A child of Chicago kids who decided to buy a farm and raise their kids on it, Jim first experienced bluegrass music listening to the WLS Barn Dance in the early 60s. But it wasn’t until he saw a particular episode of The Andy Griffith Show that the bug bit him. In this episode, Douglas Dillard (as one of the musical hillbilly Darling family) is leaning back in some lonesome mountain cabin playing banjo at about 220 beats per minute looking like he was  about to fall asleep.  Jim was soon immersed in bluegrass, a passion that exists to this day.

Jim has played with various bluegrass bands mostly in Texas, including the Front Porch Boys, with former band mates Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, and Bryan Duckworth

Jim is an experienced teacher and luthier, as well, with over 25 years of experience.