One listen to his latest album “Rock N Roll Ain’t Cheap” (Goonzy Magoo Records) clearly testifies that music is as necessary for JIM VEGAS as food or oxygen. JIM VEGAS’ music brings a unique voice to Contemporary Blues/Jazz music, evoking the same emotional energy & vibe of these genres, while not using traditional forms as a crutch.
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 five 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 followed that release with “The Bullfight is In Our Heads” in 2014, and the most recent “Rock N Roll Ain’t Cheap” surfaced in 2015.
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.