"From the time I was a toddler, I knew that I wanted to be a musician, and I feel blessed to have been able to make music my life's work."
Born in Omaha, Jim attended a musical pre-school at age four, received his first guitar for his seventh birthday, and put a rock'n'roll band together when he was in the fourth grade. He also played piano and trombone through his school years.
When he was 15, Jim and his older brother Chuck formed the country-folk-rock band, Timberline, with Dugg Duggan, Craig Link, and Bill Howland, featuring Jim as lead singer and primary songwriter. Within a year they were signed by a national booking agency, Variety Artists, and were performing concerts as far away as Virginia and Arkansas. After building a solid regional fan base, the band was signed to a national recording contract and made their first album, The Great Timber Rush, in Hollywood with Bones Howe producing and guest musicians including Hal Blaine, John McEuen and Michael Boddicker. Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary penned the liner notes. Following a national tour, the band became "victims of the disco craze" and broke up.
After the demise of Timberline, Jim embarked on a solo career. In 1977, his song, "It's Too Soon To Let Our Love End", was chosen by producer Peter Yarrow for inclusion on Mary McGreggor's Gold Album, Torn Between Two Lovers. In 1979, Jim was asked to join Dolly Parton's band as a singer and musician, playing acoustic, electric and high-string guitars as well as the banjo. Through the 1980's Jim traveled around the world several times as part of Dolly's band and appeared frequently on television including two HBO TV specials, The Tonight Show, the Academy Awards show, The Country Music Association Awards show and the Grand Old Opry.
Jim has performed on-stage, "sat in" or recorded with such diverse performers as Dolly Parton, John Denver, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Pure Prairie League, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Michael Johnson, Ronny Cox (harmonies with Wendy Waldman), Dave Loggins, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Tom Rush, John McEuen, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey. Top musicians such as Michael Johnson, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Jennifer Warnes, Mollie O'Brien, Tim O'Brien, Richie Furay and members of Dolly Parton's band have performed on his solo albums. Jim has produced albums for a dozen Rocky Mountain regional folk, folk-rock, and country acts including Dean Davis, C.C. Collier, and Carolyn Kniffen.
Jim sang the opening song for the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," has made many national television and radio appearances, and regularly sings the national and Canadian anthems at major sports events for the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and Avalanche. He sang for the TV mini-series, "The Wild West", and recorded several songs for the album from that series. He appeared in the two hour award-winning TNN TV special "Music of the Wild West" based on the mini-series. Jim has received three Colorado Broadcast Awards, Regional EMMY's for the children's recording, "The Library Song" (1995) and for the "Broncos Bandwagon" TV commercial (1997), a Silver Cindy, and a Cleo Award. All The Colors, an album for children and families, was nominated for a Grammy for outstanding children's album for 1997. In the Fall of 2001, Jim was honored to perform his song "We Are Americans" at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jim is one of the Jims in the Wild Jimbos, a project with Jimmy Ibbotson of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Jim Ratts of Runaway Express. The Jims have played together off and on for the last 25 years. The Wild Jimbos have recorded two albums: Wild Jimbos on MCA Records and Wild Jimbos Two on Resounding Records.
During his career, Jim has had the pleasure of performing for President Jimmy Carter while with Dolly Parton's band and numerous times for President Gerald Ford, including as a member of the Wild Jimbos. He has played as a solo act for President George Bush Sr., and for President Bill Clinton at the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and at the White House. Recently he played the White House again during the 2002 Christmas Open House for President George W. Bush.
Jim donates his time and talents to local activities throughout Colorado, especially in Summit County which he called home for over 25 years. Jim has co-written songs and recorded albums with students from Breckenridge Elementary, Silverthorne Elementary, Dillon Elementary, Frisco Elementary, Fremont and Campbell Elementary in Arvada, Colorado, six schools in Kearney, Nebraska, Wyndemere School in London, England, Valdez Elementary in Alaska and schools in Frankfurt Germany. The albums were used as fundraisers for the schools.
Jim has gained a reputation for writing and singing songs about the outdoors and his home in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. For several years he traveled to England, France, Germany, Holland, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland and Scotland, as well as around the United States and Canada, as a spokesman for the Summit County, Colorado, ski marketing group, Ski The Summit and for several years for Vail Resorts and Ski USA.
For the last several years, Jim has brought together fellow musicians and friends, including Jim Horn, Pete Huttlinger, Chris Nole and John Sommers to remember and celebrate the music of John Denver in benefit concerts in Colorado and California. He also performs at the annual tribute concerts in Aspen, Colorado, that are held on the anniversary of John's death. On March 13th, 2007, Jim was honored to sing John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" at the Colorado House of Representatives, as the song was made an official Colorado state song.
Jim continues to travel and perform around the world and to write music based on his experiences and travels. He is enjoying watching his children grow and living life to the fullest!
"I try to write thought-provoking songs that will get people to take a look at their lives, songs to make you laugh or cry, tunes with family values about the way I was raised, music with emotional depth."