Jim was born in Ann Arbor, MI, the son of a computer scientist for MIT Lincoln Laboratory and an executive secretary, and moved to Concord, MA as a teenager. Jim grew up in a household of musicians, his father a classical mandolin player, one of his three sisters a guitar player, one a flute player and everyone a singer. His family would sing together on long trips to NJ to visit relatives, where there was more playing and singing. In high school Jim started a band with friends H&WA, named after a school counselor’s report comment “happy and well-adjusted”.
Jim’s first formal music lessons were on the violin, later replaced by clarinet lessons, which eventually earned him a college degree. He went on to master the guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, harmonica and others which he claims no one wants to hear him play.
Jim’s songwriting talents have earned him great respect in the music industry. He names his primary musical influences as early Elvis, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, country music of the 1960’s, union music of the 1930’s, Depression songs, Bob Dylan and Italian love songs. His song “Down By the Water” was recorded by Cry, Cry, Cry, Cheri Knight and Pam Tillis. The beautiful song “All Around You” was featured on the last compilation of No Depression magazine. Mark Erelli recorded “Every Goodbye” on his “The Memorial Hall Recordings”. “Valley Rock” was the first cut on Signature Sounds record label release.
Jim’s unique, expert guitar and multi-instrument playing have mesmerized audiences for years and kept him in demand as a guitarist for other groups. Among the many artists fortunate enough to have Jim play with them are Cry, Cry, Cry, Jimmy Ryan, Cheri Knight, Mark Erelli, Robin Lane, Andrew Jones & Spirithouse, Donna Lee Band, The Kennedys and Bill Kirchen. Bill Kirchen, renowned as one of the world’s best guitar players, exclaimed after Jim joined him for a show in Northampton, MA Wow! That guy can really play guitar!
A notable project of Jim’s is his contribution to the rebuilding of the Westhampton, MA public library in the form of a CD including ten songs about libraries and books. Jim donated 100 CDs to the library and hopes to sell another 40,000 to completely fund the project.
Being in the Lonesome Brothers according to Jim is a great all-around time: making CDs, writing whatever he wants, playing to an audience that loves the songs and the longevity of being in the band and producing this music.