The next chance to catch James is April 14 at Gerrard Hall in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Other upcoming shows include Rockwood Music Hall in New York City (April 16), the Bakertree Music Festival in Lookout Mountain, Ga. (April 19), The Wheelhouse in Narragansett, R.I. (April 25), and Hotel Café in Los Angeles (May 27).

In June, James has a pair of co-headlining dates with David Ryan Harris: June 3 at Rams Head Live! in Annapolis, Md., and June 4 at Highline Ballroom in New York City.

Brave drops June 3 on Decca/Velour.

Several tracks from the album are streaming at the singer’s MySpace page, along with some of his other work.

James didn’t begin writing songs until his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, when he taught himself to play piano and took a year off from school to spend time in L.A. writing songs.

“I was so passionate about songwriting, I wanted to get involved in the music scene and start performing,” James said.

In 2002, he returned to Chapel Hill, graduated, and moved to New York City, where he toiled at Urban Outfitters by day and performed at open mics around Manhattan’s East Village at night.

To gain access to a piano to practice, James would sneak into hotel ballrooms around the city.

“I’d dress to look like a guest at the Plaza Hotel, so I could walk in there unnoticed.”

The ploy inspired him to name his 2007 EP The Ballroom Break-in.