Growing up on a small family farm in Alabama, Jim loved to hear his dad and brother play guitar. Eventually, Jim got his turn on guitar, and by age 12 he was flatpicking traditional bluegrass and country songs - even writing his own while still in high school.
Over time, Jim fell in love with the mandolin from hearing it on Diamond Rio and Restless Heart recordings. "Later, when I started hearing what Adam Steffey, Ricky Skaggs, Doyle Lawson, and Alan Bibey were doing - and what Bill Monroe had already done - I was hooked!"
A career in engineering left Jim little time for music. It wasn't until he required a tonsillectomy (at age 41, no less) that Jim purchased his first mandolin. "That mandolin was the best medicine I took for the whole time I was recovering. The pain meds would wear off, and I'd play until time for the next dose."
Jim co-founded The Grassifieds with Greg and Joel Barnett in 2006. He continues to write songs for the band, often drawing material from the hard life his parents experienced on the farm.
Jim has since retired from engineering. In addition to his commitment to The Grassifieds he currently teaches mandolin and guitar at Upbeat Music Company in Lewisville, NC.