ABOUT JIM VEGAS
JIM VEGAS was born and raised in Colorado. First learning to play the guitar after hearing a B.B. King album as a teenager, his world was soon filled with pictures painted with sound by artists such as Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, Kenny Burrell, Albert King, Morphine, Howlin’ Wolf, Miles Davis, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and countless others.
Through years of instruction, (a brief stint at Berklee School of Music in Boston, and later classical studies at CSU in Fort Collins, Co) live performance & practice, Mr. Vegas has become adept in many different musical styles and on several traditional instruments (guitar, bass, harmonica), as well as some not so widely used (dobro bass, bullhorn, his dog Sandman’s vocals). While constantly striving for good musicianship, he has always considered songwriting to be a more important craft than technical acrobatics. In fact, his music is as influenced by writers and poets as it is by the masters of American music.
JIM VEGAS began to make a name for himself during and after college in the mid 90’s while touring the Southwest with a 12-piece funk band CALAMARI SAFARI and later with the rock-noir band Budhi Brown. Often described as a soundtrack to a film noir, BUDHI BROWN settled in Los Angeles and for the next 5 years built a strong cult following through live performance, music videos, songs featured on MTV reality shows & CD releases.
While in L.A. Jim also worked to develop his music business & production skills working as a music co-coordinator at Soundtrack Music Associates (A talent agency for composers scoring films), Guitar Center (where he got his b level pro audio certification, and a priceless tour of Bob Clearmountain’s home studio), and through regular contact with local bands & poets producing for them in his studio.
After 6 years in L.A., Jim wanted to leave the glitz of entertainment industry centered Hollywood behind, and felt a pull to move closer to the blues tradition that has influenced him. He made the journey cross-country to Chicago, where he performed and wrote music for several years.
Jim moved to Wichita Ten years ago where he continues to hone the craft of songwriting, and blues/jazz guitar playing. His debut album “Strange World” ,released in 2013 to rave reviews, was a mix of original material and covers from Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and T-Bone Walker. He has since followed that release with 6 albums, the latest of which "Shakedown City" will drop on Sept. 16 2022.
Jim continues to gain fans and accolades from performances in support of the albums at concert halls, nightclubs, weddings, bookstores, film & music festivals, botanical Gardens and more.
ABOUT SHAKEDOWN CITY
"Imagine Mose Allison on steroids and a few too many cups of coffee having a jam session with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers" says Jim Vegas, cracking a smile while describing his new record "Shakedown City". The new collection of tunes are firmly planted in the territory Vegas has become known for: the intersection of Blues, Jazz, and Rock & Roll.
The record is drenched in energy and originality, and finds Jim and his band with a fire in the belly to convey the messages contained in the 12 song set. From the opening track "I Won't Let You Fall" it is obvious this band isn't playing around. Rarely do you find a record with this much vibe, paying homage to the music of the past, but clearly planted in the modern day.
The clever songwriting is enhanced by the brilliant saxophone playing of Luke Young, and grooving rhythm of Philip Holmes on drums, with Aaron Diller providing the low end on a bass that growls.
In Jim's musical world there are only 2 styles of music: Good & Bad. Beyond that, there is no descrimination. The record seamlessly intergrates blues , rock and jazz influences on tunes like "I Won't Let You Fall" and "Before I Am Gone", art rock of bands like Los Lobos or The Talking Heads on "Shakedown City" and "Jack Dorsey", the late night stylings of Tom Waits or Mose Allison on "That's The Way It Feels" and even reggae, dub, and world beat influences show up on "I Know What I Know" and "Gonna Change The World"
Listening to the record, one can imagaine Tom Waits & Keith Richards knocking back a good whiskey and smoking cigars in the back of a lincoln limousine with Otis Rush, Donald Fagan, and Tom Petty.
Jim Vegas & his band The Highrollers have stumbled upon a sound that is all their own and their 7th record captures them strutting with swagger and swinging with purpose.