Jim was born in the 1950's in Northern New Jersey. During his high school years he spent plenty of time listening to the Beatles, Santana, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Byrds, The Band, and more. Even Motown. Good buddy Steve had a car (bright red rocketship really) that they called the Pimpmobile. Steve, though Jewish, thought he was black and listened to the Temptations and others on 8-track in the Pimpmobile as they drove to school or cruised for girls on Saturday nights.
Jim went to college in Waterville, Maine, studying English Lit and East Asian Culture, and spent a year studying at Oxford and another year in graduate school in Philadelphia and spent a couple of years listening to almost nothing but classical music. After dropping out of grad school, he moved to Chicago . Broke and without a clue about what to do with his liberal arts degree, it seemed like a good place to figure things out. He found that he liked the Windy City, especially the summer, with ball games at Wrigley Field, the Lakefront, and the music scene.
His mother gave him a guitar for Christmas in 1976 and, shortly after, he started to hang around the Old Town School of Folk Music. There were concerts at the Old Town School and he became acquainted firsthand with the music of performers like John Prine, Steve Goodman, Michael Smith, Tom Paxton, Bob Gibson, Jim Post and many others (Odetta, Josh White Jr., Pierre Bensusan, Doc Watson, Roger McGuinn). He also became aware of a new generation of local songwriters like Thom Bishop (aka Junior Burke), Tom Dundee, Chris Farrell and Marty Piefer. He would frequent the folk clubs and coffeehouses to hear these new artists. He particularly liked to go to a club like Somebody Else's Troubles and sit near the front to watch performers play guitar, picking up ideas for his own playing and sometimes learning a few of their songs. He started hanging out with his new friends, discussing the finer points of rock and roll and playing the open stages after calming the nerves with a couple of beers. Bruce Cockburn and Loudon Wainwright III are among the many influences that you may detect in Jim’s music.
He started playing gigs for money in the early 80's. Around the same time, he met Laura and they fell in love and got married. She was the inspiration for many of the love songs in his repertoire. After living in Chicago for 11 years, they packed up the car and the cats and moved to Austin in search of warmer weather and the legendary music scene.
In Austin, he became acquainted with a whole new set of musicians like Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Jimmie LaFave, James McMurtry, Stephen Bruton, Rich Brotherton, David Rodriguez and many others. He co-hosted the open stage at the legendary acoustic venue, Chicago House, with Jimmy LaFave and Betty Elders, played at SXSW several times in the early years, was a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition in 1990 and 1993 and performed live a number of times on the KUT Folkways radio show. Over the years he has performed either solo or with a rotating cast of fantastic musicians and singers, many of whom pop up on his releases.
Jim moved on to the DC area in 1996 and continues to perform regularly at coffeehouses, festivals, house concerts and other events.
Jim Heald, Voice and Guitar
Standing on the Great Wall of China (1988 cassette)
This Ain't a World Where it Pays to be Meek (1989 cassette)
Defenders of the Forest (1992 cassette)
Wings of Time (1997 CD)
Old Jalopy (2007 CD)
Live in Alexandria (2009 CD – Limited Release)
CD Review - Wings of Time
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5 Stars Some of the most interesting songs we have heard here at RMR. Jim is an excellent song w...5 Stars
Some of the most interesting songs we have heard here at RMR. Jim is an excellent song writer that also has the ability to sing very well. Wings Of Time is an acoustic-folk CD that delivers a message with every track. Very powerful lyrics and soothing melodies. A great record for folk radio to air on their stations.
CD Review Old Jalopy & Wngs of Time
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Washington DC is de verblijfplaats van singer-songwriter Jim Heald die een 50-tal jaren geleden gebo...Washington DC is de verblijfplaats van singer-songwriter Jim Heald die een 50-tal jaren geleden geboren werd in New Jersey. Oorspronkelijk was hij vooral geïnteresseerd in tekenen en schilderen en af en toe wat sporten. Daarnaast luisterde hij in zijn jeugd naar veel muziek van o.a. the Beatles, Paul Simon, James Taylor en The Byrds. Die muziekstijlen lagen aan de oorsprong voor wat hij later zelf ging spelen en creëren. Beïnvloed door mensen als Loudon Wainwright en John Prine speelt hij voornamelijk folksongs met een verhaal. Andere invloeden die verwerkt worden in de songs zijn pop, blues en jazz. Als inspiratie voor zijn liedjes gebruikt hij vaak zijn echtgenote Laura met wie hij in de jaren tachtig naar Austin Texas verhuisde en er kennis maakte met lokale muzikanten als David Rodriguez, Jimmie LaFave en Joe Ely. Jim Heald stuurde ons onlangs ineens twee CD's toe, zijn eerste werk "Wings Of Time" uit 1997 en zijn nieuwste schijfje "Old Jalopy", samen goed voor 28 zelfgeschreven songs. Alhoewel er één nummer is dat hij tien jaar later nog eens herhaalt in een gemoderniseerde versie : "The Thorns That Guard The Rose", een nummer vol van symboliek. Dat komt overigens ook vaak voor in andere liedjes, zoals "Waiting For The Bombs To Fall", "Defenders Of The Forest", "The Psychologist Song" en "The Moon Is Shining Up Above". Jim Heald beschikt over een goede stem die weet te boeien en de aandacht van de luisteraar vast te houden, waardoor hij de boodschappen die hij in zijn teksten verwerkt moeiteloos weet over te brengen. Met de songs "The Thorns That Guard The Rose" en "I'm Not The One" werd Jim Heald twee keer genomineerd als finalist bij het Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk. Op het recentste schijfje "Old Jalopy" is er wat meer muzikale diversiteit te horen dan op "Wings Of Time". Zo is er een mix van jazz en blues in "Ginger & Fred" en in "Wristwatch", een vleugje country in de titelsong "Old Jalopy", een dosis fijnzinnige humor in "The Psychologist Song" en het spirituele lied "Don't You Know". Zelfs Carraïbische invloeden worden erbij gehaald in "Let's Get Away" en de liefde tussen Romeo en Julia wordt bezongen in "The Moon Is Shining". Voorts wordt nieuwe liefde, verloren liefde, het verlangen naar en het vinden van een nieuwe liefde, twijfels en verdriet bezongen in de diverse andere nummers. Kortom, voor elk wat wils. Jim Heald is een zanger met een uitstekende stem en mooi geselecteerde songs. Meer moet dat voor ons niet zijn.
Washington DC is the home of singer-songwriter Jim Heald who was born in New Jersey in the 1950’s. Initially he was more interested in drawing and painting and also sports. But he also listened in his youth to much music such as the Beatles, Paul Simon, James Taylor and The Byrds. Those musical styles layers continue to shape the music that he currently creates. He was also influenced by people such as Loudon Wainwright and John Prine as he plays mainly folk songs telling stories. Other influences which are evident in the songs include pop, blues and jazz. A frequent inspiration for his songs is his wife Laura. In the 1980’s they moved to Texas and he became acquainted with [the music of] local musicians such as David Rodriguez, Jimmie LaFave and Joe Ely.
Jim Heald recently sent us two CD's out of the blue, the first "Wings or Time" from 1997 and his newest disc "Old Jalopy", together 28 good self-penned songs. Although there is one number that he repeats ten years later in an updated version: "The Thorns That Guard The Rose", a number full of symbolism. Symbolism also occurs frequently in other songs, such as "Waiting For The Bombs To Fall", "Defenders of The Forest", "The Psychologist Song" and "The Moon is Shining Up Above".
Jim Heald has a good voice which will captivate and hold the attention of the listener, as a result of which he transmits the messages in his songs effortlessly. With the songs "The Thorns That Guard The Rose" and "I'm Not The One" Jim Heald was selected twice as a finalist at the Kerrville folk festival New Folk. On the most recent disc "Old Jalopy" there is more musical diversity than on "Wings or Time". There is a mix of jazz and blues "Ginger & Fred" and "Wristwatch", a touch of country in the title song "Old Jalopy", a little humor in "The Psychologist song" and the spiritual song "Don't You Know". There are even Caribbean influences in "Let's Get Away" and the love between Romeo and Juliet is told in "The Moon is Shining" [sic]. Additionally, there is love is lost, longed-for, and found, doubts and sorrow in the several other numbers. Jim Heald is a singer with an outstanding voice in well selected songs. There needn't be more than that (for us).
About 2-3 hours of original material (30-40 songs in current rotation)
Also, occasional covers of Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Michael Smith and other Chicago artists, Jimmy LaFave, David Rodriguez and other Austin Artists.
You may also catch him performing a wide variety of Classic Rock, including Jimmie Buffet, Santana, CSNY, James Taylor, Eagles, Van Morrison and other favorites.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.