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About Jim

 

About Jim, in his own words and pictures...

I was born in New York City and grew up in the Bronx in the 1960’s. My first musical influence was my Uncle Willie, a singer/guitarist who would perform at the drop of a hat (songs like “Old Man Tucker”, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Coming Round the Mountain”). Around that time I saw The Beatles first performance on the ED Sullivan Show; it has been said that millions of musicians were spawned that night and I was one of them.

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I started taking guitar lessons with a little old man with a gigantic thumbnail. I assume he used it for a pick, though I can’t recall ever seeing him play. I hadn’t mastered much more than “Jingle Bells” when my family moved to New Jersey, where my guitar, an “Egmond” sat in the corner of my room for the next two years.I eventually joined a band. I couldn’t play one chord, but I met the sole qualification of owning a guitar. I learned to play by figuring out one song at a time, mostly Beatles, Stones and Monkees. I even ended up playing bass for a while. I used to read the bass notes in treble clef, which means that every note you play is wrong.

 

It wasn’t long before I was back on guitar and I bought my first electric instrument, a “Zen On”, purchased from my friend Kenny for $12.00. That’s us on the back cover of the Cheap Guitars CD, with me playing the Zen On and Kenny playing his new Kingston…

 

My dream at the time was to get a Fender Princeton Reverb Amp; over the next year I saved my paper route money until I could buy one. I still have that Princeton and it still sounds great. For a while I used a screaming hundred watt Traynor amp with six ten inch speakers, which is probably the reason I am half deaf in my left ear.

 

 

In LA I made very little money, though I played in several bands, including one that came close to being signed by Mercury Records. A top A&R guy came to about ten of our gigs. At first he had high praise and instilled in us confidence we would be signed.Gradually he came to criticize every aspect of the band, causing tension among members and the rift that eventually broke up the band.

 

Click the article to read CA Newspaper review f or Puffin Willie, one of the bands I played in while in L.A.

 

After four years in LA I became disgusted with the scene and moved back to New Jersey. I decided at that point that I would play music for the love of it and not for fame and fortune.

Once back in New Jersey I re-formed Alias and continued to play with them for twenty years. I also played in other bands over the years.  Funny thing about my slide playing, I never practiced it, but for some reason that's what I am always recognized for.

 

This picture by Edie Schaedler shows ALIAS back together for a jam. Members were Glenn Mac Dermott, Me, Andy Sweetser, John Andersen, Greg Bal, Bill Schaedler and Barry Beyda...

I joined with The Flamethrowers Blues Band, playing some hot blues/rock for about 6 years until the end of 2009, and continued teaching guitar and playing with other bands throughout that time too.

After the Flamethrowers split up, I became solid with The Peach Project, a rockin' hot Allman Brothers tribute band.

I was honored to play countless shows with Gregg Hollister, Ray Longchamp, David Budway, Frank Colonnato and other really great musicians.

A very big  and most special surprise I had was playing in the "Jim Jam" with a large gathering of fellow musicians and friends, all jamming at the Mexicali Live for a great time.

At the Jim Jam, I was told I was to be inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame. And so it was, on May 20 in NYC at Kenny's Castaways. It was my finest moment in thirty years of being on stage.

I am truly honored and thankful to have so many close friends and fellow musicians!