I’ve been playing with Jim for several years now, and with him (Both in Big Wheel and in The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band Revival) I’ve played Byron Bay Blues Fest, Port Fairy Folk Fest, Gympie Muster, Sydney Blues Festival, Apollo Bay Festival. Woodford Folk Festival, Narooma Blues Festival, Bellingen Jazz Festival and many more wonderful gigs. He has been one of the most supportive people in my career to date, and this ‘last stand’ may be a bit of a tear jerker.
Of course I know the history of Jim’s illustrious career, gee I remember heading up to my first Blues Festival in Byron with my mate Zoe back when I was 16, and loving his playing in the Backsliders, and I head the music of Captain Matchbox via my Dad’s tuition… but what I know best is from working with Jim, on the bandstand, on the road and in the studio.
He is a killer harp player, respected across this land, and beautiful harmony singer. His songwriting has depth and beauty, and he has passion for the traditions and all that makes Blues a lifelong journey, but also owns a searching mind of a true artist, that isn’t afraid to cross genre bounderies, in the desire to make truly original music.
He’s also a perfectionist and not just a little pedantic sometimes -in fact no doubt he’ll write to me to correct grammar in this email- and very stubborn. So if he says it’s happening.. that’s it
apart from all that he happens to have been battling MS for many years, with all the grace and courage of a saint (well also with a Saintly wife Helen). If you ever thought touring can be a bit shit sometimes… try it in a wheel chair, with no one to wheel you away from the drunk that’s yakking your ear off, or literally melting on stage and needing water dunked on your head every half an hour just to be able to hold your harp!
Anyway. Most importantly, we made a kickarse album last year (JUST SO on Vitamin Records) and I’m really glad we get to play the tunes again.
So this email is a tribute to Jim and if you’re not lucky enough to have a ticket for Saturday, send Camelot an email, and who knows, maybe we can wheel him out one last time