Bar Time Lovers

In 2014 the Madison Area Music Association gave Jim a lifetime achievement award for songwriting, the only such award ever given to a living songwriter. Jim followed it by releasing Bar Time Lovers, a collection of new original songs (some with co-writers) focused on the honky-tonk situation – these stories take place at the intersection of romance and alcohol. His usual sly humor and occasional pathos are still there in a variety of musical settings ranging from solo acoustic to full band. Jim called in some of his favorite playing partners – fiddle and mandolin player Chris Wagoner, bassist and ‘cellist Mary Gaines, drummer Ethan Noordyk, and Jim’s favorite dual guitar partner, the late Chris Aaron – along with pedal steel ace Leroy Deuster. There are three boy/girl duets sung with three different counterparts.

Bart-Time-Lovers_backStandouts among the 15 new songs: “Goose and Gander” explores a man’s rationalization for exploring extramarital opportunities and his wife’s reaction. In “Blues for Haley” a man falls in love with a stripper. The jazzy “Perfect Match” concerns on-line dating while “Dia de Muertos” chronicles mescal-fueled romance with a tongue-in-cheek Tex-Mex polka. “The Phone Call” details the most pathetic barroom phone call to an ex you’ll ever hear, “Mary Magdalena” describes a wet dream of a party girl, and the haunting “Last Call” finds its poor protagonist hearing those words one too many times.  “Make Believe” won the Madison Area Music Association award for best country song of the year.