At 25 years old, Jimmy Bowskill is a world class virtuoso. It is a line that you hear time and time again from his musical peers, many life long veterans of the music scene. His professional career started at age 11 when discovered by Jeff Healey. He has toured the world with The Jimmy Bowskill Band, has released 5 critically acclaimed albums and has shared the stage and billings with the likes of Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, Johnny Winter, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray, Bruce Cockburn etc.
I met Jimmy on a gig with Lou Moore and Alec Fraser. We quickly introduced ourselves to each other, talked for a few minutes, tuned our banjos, fiddles and mandolins and we got onstage. The band was on fire that night! The groove was perfect and fast was really fast!! Jimmy was amazing throughout! We had a great night of music, and made our bond based on a great night of musical conversation from opposite ends of the stage; eclipsed by the very planetary Alec Fraser and Lou Moore blocking our view of each other. We picked all night for a packed crowd and then Jimmy and I jammed for another half hour on two mandolins. We traded business cards and left it at that. That’s how much I know about Jimmy.
Cannonball Rag Promo Video by The Beauts featuring Jimmy Bowskill-Great Instrumental
Ice Covered Bridges Promo Video by The Beauts featuring Jimmy Bowskill-Great Harmonies
Jimmy Bowskill has taken a new turn in what has already been an amazing career. We all know the man can deliver hardcore Blues in a mainline to your soul. He’s Bonafide; recognized by a peers like Jeff Beck. That’s clear. Well, Jimmy’s now on to bluegrass. I guess I am not surprised. Blues and bluegrass have very certain roots.
The father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, developed his sound through his many family members and their music. When Bill was just old enough to venture off the property, he found Arnold Schultz, a black Bluesman who played the guitar and fiddle. Monroe spent many years working with Arnold Schultz, playing barn dances, and socials. Monroe, who would go on to fame as a mandolin player; performed on guitar while Schultz played fiddle. Schultz also taught Monroe a deep appreciation for the blues; clear evidence of the blues runs throughout Monroe’s hundreds of songs and tunes, his mandolin style and his singing. Blues and bluegrass grew up together. The two are inseparable.
Jimmy’s interest in bluegrass is to be expected. He already displays a lot of the same principles in his music that are essential in bluegrass. Having high standards for one’s timing, taste, and note choices will get you far in the bluegrass crowd. Like all good bluegrass pickers, he loves the melody and strives to make the words land in your lap when he takes a solo. His mandolin playing is riveting and free of any clichés. He understands the roots of it all, and he always respects the roots but it’s Jimmy making all the artistic choices. Of course he sings; and he loves the good bluegrass songs! It’s a sonic feast!
Hey Jimmy! You need a banjo picker, you give me call. Chris Quinn, Foggy Hogtown Boys – Oct 6, 2015.
I’ve been doing guest spots on Thursday nights for almost 20 years now and I feature sidemen and pickers as opposed to artists per say. When I got the opportunity to have Jimmy as my guest I was very excited.
His reputation as a premiere blues guitarist preceded him and I was looking forward to pickin’ with him. He certainly did not disappoint me and he was the stellar blues guitar/singer that I was told he was. As I usually do with my guests, we discussed music in between sets and he said he was very interested in bluegrass music. Well, that got my juices going because my background in music is a healthy exposure to playing bluegrass with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Byron Berline, Roland White and a host of others. I also played guitar for and toured with the Good Brothers over a five year period. So on his second visit, I insisted Jimmy bring his mandolin and we played bluegrass for a large part of the night and it was fantastic.
Jimmy can play the mandolin as well as anybody I’ve ever played with, including Ricky Skaggs and the rest. He can also sing the high tenor vocal part to the traditional Stanley Brothers, Jim and Jesse, Flatt and Scruggs, and in particular Bill Munroe songs. And he does it with uncanny authenticity.
Lately, I asked Jimmy to join me for a bluegrass night on a Thursday night at Colonel Mustard’s Bar and Grill in Newmarket, (where I play every Thursday night), and we were accompanied by the outstanding five string banjo player Chris Quinn and acoustic bass player Alec Fraser, (bassist for Jeff Healey) and the night was an overwhelming success. Even without rehearsal, it was a flawless and spontaneous evening of outstanding bluegrass music. The evening also featured Jimmy playing some fiddle with unbelievable taste and skill.
I am a huge fan of Jimmy as a musician. And would include him in the class of some of the very best bluegrass musicians I’ve ever played with (and I have played with some of the best!).
It may be the hardest genre of music to play right and Jimmy can certainly do that!
Lou Moore, one of Canada's Best Bluegrass Flat Pickers.
In Jim's own words....
Biggest mandolin influences would be John Duffey, Jesse McReynolds, and Ricky Scaggs.
Working with Paul Reddick for Festival and club bookings, TV and radio interviews/performances and general management. Send us a message through our contact link at the bottom left of our web page.
Paul is available for bookings as either a duo or with a full band depending on your needs and your budget. Thanks, we look forward to working with you!
Working with Jimmy Bowskill in all forms of management and bookings. TV and radio interviews/appearances. Session work, soundtracks and sideman work.
Jimmy is quite possibly the most talented and diversified players on the Roots and Blues scene, mastering a number of instruments from electric to acoustic guitars, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel and stand up bass and he has perfect pitch powerful vocals.
Send us a message through our contact link at the bottom left of our web page. Jimmy is a very deversified musician who likes to work on a number of projects. Send us your ideas.
Thanks, we look forward to working with you!
Jimmy Bowskill Bio
Jimmy Bowskill started playing guitar at age 10. When he was 11 years old he was discovered by Jeff Healey. Jimmy was busking out front of Jeff‘s place when his band members Alec Fraser (bass player for Healey, Wilcox and producer for Electro-Fi Records) and Jerome Godboo (Canada‘s journeyman Blues Harp Player) told Jeff you gotta get this kid on stage. That was the beginning of Jim‘s professional career. Alec went on to produce Jim‘s next two releases which took the Blues world by storm. Nobody could believe an 11 year old kid could sing and play the Blues with such power and conviction.
Among the fans of Jimmy‘s first releases was Muddy Waters‘ drummer and Blues legend Willie “Big Eyes“ Smith. I was speaking with Willie at a Blues festival when I told him I worked with Jim. His reply was “Man, I still listen to that tribute to Robert Johnson album. I put it on just the other day, it‘s great man“. Another one of Jim’s fans was Blues Legend Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitarist. After listening to Jim’s second release “Soap Bars and Dog Ears” Hubert said “He (Jim) is the real deal. That kids got it”. By the time he was 21, Jim had 5 critically acclaimed releases under his belt.
Germany and Europe have always done well for The Jimmy Bowskill Band, his power Blues/Rock trio, consistently selling out theatres and venues. Requests come in on a daily basis for Jim to return to Europe.
Jim now plays a number of instruments at a highly skilled professional level including electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin (he now has a world class Bluegrass band together called “The Beauts”), pedal steel, violin and viola and stand up gut string bass. Studebaker John (Chicago journeyman Blues Guitarist who learned from Hound Dog Taylor and was picked up by the reforming Yardbirds as their guitarist in the 90‘s) hired Jim last minute to play Stand Up Bass at a festival when his bassist could not make the gig. Jim came in cold, no rehearsal or warning and nailed the gig, it was an incredible thing to see. Afterwards John said “man, that kid may be a Blues guitarist and singer/songwriter, but damn man, he is a bass player!”
On top of all this, Jimmy has perfect pitch powerful vocals. I have never seen him use a tuner to tune any of his instruments. His powerful vocals alone could award Jim a strong career, but he just happens to be one of the best (if not the best) multi instrumentalists on the Roots and Blues scenes today (when he opened for Dr. John, he did an amazing solo piano set). He has the kind of talent that can make one jealous, but he is such a humble person that you are left feeling that he has just shared this incredible gift with you, no ego, just a drive to play music non stop and share it with as many people as he can.
When it all comes down to it, with the number of different bands and projects that he is involved with, from his straight ahead Blues Band “The Barnburners” to his world class Bluegrass Band “The Beauts”, to his incredible solo show which features a number of different instruments, to his Rockabilly Band The Lohrwoods, it is his Power Blues/Rock Trio that has given him the most success and keeps people and Jim himself returning for more and more.
Opened and shared the stage with...
Jeff Beck, Dickie Betts (Allman Brothers), Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Cockburn, Robert Cray, Deep Purple, Colin Linden, Colin James, Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company), Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Wishbone Ash, ZZ Top and the list goes on and on. He has played Canada’s Montreal Jazz Fest and Mont Tremblant Blues Fest to record breaking crowds.
There is a famous story about an open jam session at the Southside Shuffle, one of Canada’s biggest Blues Festivals. Willie “Big Eyes” Smith was hanging out with Bob Stroger-Bass player and singer/songwriter for Otish Rush, Jimmy Rogers etc. Being fans of Jimmy, they grabbed him up and proceeded to take over the jam session for the next two hours. It was one of the highlights of the festival. Jim was 15 at the time.
Television, Radio and Print interviews and appearances of note:
Jim has been interviewed dozens of times over the years, made several TV appearances and has many articles written about him. He has appeared on Breakfast Televison, Zed TV, was featured on CBC’s “Sounds Like Canada” with Shelagh Rogers and toured with Stuart McClean’s famous “Vinyl Café”.
More recently Jim was featured in “Healey’s Hideaway”, a televised documentary on Jeff Healey’s famous venue in Toronto. He was also interviewed for the televised event of Jeff’s induction into Canada’s “Walk of Fame” and played Healey's guitar parts for a medley to celebrate Jeff at the Walk of Fame ceremony.
Jim was featured on the Television series “Guitar Picks” interviewed here by Kim Mitchell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi079HVlvxI
Guitar Player Magazine (The most respected magazine of it’s kind in the world) did an article on “Four New Electric Players of Note” and of course, Jim was one of them. Read the article at…http://www.guitarplayer.com/miscellaneous/1139/four-new-electric-players-of-note/22699
Quotes and Press:
Canada’s Youngest Juno Nominee ever. Jim has won a number of Blues Awards, Music Awards and Maple Blues Awards.
"I played with him at this big festival in Canada called 'Nakusp.' He's got a great feel. He reminds me of Paul Kossoff [Free], who we sadly lost all those years ago. He's almost the spitting image of him which is incredible."…Paul Rodgers, leader of Free, Bad Company, singer for Queen and The Paul Rodgers Band
“Great Guitar playing with a lot of feeling and expression in all styles from ZZ Top inspired Blues/ Rock to Peter Green, his country “finger pickin” or Power Rock.”…Guitar Magazine
“He plays in the top league with Peter Green, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jeff Healey”…Breakout Magazine, Germany“
The potential for big success is existing and Blues/Rock is in need for flesh blood”…Slam Magazine, Germany
“Bowskill has developed into one of this country's most versatile roots and blues musicians. Not only is he a gifted guitar player, but he is equally as comfortable on the mandolin and fiddle (as well as other instruments, I don't let him near the piano!). Did I mention he sings like a bird as well? What a talent!”…Lance Anderson, Juno Award Winning producer, keyboardist and associate of Oscar Peterson.
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