American guitarist Jimmy Herring is a musician’s musician. The North Carolina native has been playing guitar for close to 40 years and exhibits signs that he’s just getting started. A staple in the Jazz Fusion and Jam Band scene, Herring studied guitar at Berklee College of Music and the Guitar Institute of Technology. His playing style melds the influences of Jimi Hendrix’s raw emotion, the twang of Steve Morse, and the flowing phrases of jazz legends Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.
Herring was the founding member of seminal band Col Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit along with Jeff Sipe, Oteil Burbridge, Matt Mundy and Bruce Hampton himself. In 1997 he joined Butch Trucks, Derek Trucks, John Popper, Kofi Burbridge, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones to form Frogwings after which he joined Jazz is Dead with Billy Cobham, Alphonso Johnson, T Lavitz. Jimmy was asked to join the legendary Phil Lesh as a part of his band which continued for good part of the decade. During his tenure there, he was asked to join the The Other Ones, the project that comprised of Grateful Dead members. During this time Jimmy also founded Project Z, an experimental instrumental trio with close friends Jeff Sipe and Ricky Keller. The band released two records under their name, the self-titled album in 2000 and Lincoln Memorial (Abstract Logix) in 2006
After the death of much loved and revered guitarist Mike Houser, Widespread Panic asked Jimmy to become a full time member. Jimmy continues to perform as the full time lead guitarist of the band to date.
Herring is featured on more than twenty records, and incredible has only released two solo records. In 2008, the humble guitarist broke away from working as a sideman with the release of his first solo endeavor Lifeboat (Abstract Logix). The highly melodic album boasts a personal side of Jimmy, unseen in his previous projects. With Lifeboat, Herring explored several styles of the Jazz and Fusion genre. Whether it was on his soulful, diminished blues, “Scapegoat Blues”, his passionate ballad “New Moon”, that reveals his Dregs influence, or his arrangement of the Disney classic the “Jungle Book Overture”, Herring was sure to share the sonic stage with his fellow musicians. The album showcased Jimmy’s writing and playing skills beyond his domain and became a favorite of his ardent fans as well as new fans like John McLaughlin, Chick Corea among others.
Jimmy second solo release Subject to Change Without Notice (Abstract Logix 2012), is a record that pushes Herring’s music to another level. Produced the legendary John Keane, Herring again surrounds himself with close friends to make a strong, uninhibited record featuring mostly all originals as well as rousing covers of Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Hope, George Harrison’s Within You, Without You and Jimmy McGriff’s Miss Poopie. It is obvious that Herring creates music simply out of love and respect for music. Herring demonstrates, without doubt, that his music and playing ability are continually growing, and that his music will thrill fans and fellow musicians alike.
Jimmy Herring will be extensively touring in 2012 in support of his new album.
Jeff Sipe (Drums)
Jeff Sipe, AKA “The Apartment Q-258″ was born in Berlin, Germany in 1959. Jeff’s family moved frequently in his youth while his father worked for the United States government. After a short stint in the D.C. area, Jeff’s family moved back to Germany. This is where Jeff learned to play drums while in junior high. In 1975, Jeff’s first stepping stone was attending the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music.
After two years of hard work Jeff’s dream finally came true when he was accepted to Berklee in 1977. While at Berklee, Jeff studied under Bob Kaufman and Bill Norine, he attended clinics given by Alan Dawson and was taken under by his mentor Lee Venters. Jeff was lucky enough to attend Berklee with an impressive cast of musicians like Branford Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern and Jeff Watts, just to name a few. Jeff actually played in a wedding band with Victor Bailey and started his first fusion band with Steve Vai and Baron Brown. This experience turned Jeff on to a wide open world of music and gave him valuable tools that he still carries with him today.
After his stay in Boston, Jeff moved to Atlanta in 1983. There he began teaching at the Atlanta Institute for Music and at a popular hang out for Atlanta drummers, Atlanta Drums and Percussion. Jeff spent time sitting in with local musicians and was introduced to Bruce Hampton through Dan Wall, a keyboardist that he had been playing with…..and that’s the rest of the story. It seemed too fitting that their first meeting took place at a wedding because not only was there a marriage there was a wedding of vast musical intention. Jeff then asked Oteil Burbridge and Jimmy Herring to sit in on this free willed musical band wagon and the Aquarium Rescue Unit was born.
In 1996, Jeff met up with Swedish-born bass extraordinaire Jonas Hellborg and the Memphis guitar monster Shawn Lane. The result was an assimilation of conversational style fusion music which would turn out to be some of Jeff’s greatest musical moments. Over the years, Jeff has spent time on many projects. He has worked with Bryon Lopes, Neil Fountain, Chief Jim Billy, Jonathan Townes and John Medeski. Jeff even took on his own creation known as the Zambiland Orchestra. This experimental big band featured members of Phish, Widespread Panic, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Crew, the Derek Trucks Band, the Fiji Mariners and many others.
Even more recently Jeff teamed up with long time friend and guitar maniac Jimmy Herring on a project known as Z, that’s Project Z to most. Together with fellow Atlantian producer/musician Ricky Keller and mega organ/keyboardist Oliver Wells, Project Z recorded a self titled debut album filled with juicy fusionisk tunes that gathered praise from all realms. Since then a second Project Z has been released as well as Jeff’s solo release “Timeless” featuring Paul Hanson, Derek Jones, Jason Crosby, Kofi Burbridge, Count ‘M Butu and Derek Trucks. Jeff and his family now live in the North Carolina Mountains.
Jeff has also played with, toured with and or recorded with:
Bela Fleck, Phil Lesh, the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Mike Stern, Howard Levy, Neal Young, Stephen Stills, Percy Sledge, Felix Cavileri, Trey Anistasio Band, Sam Bush, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Joan Osborn, Jazz is Dead, Paul McCandles, Mike Kang, Leftover Salmon, Keller Williams, Hellborg Lane Sipe, Greg Osby, Ike Stubblefield, Bruce Hampton, George Porter, Eugene Chadbourne, The Zambiland Orchestra, Grease Factor, The Pisgah Pickers, Paul Hanson, Project Z, Jimmy Herring Band, Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet, The Apartment Projects, Craig Erickson, T Lavitz, Jeff Sipe Trio, Shannon Whitworth, Debashish Batacharya, Dan Wall, Taj Mahal, Waylon Jennings, Dell Mc Coury, Lucinda Williams, Art Lande, Shane Theriot, WZ, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Adam Nitti, and many many more!
Matt Slocum (Piano and Keyboards)
Matt Slocum was born in 1974 in Newton, MA. At the age of 8, he began his formal classical training at the South Shore Conservatory of Music in Boston. At 14 Matt moved to Alabama where he applied and was accepted to the Alabama School of Fine Arts. In the summer of 1991, he attended the Berklee College of Music Summer Performance Program, and was rated among the top 10 in the program. Matt is most well know for his work with Susan Tedeschi, Jimmy Herring, The Lee Boys and “Oteil and the Peacemakers”. The Peacmakers is the solo project of world-renowned Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge.
Matt has has performed on the Conan O’Brian Show and had the pleasure of working with, touring and/or recording with artists such as: Oteil Burbridge, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmy Herring, The Aquarium Rescue Unit, B.B. King, John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, Gary Husband, Natalie Cole, Lenny White, Wayne Krantz, Matt Garrison, James Hunter, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen, Ron Holloway, The Allman Brothers, producer George Drakoulias, DJ Logic, George Porter Jr., The Wailers, Derek Trucks, The Lee Boys, Tal Wilkenfeld, Page McConnell, Butch Trucks, Chuck Leavell, Jeff Sipe, Kofi Burbridge, Victor Wooten, John Popper, Jack Pearson, Hot Tuna, Victor Atkins, David Stoltz, Chris Fryar, Mark Kimbrell, Col. Bruce Hampton and the Code Talkers.
Matt is featured on these most recent albums : **Jimmy Herring’s solo album “Lifeboat” released on Abstract Logix records. **Susan Tedeschi’s Grammy Nominated album – “Back To The River” released on Verve records. **The New Universe Music Festival (2disc) released on Abstract Logix Records. **Carlos Pino and the Smokin’ Newport’s – album “Basement Bargains” released on I.K.E.
Neal Fountain (Bass)
Hailing from the musical hotbed of Athens, GA, 32 year-old Neal Fountain has been playing professionally from the age of 14. Best known as a sideman to prominent local fixtures Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Fiji Mariners and drumming phenom Jeff Sipe (aka Apt Q258), Neal’s name is on the short list of greater Atlanta’s finest musicians.
Outside of Georgia, Neal remains a relative unknown, even after his band was named Local Jazz Outfit of the Year from Atlanta’s Creative Loafing Magazine and receiving very healthy reviews from allaboutjazz.com., jambands.com, 52nd Street jazz, Bass Player, Bass Frontiers, and Relix Magazine.
In 1999, he released , “Megaphone Man”, the debut of his whack power trio by the same name that bravely consisting of bass, sax and drums. In 1995 he released a CD called “Glossolalia”, a biblical term for “speaking in tongues”, that featured a then relatively unknown Jon Medeski on organ and other keyboards, and a post Aquarium Rescue Unit, pre-Leftover Salmon (but phishy nonetheless) Jeff Sipe (probably better-known by the handle given to him by Colonel Bruce Hampton- “Apt Q258”).
In between the release of Sun’s Anvil and Megaphone Man, Neal was a touring member of the Boston-based funk mob, Fatbag, Sipe’s Apartment Projects (whose activities, luckily, were documented extensively by their fervent fanbase coming out of the ARU camp) and the Fiji Mariners (who were documented live on an official Capricorn release entitled Fiji Mariners-Live).
Neal Fountain has been part of Jimmy Herring Band since 2008.
- Subject to Change Without Notice (2012)
- Lifeboat (2008)
- Arkansas (1987)
- Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit (1992)
- Mirrors of Embarrassment (1993)
- Eepeee (1994)
- In a Perfect World (1994)
- The Calling (1997)
- Out of the Madness (1998)
- Blue Light Rain (1998)
- Laughing Water (1999)
- Great Sky River (2001)
- Croakin’ at Toad’s (2000)
- Project Z (2001)
- Lincoln Memorial (2005)
Herring, T Lavitz, Richie Hayward, Kenny Gradney
- Endangered Species (2001)
- There and Back Again (2002)
- Fusion for Miles (2005)
- Visions of an Inner Mounting Apocalypse (2005)
- The Benefit Concert, Volume 1 (2007)