Jim Boggia
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Jim Boggia

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


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Jim Boggia:
Safe In Sound
Jim Boggia 2005

Fidelity is the Enemy
Jim Boggia 2001

Oxfam Asian Tsunami Relief Fund
Jim Boggia 2004

Transistorized 220 Volume 2
Jim Boggia 2003

4 Sketches
Jim Boggia 2002

Jim Boggia 2002

Transistorized 220
Jim Boggia 2001

Tragical Blistery Lure
Jim Boggia 2001

Boggia's old band, 4 WAY STREET:

Pretzel Park
4 Way Street 2003



Things Here Sound Different
Jim Boggia 2002

Grape Street Pub Vol. II
Jim Boggia 2002

It's About Christmas
Jim Boggia 2001

It's About Music
Jim Boggia 2001

Y Not Sampler
Jim Boggia 2000

Jim Boggia 1997

Performed on:
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"
Bernadette Peters 1996

Boomschlang Viper Story

Jaci Velasquez
s/t 1998

Songs From Stamford Hill
Wood 1999

In Case I'm Gone Tommorrow
Ben Arnold 2001

Beuatiful Creature
JUliana Hatfield 2001

Five FOr Freddy
Mia Johnson and Hoagy 2001

Joseph Parsons
s/t 2001

Looks Like Up
John Trian 2001

The Way I am
Jennifer Knapp 2001

Bootleg Series #3
McGowen 2003

Jill Sobule XMas Record 2001
Jill Sobule 2001

It's OK I can Sleep At Work
Stargazer Lily 1999

Kevin Hanson 2001

Through The Looking Glass
Marykate O'Neil 2000

Single "Live The Proof" from the album SAFE IN SOUND is currently being worked at college, Triple A and Non Comm radio.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Safe In Sound could be the title of Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Jim Boggia’s life story, not just the name of his bluhammock music debut. As he often likes to explain to reporters, “I’ve been told that I was singing melodies before I started speaking words, and I started playing the guitar when I was five. I have no conception of a life before music.” Jim is the kind of hyper-kinetic guy who may never need an iPod because he’s already got instant recall of practically every song he’s ever heard and loved. Like a digital player permanently set in shuffle mode, he accesses riffs and rhymes with a sort of free-associative glee. At a recent acoustic gig, he managed to interpolate Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” into the middle of one of his own tunes; flirt with the hook of a sappy Chicago super-hit from the seventies; ably pluck out a verse of “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” on the guitar; and lecture the rapt audience on the origins of “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.” (For the record, mysterious pop band Klaatu cut the track first, then the Carpenters turned it into a bizarre quasi-hit. Who knew.)

Jim’s unabashed love for pop music of all sorts – the cool, the classic, the corny – informs his own meticulously constructed, immediately engaging songs. But he’s more than just a facile craftsman; his songs are deeper, sometimes darker and more seriously romantic than his pop-trivia playfulness might suggest. Once you’ve finished admiring his vintage-sounding arrangements, you can start appreciating the very contemporary emotions he’s describing. Like his friend and occasional collaborator Aimee Mann, with whom he co-wrote the opening track “Shine,” Jim’s an exceptionally smart songwriter with an eye and ear for affecting details. “Where’s the Party?” a cautionary tale about rock star-style overindulgence that features Mann on background vocals, unfolds with the careful economy of a short story. Jim recounts various late-night misadventures with a morning-after matter-of-factness that makes his rueful lyrics all the more compelling. For such an affable guy, Jim’s especially good with the bittersweet stuff. “Slowly” combines to haunting effect Smiley Smile-era Beach Boy harmonies with layers of moody modern electronics. “Supergirl,” which follows, is a gentle heartbreaker, consisting of just vocals, guitar, gorgeous French horn and a lingering air of melancholy. He segues from that into an extended audio clip of “a wicked thunderstorm,” as he recalls it, recorded on the porch of the big old house he just vacated in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, his adopted home.

Jim is pretty remarkable with the upbeat material, too. “Live the Proof,” the first song released to radio, pairs an inspirational, no-time-to-lose message with an impossible-to-resist chorus. “Made Me So Happy,” which features guest vocalist Jill Sobule, was obviously written by an Elvis Costello fan, but the furious word play is unadulterated Boggia; it’s the kind of 2 and 1/2 minute pop rocker that sends you flying for the replay button. “Underground” initially comes off as a cheerfully raucous rocker; listen more closely, however, and you’ll discover it’s a rapid-fire retelling of the real-life saga of former Weather Underground fugitive Bernadine Dohrn. MC 5 guitarist Wayne Kramer guest stars on the track, and, as Jim notes in his chatty, self-penned song credits, Kramer “was there when it happened, brothers and sisters, and was kind enough to provide a testimonial…and blistering lead guitar.” Jim also managed to convince reclusive seventies pop legend Emitt Rhodes to add Beatle-esque background vocals to the lovely, happy-sad “Let Me Believe (Evan’s Lament),” which Rhodes also co-wrote. Again, Jim adds a colorful footnote in the credits: “Emitt Rhodes has to sing the background vocals he feels…he has to feel the background vocals he sings. Oh, and he did.” (Don’t hesitate to read while you listen; the album credits are an essential, and very entertaining, part of the Boggia experience.)

In Philadelphia, Jim is already a local hero on the live music scene, thanks to his membership in the ad-hoc super-group 4 Way Street, which consists of Jim and three other city stars: Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin and Joseph Parsons. The quartet first got together informally at an open mic event, then regrouped in 2001 to perform at a one-off event for taste-making radio station WXPN, which has long been a Boggia supporter. The reception from Philly fans was so enthusiastic that the foursome, all of them superb harmony singers as well as songwriters, began playing on a semi-regular basis and in 2003 released a well-received album, Pretzel Park. They’d recorded it in front parlor of that Manayunk house Jim shared with his girlfriend, band-mate Arnold, a posse of cats and various other humans – as well as assorted touring musicians who found a welcoming crash pad whenever they passed through town. One of Jim’s