CONTACT:
Ph: 330.399.5114
jim@jimgolen.com

BIO

 

Beginnings

Born in 1960, Jim grew up in Warren, Ohio, and was playing guitar & piano by the age of 10.  Beginning with a few formal lessons, he quickly took to relying on his natural ear for music and soon became self-taught.  His early teens were spent hidden away in a bedroom with his instruments & records, resulting in some very mature chops on both guitar & keys.  As a high school freshman, Jim was recruited to be the guitarist for KSU Trumbull Theatreís production of Godspell, playing alongside older, seasoned musicians.  And while at JFK in Warren, he formed his first band, Tower, with classmate & now local restaurant icon Chook Alberini.

Bands

Jim first performed professionally in 1979 with the band Sideshow, making his mark on a very vibrant local music scene as a dynamic & entertaining guitarist.

A year later, Jim set out to form his pet project, Triad.  This trioís drummer/lead-singer, Steve Koleszar, had an exceptional voice that allowed the band to perform much of the popular, vocally demanding hard-rock of the day including Journey, Boston, & Rush, plus a mix of progressive rock like Genesis, ELP, & Kansas, that utilized Jimís keyboards.  The band was unique, entertaining, solid-sounding, & well received by audiences.  Jim found a great amount of satisfaction with the realization of this outfit, which heíd been foreseeing for a long time.

That first incarnation of Triad split for a period as other interests temporarily took one of the members in another direction.  Jim returned to Sideshow during this time, and got his first taste of being on the road when the band traveled to Florida for an extended series of gigs.

Triad reformed in late í81 with a renewed passion, and a new connection with Cleveland-based booking agency, Energy Talent & Solar Management.  Triad became a steady opening act for the agencyís premiere act, Love Affair; a veteran Cleveland band with a large stage production and two original albums that had seen regional success.  Triad found themselves playing high-profile clubs in Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus in front of large enthusiastic audiences, and they were gaining a lot of recognition.  That relatively brief period remains to be Jimís most fond experience of all time as a musician and performer.  Ironically, in a devastating blow only months later, the agency convinced Koleszar to front another one of their bands, and Jimís pet project was history.

Rebounding quickly, Jim landed a spot in the band Soujourn out of New Castle, PA.  He found this rock cover band (with female lead vocalist) to be a refreshingly enjoyable experience.  Talented & good-hearted people, ultra-low conflict & drama, and consistantly fun gigs made it easy to roll with.

Only 6 months later, in yet another ironic twist, Jim was asked to join the band Love Affair.  His dilemma pitted being comfortable where he was at against the opportunity to advance to another level with a band that was well-equipped, well-connected, and seemingly on their way.  But it would also mean getting involved with the very agency that was responsible for the demise of Triad.

Deciding to take the offer, Jim joined Love Affair in January of í83.  He recorded a 10-song album with the band for RCA/Dream Records, working with producer Barry Mraz (Styx), and toured with the outfit for the next 2 years.  Many highs & lows were taken away from this experience, but mostly, Jimís synopsis contends that the agency was once again responsible for poor & catastrophic decisions.  Love Affair disbanded in the Spring of í85.

New Direction

In the fall of í85, Jim began performing with an acoustic guitar duo and expanded his role as a lead vocalist.  He also enrolled at KSU Trumbull in the computer science program, which would prove to be a positive move in many ways.

Jim also took on a diverse role in the summer of í86 when old band mates Bill Scudier & Sideshow were in need of a bass player.  In addition to bass guitar, Jim also played left-hand keyboard bass over right-hand traditional keys, which brought a fuller sound to the otherwise basic trio format.  The "experimental" idea turned into a steady gig for the next several years.

Jim first performed solo in March of Ď88 with a mix of pure acoustic guitar, keyboards, and a few backing-track-supported songs, which also marked his initial venture into the one-man-band concept.  He landed some steady weekly appearances that helped him gain confidence & momentum, and gradually added electric guitar and more high-energy music to his show.

New Opportunity

In the summer of Ď90, Jim became employed in the field of video production for local industry, making instructional, documentary, and sales presentations.  His work with up-and-coming technologies and the use of his creative aptitudes were both very appealing aspects of the job.  Plus, demand for the service was high and the pay very worthwhile.  Jim even came to invest in a fair amount of video equipment of his own and basically became self-employed.

The video job was Jimís main focus throughout the 90ís, but the environment would eventually change.  A very large percentage of his steady work was for Delphi Packard Electric in Warren, OH, and when operations began to relocate south (around the year 2000), so did the work.  Heíd established a few clients outside of Delphi, but what was once demanding, full-time work was now becoming very part-time.  Technology was also continuously making it easier for anyone to produce & distribute video, which also diminished the opportunities.  With the decline in video work, Jim began to re-focus his attention back on performing music.

Back On Board

Jimís musical endeavors had taken somewhat of a backseat during the 90ís, but he still continued to play a light schedule of gigs during that time, and also continued to develop his voice, instruments, & the one-man-band concept.  He became proficient at generating backing-tracks and expanded his song catalog to include an eclectic mixture of styles.

In the early 2000ís, he discovered a renewed ambition & desire to perform his music, and realized there were many new & untapped venues with opportunities to showcase his act.  Finding his way into the circuit of wineries around NE Ohio was one very positive development.  Jim found the patrons at these venues to be especially interested & appreciative, and his selection of music seems to hit a particular chord with that audience.

Around 2004, Jim would change-up his act in one significant way.  Keyboards had always played a role in his live-performance ventures, and were originally a part of the solo show.  But now he saw both logistic & artistic reasons to eliminate them, including the often-limited setup spaces, and his preference to be a mobile/active performer.  Guitar had always been his first love & passion, and he felt that his six-string playing offered something significant to be appreciated.  Thus, Jim made his act an exclusive guitar-based show.

The guitar-centric performance has continued to develop into a very eclectic and uniquely entertaining attraction.  Jim now considers himself ďall-inĒ as an entertainer; calling music his job and career.  He is currently finishing up his first CD of original songs and already performing that material at his live shows.  He continues to branch out and establish himself at various wineries, taverns, & special events throughout NE Ohio & Western PA, and enjoys a growing fan-base that has generated many new friendships.

Married since 1991, Jim is ever grateful to his wife, Lynn, for all her love and support, and for being content with an aspiring-artist lifestyle.

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