Jim’s love of music began at an early age, watching the joy on the face of his father as he played guitar and sang traditional country and gospel in the living room of their farmhouse in rural Alabama. At the age of 10, Jim found an old Hal Leonard guitar workbook, taught himself to read music, and began to study the guitar. As an adult Jim began to appreciate the mandolin as well, but a demanding career caused him to put off acquiring one until he required a medical procedure that kept him out of work for a few weeks. During his recovery, Jim began the journey of mastering the mandolin that he continues today. He is a songwriter and founding member of traditional bluegrass band The Grassifieds. Having retired from his demanding “day job” in 2016, he teaches bluegrass guitar and mandolin part-time.
The 2020 shutdown of most live music venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic left Jim an opportunity to direct some of his energy in the direction of bluegrass music broadcasting. Jim’s show “The Woodshed” on The Bluegrass Jamboree spotlights “music that makes musicians practice” – including those artists who have inspired him over the years, and who continue to inspire his students.