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About Jim

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I was born in Nashville, Tennessee on August 28, 1964 and lived outside Fairview, a little country town about twenty-five miles southwest of Nashville, until 1999 when Inge and I moved to Flat Creek, just south of Shelbyville, Tennessee. I started fiddling at age ten and was fortunate to have some really strong music around me ever since I can remember. The local grassroots scene where I grew up was incredible, and some of the best professionals in Nashville lived in my neighborhood. Buddy Spicher and Hoot Hester were only a short piece away, and through them I not only met about every fiddle legend you can mention, but I also learned what kind of musical standards the word "professional" implies.

My dad, Jimmy, has also played a huge role in my musical life. He is an excellent rhythm guitarist, and \ we went to literally hundreds of fiddle contests together over the years. These competitions were enormously important to my development. I got to hang out with some of the best older players like J.T. Perkins, Benny Thomasson, Dick Barrett, and Frazier Moss, and I competed against and became good friends with the best fiddlers of my generation.

I had years of formal training and went to Berklee College of Music to study jazz theory, but I am really just a country fiddler at heart. The standard old tunes give me a feeling that few things can touch, and I want to give something back by sharing it with others. Toward this end, I have always devoted a part of my schedule to teaching, and I have had the honor to help out many talented young players.

Inge is now my musical partner now in most of my endeavors, and my life of music has been an incredible blessing.

About Jim
Jim writes for Fiddler Magazine, Strings, Acoustic Guitar, and The Devil's Box on a variety of topics related to fiddle and guitar and is featured in four Acoustic Guitar's Private Lessons book/cd packages. He has five fiddle and one guitar instructional videos available from The Murphy Method, and he is a recording artist on his own Whippoorwill Records as well as Maple Street Music, Sugo, and Pinewood Music. He owns and operates Pinewood Studio, a first-rate project studio which focuses on acoustic folk music projects.

Jim has garnered over 160 first prizes in folk music competitions - some of the highlights include:

  • Tennessee State Fiddle Championship (5 times)
  • Alabama State Fiddle Championship (2 times)
  • Alabama State Mandolin Championship (2 times)
  • Alabama State String Band Championship
  • Kentucky State String Band Championship (4 times)
  • Berry C. Williams Trophy (2 times)

In the course of his career, Jim has worked with a wide array of folk, country, Celtic, rock, bluegrass, pop, classical, swing, western swing, and ethnic settings, all of which have added to the depth and richness of his artistic vision.

Artists with whom Jim has performed either on stage or in the recording studio include:

Country Artists

  • Roy Acuff
  • Vince Gill
  • Ray Price
  • Hank Thompson
  • Gary Morris
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Porter Wagoner
  • Billy Grammer
  • Jeanne Pruett
  • Red Stick Ramblers
  • Little Jimmy Dickens
  • Angela Caset
  • Eddie Reasoner
  • The Kinleys
  • Dave Olney
  • Mandy Barnett
  • Bernadette Tinney
  • Walt Aldridge
  • Gregg Brown
  • Tommy Allsup
  • Richard Bennett
  • Michael Rhodes
  • Craig Nelson
  • Pig Robbins
  • Kenny Buttrey
  • Charlie McCoy
  • Terry McMillan
  • Bob McDill

Bluegrass Artists

  • Wilma Lee Cooper
  • Rarely Herd
  • Hiawasee Ridge
  • John Cowan
  • Claire Lynch
  • Kathy Chiavola
  • Wayne Lewis
  • Chris Jones
  • Jerry Douglas
  • Ed Dye
  • Johnny Bellar
  • The New Tradition
  • Special Concensus
  • Keith Little
  • The Nashville Jug Band
  • Billy & Terry Smith
  • Bob Lucas

Gospel Artists

  • Amy Grant
  • Connie Smith
  • Phil Keaggy
  • Gary Chapman
  • Joe Bias
  • Dino
  • Scott Brown
  • Brice Henderson
  • Stasis
  • Tom Howard

Folk Artists

  • Jim Connor
  • Riders in the Sky
  • Bill and Laurie Sky
  • Ralph Gordon
  • Ralph Gordon

Pop Artists

  • The Wineskins
  • Keith Moore
  • Garth Whitcombe
  • Mike Duncan
  • Michael Omartian
  • Steve Cropper
  • Tom Roady
  • Dan Huff
  • Laurel Massé

Jazz Artists

  • Doug Jernigan
  • Bobby Garrett
  • Bob Hoban
  • Peter Ecklund
  • Matt Munisteri
  • Billy Lang
  • Sam Levine
  • Paul Zonn
  • Peter Davis
  • Tom Mitchell
  • Dave Giegerich
  • The Time Jumpers
  • Dave Giegerich
  • George Miller
  • Colin McCaffery
  • Vinnie Martucci

Classical Artists

  • Ron Huff
  • Charlene Harb
  • Wilma Jenson
  • The Shelly Kurland Strings
  • The Four Nations Ensemble
  • Tennessee Repertory Theater
  • The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble

Celtic Artists

  • Seamus Egan
  • Mick Moloney
  • Brendan O'Regan
  • James Keane
  • John Williams
  • Brendan Dolan
  • Willie Kelly
  • Claire White
  • Brian Conway

Hammered Dulcimer

  • Alissa Jones
  • Scott Miller
  • Walt Michael


  • John Hartford
  • Mike Snider
  • John McEuen
  • Carl Jackson
  • Allison Brown
  • Larry McNeely
  • Pete Wernick
  • Alan O'Bryant
  • Vic Jordan
  • Tony Furtado
  • Gary Davis
  • Leroy Troy
  • James McKinney
  • Pat Cloud
  • Buddy Wachter
  • Smokey Montgomery
  • Mark Schatz
  • Marty Lanham
  • Murphy Henry
  • John Hedgecoth
  • Charlie Cushman
  • Mark Barnett
  • Tom Saffell
  • John Balch
  • Dave Macon III
  • Tony Ellis


  • Steve Kaufman
  • Russ Barenburg
  • David Grier
  • Robert Bowlin
  • Jack Jezzro
  • Paul Yandell
  • Roy Curry
  • Fareed Haque
  • Bill Mize
  • Pepino D'Agostino
  • Pete Huttlinger
  • John Pell
  • Mark Howard
  • Jay Peterson
  • Mike Henderson
  • Jeff White
  • Bob Saxton
  • Charlie Collins
  • Kenny Frazier
  • Shane Adkins
  • Molly Mason


  • Jay Unger
  • Buddy Spicher
  • Flethcher Bright
  • Matt Glaser
  • Paul Peabody
  • Mark O'Connor
  • J.T. Perkins
  • Frazier Moss
  • Pete Sutherland
  • Daniel Carwile
  • Mark Ralph
  • Randy Howard
  • Randy Pollard
  • Luke & Jenny Ann Bulla
  • Charlie Acuff
  • Craig Duncan
  • Kevin Wimmer
  • Glenn Duncan
  • Stuart Duncan
  • Aubrey Haynie
  • Jimmy Mattingly
  • Sam Zygmuntowicz
  • Andrea Zonn
  • Mark Feldman
  • James Mason


  • Tiny Moore
  • Boyd Deering
  • Mike Compton
  • Bob Green
  • Carl Tipton
  • David McLaughlin
  • Butch Baldassari
  • Barry Mitterhoff
  • Brent Truitt
  • Bob Green

Jim's television, radio, and film experience include:

  • Grand Ole Opry (WSM)
  • The Wild West (HBO)
  • Fly Fishing America Theme (ESPN)
  • Adam 12 (TNN)
  • The Discovery Channel
  • Riders Radio Theatre (NPR)
  • Tennessee Crossroads (PBS)
  • The Bob Braun Show (syndicated)
  • The Carl Tipton Show (Nashville)
  • Talk of the Town (Nashville)
  • Numerous jingles, including his themes for the Huntsville Women's Hospital.

In addition to his fiddling, Jim has worked professionally on the viola, violoncello, string bass, guitar, mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello, bouzouki, banjo, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, electric bass, electric mandolin, synthesizer, piano, whistle, shaker, and bodhran.

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