Jim began teaching himself how to play the acoustic guitar in the 1980s during his limited free time as a boilermaker and welder supporting a family of four children. Over the years, his interest in music continued to grow and he began hosting informal music get togethers at his house with friends. As he met others with the same musical interests, they banded together and started performing at informal get togethers, sharing their music through community service at nursing homes and eventually being invited to more formal performance events.
Jim was also very interested in the mechanics of music recording and started his own music studio in his barn with a small eight-track, reel-to-reel recorder, putting down tracks of his own original songs, recording his friends and family members, including his oldest daughter, who also performs country music.
Over the years, Jim added other instruments to his repertoire including the bass guitar, drums and the dobro, a slide guitar that was invented in the 1920s to create a louder guitar.
Today, Jim performs in a number of bands that travel throughout Southern Illinois and runs a full-service, high-tech music studio called Down Home Productions. A proud and true "hillbilly", Jim lives in a house that he transformed from a barn on 50 acres of beautiful land that has been in his family for four generations so that he can be close to God and nature. His home is located in Ina, a small town of less than 500 people, in Southern Illinois.
In addition to playing a variety of instruments, Jim is a talented vocalist and songwriter. His original songs stem mostly from his true-life experiences, both positive and challenging.
Jim's advice to aspiring songwriters and musicians:
"Don't try to be or sound like someone else. Sound like yourself. The best songs you will ever write are about things that happened to you. That's how old Hank did it and his music still lives today!"
Check out the artist's website:
1. blue jeans
3. baby i love you
4. with out you
8. nobody knows
10. texas blues
13. tribute to dad
16. if it don't work out
17. cheatin blues
19. let go