top of page



Fun AJ facts:


First musical inspirations were syndicated country music TV shows like “Midwestern Hayride” and “The Porter Wagoner Show,” as well as the popular “folk music” artists of the early 1960’s--The Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, etc.


Finding records and musical instruments in my hometown was catch as catch can. I bought my first guitar in a tire store, where it was in a display case next to a used prom dress.  A lot of my first record collection came from cutout bins at gas stations and drug stores.


Once, when I was around 20, I felt the call of the road and started hitch-hiking across the country, carrying nothing but a backpack and a cheap guitar in a cardboard case. I got about as far as eastern Montana before I got tired of sleeping under roadside picnic tables and washing up in gas station restrooms, and pointed my thumb homeward.


My main gig for most of my adult life has been teaching English to college students--a fulfilling if not-all-that-colorful occupation. But for a short time in my younger years I played pedal steel in a band that was typically booked into bucket-of-blood clubs around the rural Midwest. During that time I played behind chicken-wire screens as depicted in “The Blues Brothers” movie, and once saw a guy shot on the dance floor, not ten feet away from where I was positioned on the bandstand.


Despite having played music most of my life, I was fairly late getting into a “real” recording studio with my music. I liked to joke that it was a race between finishing my first solo album and getting my Medicare card, and the Medicare card won. But the album was not far behind, and the release show for it is coming up on April 25, at The Aster Café in Minneapolis.  So see ya there, I hope!


online stuff: (some full-length song demos, solo gig schedule, photos) (more full-length song demos, some archival recordings) (official page for my main band, Wilkinson James; photos, downloads, band gig schedule)  (Facebook artist page, contact information, event notices)

bottom of page