Jim picked up the melodeon in 1964, for a fiver in a Twickenham junkshop, and has played DG box ever since. He learned a lot from the great London Irish players, as well as his involvement in the Marsden Inn folk club in South Shields, which had such important guests as Margaret Barry, The McPeake family, Willie Scott the Border shepherd, and Matt McGinn. He's picked up songs, ancient and modern, over the years, and has made a living in the pubs of West Cork in the nineties, as well as running a goat farm with his wife Francie, a grand spoons player.
A Geordie by birth, he's lived in London, Kent, Ireland and Scotland, as well as spending a few years in the Canary Islands. So his repertoire is varied and eclectic and he's played all over these islands as well as around Europe.
He is well known in pubs, clubs and Seamens' missions for 40 years (and the rest!). He made some gramophone records (!) but more recent CDs include - The Drunken Billy Goat (1998) with Patrick Forester - reissued 2011 - Lights on the River (2004) and Galloway House (2008). Another is in the pipeline...
Jim is a regular contributor to The Living Tradition magazine writing many articles, reviews and opinion pieces.