“Just because Boney James doesn’t want to close the show doesn’t mean that he doubts his abilities as a live performer. A few days before he was to set out on the road for a run of co-headlining dates with R&B singer Brian McKnight, James admitted that he had no idea which of the two artists would be taking the stage first. It was something of a gentlemanly standoff. Each was trying to defer to the other, he says.
“We’re still sorting that out. There’s a little bit back and forth going on about that, so no comment,” says James, who along with McKnight, plays Cincinnati on Friday. “Neither wants to close.”
It may make sense in the minds of some for Boney James to go first, because he’s an instrumental artist who has established a career in the smooth-jazz radio format. But James doesn’t call himself a smooth-jazz artist, and anyone who has seen the saxophone player’s live act knows that he’s there to do more than provide warm-up duties and background music.“