over the years and for making my dream come true, to all of the fans for being there to watch it all happen and to my family for allowing me to leave weekend after weekend (and much more during the summer) to be a part of it all. I love you all, ‘This Ain’t Goodbye’… And lastly to Audrey and my beautiful kids… Daddy’s almost home, here I come!


Keith James All Star Band

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