2009 Artist Lineup

Jimmy Herring Band

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They say, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.” Jimmy Herring is too modest to brag, but his guitar does a lot of the talkin’. And with the release of his first solo recording, Lifeboat, people are going to hear what Jimmy and his guitar have to say. Jimmy Herring is known for his limitless improvisations , long flowing phrases, and highly charged (and always very soulful) lead work. Lifeboat features Jimmy’s fiery guitar playing, and six Herring originals that showcase his stylistically diverse songwriting. Jimmy Herring developed his reputation as a unique guitar player from years of performing and recording with top-tier musicians. After playing on the local scene of his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Jimmy attended and graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology. In 1986, Jimmy moved to Atlanta, Georgia to teach at the Atlanta Institute of Music and quickly established himself. Herring still lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children. In 1989, Jimmy joined singer and bandleader Col. Bruce Hampton and his group Aquarium Rescue Unit – a seminal jam band which mixed rock, free-jazz and bluegrass – and stayed until 1996. From 1998-99, nationwide exposure would come to Jimmy with the band Jazz Is Dead; which also featured drummer Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra), bassist Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report), and keyboardist T Lavitz (The Dregs). This group was known for playing jazz-fusion instrumental interpretations of classic songs by The Grateful Dead. Billy Cobham calls Jimmy Herring, “One of the best I have ever played with.” Jimmy then played with The Allman Brothers Band for a summer tour in 2000. After the death of guitar great Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead’s bass player Phil Lesh continued to tour under the name Phil Lesh & Friends. Herring was a full-time member of this group from October 2000 to November 2005. In 2003 and 04 the surviving members of The Grateful Dead reunited and Herring was asked to fill the guitar chair. Throughout this time, Jimmy Herring has continued to play in various side projects, notably Project Z with Jeff Sipe (drums) and Ricky Keller (bass). Lincoln Memorial, the second Project Z recording, was released in the fall of 2005. August 2006 found Jimmy taking over the guitar spot in the hugely popular jam band Widespread Panic; a gig that he continues to this present time. With Lifeboat, Jimmy Herring is poised to move from sideman to the center of the stage. Lifeboat is a wide-ranging work. From foot stomping southern-flavored rockers; to modern bop and fusion; to a cover of the Wayne Shorter composition “Lost”; and melodic pieces full of subtlety and nuance; the music of Lifeboat allows Jimmy to express a full-range of emotions through his guitar.

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