At the age of 10, Jimi's dad brought home two things that would change his life. First was a very cheap acoustic guitar. That "Stella" would help Jimi fall in love with music. The second item was a recording of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High". He would listen to that record beginning to end over and over again. "I loved that record. The way he wrote, the way his melodies were written, and his song structure would stay with me that day on. I took that little guitar, took one lesson and then decided just to teach myself. So growing up, my life was mostly consumed with music and sports. I also loved all things rock and roll as well as 70s and 80s R&B music. I always loved seeing shows and the whole aspect of entertainment that concerts and music offered. Eventually I realized that I could sing and started playing and singing in public, but mostly at church. That began what would be my life career choice."
After graduating from Gardner-Webb University in 1987, Jimi formed a band that would take him around the country and parts of other countries nearly 200 days a year, for the next thirteen years. The band, called Age of Faith (AOF) signed two separate major record label deals, produced 5 nationally released recordings, garnished a #1 radio hit as well as a few other top 40 hits. They did this while touring non-stop, enjoying cult following success, and making great music in the vein of Matchbox 20 and Tonic. Jimi would later go on to host a couple television programs on the INSP Network and remain constant as a songwriter. He wrote nearly all of AOF's songs and was fortunate to also write a few songs for other artists.
The start of a new decade and new Millennium, 2000, saw the end of AOF and life took Jimi down an incredibly rough road. That road was mired in depression as well as a 6 year addiction to prescription pain medication. Jimi graphically tells his story in his new book, "I Wish It Would Rain." "I'm looking forward to sharing with people exactly what happened and how my life derailed dramatically. One of the greatest aspects of this book is being able to share with people how God never gave up on me. I wrote this book not only to tell my story, but because addiction affects so many people. It is around us everyday and most of us never realize it. Jimi also recently became a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist after earning his Masters degree in Professional Counseling.
Songwriting has always been the staple in this artists life Jimi has been fortunate to co-write with several friends who have found incredible success with #1 and top 10 hits in both country and gospel music. Being able to connect with people on so many different levels through music is the goal for his writing The other aspect is playing live “I just really love entertaining folks and engaging with my audience. Yes I still do shows where much of my original music is featured. However, I also just live playing songs that not only audiences know, but ones that I have always loved. Being a featured artist or simply playing a venue where I provide music while people enjoy coffee or drinks or an arts festival is perfectly cool with me. I still strive to provide excellency in what I do.” Jimi covers songs from the 70’s through current day and he has always been an artist that often does tunes others normally don’t. “I will do songs that most other acoustic artists perform, but I always do songs that are not often played I will do a Neil Young song and then a Prince tune or a Pat Benatar tune followed by a medley of old country with traditional gospel songs thrown in. It is just fun to see the faces of people when I do a song they haven’t heard in a long time. Of course the best reward is when I throw an original song in and someone asks what artist recorded that! I simply say... umm.. me!”
Through all of life changes both personally and artistically, one aspect remains the same and will always be true. Jimi's life is one that has had it's share of pitfalls, letdowns, and hardships. Some of those were the result of life itself while others were the result of bad choices. "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is always working in my life, even at those times I felt he was a million miles away. I can look back and see His hand moving and creating roads that I would eventually travel down. I want my music to be honest and true and to help others see that life is hard but God never stops his relentless pursuit of his people. My music, whether in the form of a country tune or a gospel tune, will have that foundation always."
Jimi’s outgoing personality, gift of gab, talent and professionalism only add to his success “I have been around playing in some form or another over 30 years. I have gotten to travel the world and play and I am blessed to do so. I want to be an incredibly easy artist to work with and be a great addition to someones event, establishment, or venue.”