About James Stafford

I am a professional writer with emphasis on creative non-fiction, music journalism, and general essays.  I’m also a concert photographer.

Feel free to email me at jostaffordjr@gmail.com with queries, greetings, and other madness. If you’re the social media type, you’ll find me here:


  About Why It Matters

Why It Matters is both a music and an author website. It started as an effort to make some sense of why certain songs take us back to certain events and grew from there. We have great contributors like April Moseley and Anne-Marie Schieffer now, too, and we talk more music and less memoir all the time.

The site is broken into these major categories:

  • Creative Non-Fiction: These are the “music memoir” stories at the heart of Why It Matters. Published every Monday, they don’t always deal with music but they’re always memoir. These stories are indexed here.
  • “From The Stacks:” Photos and short essays about records, CDs, and music-related ephemera. Search the site for “From the Stacks” for a complete list.
  • “Deep Cuts:” Playlists, playlists, playlists. Search the site for “Deep Cuts” for a full list.
  • Concert coverage: Check the Concert Photos page for samples of our concert photography.
  • Everything else: Reviews, rants, plugs for pieces published elsewhere, etc.



Other James Stafford Publishing Credits


  • Loudwire: Freelance beginning September 2014. Music reviews and features.
  • Diffuser.fm: Freelance beginning September 2014. Music reviews and features.
  • Paste Magazine: Freelance April-Octover 2014. Drink reviews and features.
  • The Good Men Project Magazine, Executive Editor 2013-2014. Authored 250 pieces including news items, reviews, essays, interviews, and features.
  • AARP website: Essay on aging.
  • Salon: Interview with author/director Sebastian Junger.
  • The Boomtown Rats website: Interview with art director Alan Schmidt
  • Clear Nude Magazine (Spring 2014): Essay on cover of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland.
  • Esquire: Nice little essay about differences between parents and kids, set at a Jane’s Addiction show.
  • Delish:  Humorous look at why hosting barbecues sucks.
  • Good Housekeeping: Adopting a Dog Helped My Son Deal With His Anxiety

Literary Work:

  • Under The Gum Tree print literary magazine: Two creative non-fiction pieces in their print edition, “You Can Check Out Any Time You Like,” and “This Is A Public Service Announcement (With Guitars).”
  •  Airplane Reading digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “The Sun Rising.”
  • The Write Room digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “Baby Come Back.”
  •  Red Fez digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “The King of Lunch.”
  •  eChapbooks’ “Work” anthology digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “Out to the Air Above”
  •  Work Magazine digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “Bewitched.”
  •  Hippocampus Magazine digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “When We Talk About Guns.”
  • Storyscape Journal digital literary magazine: Creative non-fiction piece, “The Song Poet’s Epistles.”
  • The Circle print literary magazine: Fiction piece, “Tithonus.”

Interviews With James Stafford:



31 replies »

  1. Yep, I think a man can live off soup and music. My name is Dr. Tom Bibey. I wrote “The Mandolin Case,” a medical legal mystery solved by local musicians. As far as I know, I’m the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. Come check out my blog at drtombibey.wordpress.com.

    Dr. B


  2. Your life in music. I like it. In my ipod I have a bunch of Bob Seger, Springsteen, Tom Petty, Go-Gos, Cyndi Lauper, Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt in my favorites. Then I have Kid Rock, Green Day and Wilco waiting in the wings. Norah Jones is in there somewhere gathering digital dust … I need to play her. I need to get KISS. They used to scare me with all that make-up when I was kid … but they do rock!


    • That’s quite a playlist you have there. I’ll save you the trouble with KISS: They have a predilection for rocking and rolling every night, and given the opportunity they also will party every day.


  3. Interesting images. DLed “Launching Satellites” hope is ok, 2 be my desktop wallpaper for awhile. Looking forward to a conversation with you, I think we will fing ineresting. please reply soon.

    Till then I wish you Serenity, – Jim…


  4. Hey there… I’m still here 🙂

    One of my pastimes is listening to radio instead of watching tv. I listen to a digital radio station called Planet Rock. One of their endearing features is their interaction with their listeners via Facebook. The dj’s talk with the listeners and vice versa..and yes, i join in occasionally..but I love PR with an understandable passion…but anyway.. they just posted a video link which I watched…and..well…it just made me wish I was living in Cadillac in 1975… I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d seen this before, but if you haven’t then I’m happy to make you acquainted with it ‘cos I’m sure that you of all people will appreciate it.

    Rock on 🙂


  5. Music often carries us through our sorrows… provides the soundtrack to our treasured memories. At all times an intellectual puzzle, a fine artwork, a primodial mechanic of deep dwelling spirit.

    James Stafford captures not only our love for music, but also our labored, imperfect relationships bouyed by song.

    I am no writer. I am a Twitter hack. I am certainly glad for finding him there… and to be afforded more than 140 characters to say as much.


    • Milo, I really don’t know what to do with this. I’ve been sitting on this comment for a couple of days trying to figure out how to respond. Unfortunately the best that I can offer is thank you. This really moved me.


  6. James, thanks for visiting my blog. I loved your original post in the showcase forum (Sears catalog guitars); after exploring your blog, I’m completely intrigued. You have a great original voice, integrating the music and childhood/adolescence memories- sort of the “music of our lives” but from a very quirky perspective. Really great writing . . . Bravo.


  7. Bohos look at I-Pods as Boergoius .. lol

    Truly entertaining read James. Added. liked, recommended and look forward to more. Glad I caught you off guard with the latest expressions blog 🙂 Maddona who? nevermind, she has her place, but not in that group I referenced. I hope you agree? 🙂

    Old Wolf


  8. Great Blogsite. Question… on the Beatles White album, can you tell me who the photographer was that took the portrait of John Lennon??? I’d really appreciate it. I’ve left you my email address. Thanks!!!


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