Jim Tolles plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo and bass, and sings. A former Capitol and Rounder recording artist, his specialty is writing and arranging roots-based music, and he teaches music near Bath, Maine.
Over the last 40 years as a full-time musician and music teacher, highlights of Jim's work include:
~ Writer of the title track of Skyline's album Late to Work (Flying Fish Records); Chip Renner, writer for All Music Guide, notes, "Featuring banjoist Tony Trischka, Skyline helped pioneer the newgrass sound in the '80s, combining a bluegrass/country blend with strong songs and tight harmonies."
~ Guitarist and singer-songwriter with Breakfast Special (Rounder Records), with band members Richard Crooks, Kenny Kosek, Roger Mason, Stacy Phillips, Andy Statman and Tony Trischka, described as "one of the true supergroups of bluegrass" by The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. Jim's performances with this group included Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center and all major bluegrass festivals in the Northeast. Liner notes for the self-titled 1977 album are here.
~ Guitarist, Tony Trischka's album Bluegrass Light (Rounder Records)
~ Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with Goose Creek Symphony, including their hit album Words of Earnest (Capitol Records), on which Jim played mandolin, as well as twin fiddles on "Mercedes Benz" (which was #1 hit single in about every major city in the Southeast). His concert appearances with Goose Creek Symphony included The Troubador in Los Angeles and Central Park in Manhattan.
~ Guitarist in a five-month national tour of the broadway musical "The Robber Bridegroom," and featured musician for the production's run at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C.
~ Author of The Fiddle Primer book and DVD
~ Jim Tolles' self-produced albums of traditional and original compositions include: Magic Truck String Band's Voyage of the Magic Truck (old-time and contra dance music) and Jim Tolles and Magic Truck's Hard For To Love (old-time music).
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