Alexander James Adams (born November 8, 1962) is an American singer, musician and songwriter in the Celtic and World music genres. He blends mythical, fantasy, and traditional themes in performances, switching between instrumentalfiddle and songs accompanied by guitar, bodhrán, and fiddle playing. He has also been a popular and influential artist in the field of filk music.
Adams performed as Heather Alexander for 25 years before beginning to tour as Alexander James Adams.
The last public performance as Heather was at OryCon 2006. His debut as Alexander James Adams was at Seattle's Norwescon 30, on 6 April 2007.
In the late 1980s Alexander co-founded the Celtic fusion rock band Phoenyx, which released one album, Keepers of the Flame. The band disbanded in 1991 after achieving a high degree of local fame, and that album is no longer in print.
Alexander returned to a solo career. Firebird Arts & Music produced a live album which did well enough to inspire Alexander to create a label (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) for the release Wanderlust 1994. Two live concert albums and several studio albums have followed. Alexander also moved to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Banks, Oregon in 2002.
In 2001, Alexander founded a new band, Uffington Horse, together with Andrew Hare and Dan Ochipinti and continued to perform solo gigs between band appearances. In 2004, a limited run of the Uffington Horse promotional CD was offered to fans to help finance recording their first studio album, Enchantment, published in 2004. In 2002, Heather Alexander told Strange Horizons that "I tend to think of myself as a 'musical entertainer.' I sing, play, compose, and tell stories."
Alexander James Adams at a performance in April, 2007.
Alexander James Adams at Conflikt in January, 2010.
2007 - present
In early 2007 Adams transitioned to male and since April 2007 has performed in many of the venues that he had formerly played as Heather Alexander. He has played with Uffington Horse and has also formed a new band, Tricky Pixie, with S.J. Tucker and Betsy Tinney. In summer 2007, the band released a recording of their first concert, Live!, which is the earliest released recording of Adams' voice.
Adams' first post-transition solo album, Cat & The Fiddle, was entirely instrumental. Balance of Nature, released in fall 2007, mixed a few of his older works (such as Creature of the Wood) with new songs.
In November 2007, Adams released the Yule album Wintertide, featuring duets between both Adams' and Heather Alexander's voices. As noted in Adams' interview in Just Out, Wintertide is the first album with a series of these duets.A Familiar Promise, released in July 2008, also includes duets between both voices.
Literary collaborations and references
Several of the Firebird Arts and Music albums include collaborations with Mercedes Lackey and inspired by the works of Andre Norton. (See the discography below for more information.)
The 2002 album Insh'Allah was inspired by Steven Barnes's novel Lion's Blood. The songs and the book were written concurrently, and several of the songs are quoted in the book and its sequel.
In a similar vein, the 2006 album Merlin's Descendants is based on the fiction of Irene Radford.
S.M. Stirling quotes Alexander's song lyrics in his Island in the Sea of Time trilogy. His Emberverse series features a red-haired musician who plays guitar, fiddle, and bodhran named Juniper Mackenzie. Alexander's song lyrics are used as Mackenzie's songs in the book. (Juniper and heather are both plants.)
The albums listed through Everafter are billed as Heather Alexander. Later are billed as Alexander James Adams. Despite the transition, all lyrics, music, and recordings originally copyright Heather Alexander retain the copyright of Heather Alexander.
Unless otherwise noted, albums feature a mix of traditional & original Celtic music.
Freedom, Flight and Fantasy 1990 (Firebird Arts and Music). Lyrics: Mercedes Lackey. Music: Leslie Fish. Arrangements: Cecilia Eng.
Heather Alexander, Live 1992 (Firebird Arts and Music). Alexander sings and plays guitar, bodhran, and fiddle.
Songsmith, 1993 (Firebird Arts and Music). Songs based on the book Songsmith by Andre Norton and A.C. Crispin.
Wanderlust 1994 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) First studio recording on Alexander's own label with backing musicians.
Shadow Stalker 1994 (Firebird Arts and Music). Lyrics: Mercedes Lackey & D.F. Sanders. Music: Heather Alexander & Cecilia Eng. Arrangements: Heather Alexander.
Life's Flame 1996 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Second live album. Alexander sings and plays guitar, bodhran, and fiddle.
Midsummer 1997 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Second studio recording on Alexander's own label with backing musicians.
A Gypsy's Home 2001 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Third studio recording on Alexander's own label with backing musicians.
Insh'Allah—Music of Lion's Blood 2002 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Songs based in the world of Steven Barnes' book Lion's Blood. The book and album were written concurrently; Barnes quotes song lyrics in the book.
Festival Wind 2003 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Third live album. Alexander sings and plays guitar, bodhran, and fiddle.
Album of Secrets 2003 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Primarily bloopers and outtakes from the recording of Festival Wind.
Merlin's Descendants 2006 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Songs based on the Merlin's Descendants series by Irene Radford.
Arms of the Sea 2006 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Traditional and original sea shanties.
Everafter 2007 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Final Heather Alexander solo album, this is a studio recording with backing musicians. (Despite having the same name as the DVD, the album is not DVD soundtrack.) 
Cat & The Fiddle 2007 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Instrumental fiddle tunes.
Balance of Nature 2007 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Mostly new songs, a few re-recorded old songs (Creature of the Wood), and a few songs that blend old and new (such as He of the Sidhe).
Wintertide 2007 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Yule album featuring traditional and original songs by Heather Alexander & Alexander James Adams, featuring duets between both voices.
A Familiar Promise 2008 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Studio album featuring new and old songs.
Harvest Season: Second Cutting 2010 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Studio album featuring new and old songs.
UnSeelie Self 2010 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Studio album featuring new and old songs.
Back cover of Keepers of the Flame.
Keepers of the Flame, Phoenyx 1990 (Phoenyx and Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Issued by the band in 1990. No longer in print.
Uffington Horse Promotional Album, Uffington Horse, 2004 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Created for promotional purposes; a limited run was offered to fans in 2004.
Enchantment, Uffington Horse 2004 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Uffington's studio album.
Live!, Tricky Pixie 2007. Contains songs written and performed by Alexander James Adams, S.J. Tucker and Betsy Tinney. No longer in print.
Mythcreants, Tricky Pixie 2009. Contains songs written and performed by Alexander James Adams, S.J. Tucker and Betsy Tinney.
Everafter February 2007 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Recording of Heather Alexander's final public concert in November 2006 at Orycon. Alexander sang and played guitar, bodhran, and fiddle. Bonus materials include a few performances at a pub and an interview.
Yule Concert December 2009 (Sea Fire Productions, Inc.) Recording of Alexander James Adams's December 2009 concert at the Lucky Lab Pub.
Everafter booklet February 2007. A short faerie tale.
The Heather Alexander Songbook was published in late 2007. It includes lyrics and music for the Sea Fire Productions albums from Wanderlust through Everafter.
This includes compilations and backing appearances for other artists.
Thirteen, Vixy & Tony, 2008. Played fiddle and percussion on the track Apprentice.
^Radcon 5 draws sci-fi, fantasy fans to Pasco, Tri-City Herald, Feb 17, 2008. The article refers to "[t]ransgender Celtic performer Alexander James Adams", adding that "[t]he singer-songwriter toured across the U.S. and in England and Germany as Heather Alexander for 25 years before beginning to tour as Alexander, said Kore Adams, his partner."