Known as "The Kind Man," James Kinds had gotten his start as a vocalist for Mack Simmons in 1961 at Walton's Corner. Through Simmons, he began singing with Scotty & the Rib Tips and worked with various bands at the first three Pepper's locations. A natural tenor with a penchant for gospel, rock 'n' roll, and soul, Kinds found himself somewhat at odds with the blues. Having neither the traditional guitar nor harp as a prop, solo gigs came hard, leaving Kinds at the mercy of whatever backing band was holding down the fort for the night. Sixteen years into a career that looked to be going nowhere, Kinds finally recorded his first 45 for gospel mogul Hayes Farmer's Cloud Nine label. While "Ada" b/w "On My Way Up" failed to live up to the latter title's expectation, the single afforded him the opportunity to step out from the shadows, culminating in Living Blues' proclamation, "The best new voice in Chicago may well belong to James Kinds." Two years later they tried again with "California Lady," a soulful blues ballad that spotlighted William "Dead Eye" Norris' chorus pedal-afflicted guitar.