"Many people have said that if your song is good, you should be able to make it work with just a guitar and vocal. Jim has it down–I have seen him solo several times and he is solid. His guitar work uses many varied textures and rhythms behind his rich soulful vocals." Michael Guthrie, Victory Review
"Immediate sense of connection between the vocals and the song draws the listener into this.” Taxi
This excursion began back in 1989 in the very small town of Millington, New Jersey. Nothing more than a few friends getting together for some laughs while paying homage to their favorite heavy metal bands inside a cold warehouse. That band, Corroded, didn't last much past high school. But it provided a look into something that would continue to be pursued.
In the fall of 1990, the journey proceeded up to New England where Jim attended New Hampshire College. It was at this point that he started writing his own songs. No longer feeling the need to lug the amp back and forth, he picked up an acoustic guitar. It proved to be a pivotal move as it helped define his sound in the years to come.
After graduating college, Jim moved into the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan. Upon moving in, he took a night job in the graphic arts field. With the job came some funky hours and a condensed working week. This schedule ultimately enabled him to freely spend his days singing and writing.
It was at this point that he began studying the art of Bel Canto singing at the Singer’s Forum in NYC. He studied under Liz Russo and Phil Campanella in the work-study program for more than three years while developing his tone and performance technique. Working with the two very talented teachers helped to enhance his many different influential styles that would bleed into his original material.
Looking for a little more diversity and independence in his city surroundings, he relocated to the East Village and moved into an apartment on 5th Street between A & B. It seemed appropriate to put together an album with similarly contrasting styles and started recording his debut.
Feeling the need to get this music heard, Jim formed his own label, Squatter Records. The name was inspired by the many altercations between squatters and the NYPD in the East Village. The debut album is specifically named for the location and controversial demolition of a squatted building on East 5th Street in 1997. In the winter of 2000, his debut East 5th Street was released.
In the summer of 2000, Jim moved to Seattle to pursue the west coast life style. There was the initial shock of watching people wait for crosswalk signs but that slowly wore off and he eventually started settling into the music scene. During the winter of 2004, he decided to record his latest album Yellow Sky. It is a dark folk record that holds a beauty in its starkness and honesty. It was recorded in just a few weeks time in his home studio during August/September of 2004. In the hopes of capturing the energy of these songs, he decided to record them live.
The lead vocals and guitars were recorded simultaneously and Jim later added other instrumentation. The guitars are acoustic and the engaging story telling lyrics are heartfelt and honest. At times you can imagine a band jamming behind these songs. But he ultimately liked the idea of this album being in a raw and simple form. The album cover was a photo taken by Jim from his old apartment on Capital Hill in Seattle. During one of his many rainy winter day naps on the couch he awoke to a golden glow and rushed to get his tripod and camera. The sun was just sneaking over the Olympic Mountains as it caught a break in the clouds. All that grey just turned into gold. Yellow Sky was born.
Cold Rain has a bigger richer sound with contributions from Scott Andrew, Jerin Falkner, Louie Husted, Alek Vila and Brad Yaeger. The writing process for this album began back in the NYC days and lasted all the way through Seattle's rainy seasons. The album is available as a digital release with a limited edition run of CDs available at concerts.