Village Folk Festival excerpt, West Side Leader 2005
This Monday-- Memorial Day-- the event returns, in grander fashion, as the Village Folk Festival, in a bigger venue now (Bay Village High School auditorium) and with three big singer-songwriter acts from the folk-acoustic field.
Opening the all-ages show is Kate Voegele, a Bay Village teenager who started performing as a freshman and has since been booked locally and nationally (including at Farm Aid in 2004 along with Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp). Voegele has issued two EP's, one entitled "Louder Than Years" and the other recorded in Los Angeles, called "The Other Side," which brought her much attention as an up-and-coming talent.
And, of course, Jim Gill is out of the ink well and on board as the second-act entertainment. "I would say that his sense of humor applies to his songwriting," said event maestro Bob Lanning. Gill is a star on the Lake Erie islands and brewery circuit he said, but added that "we'll probably hear a little more of the ballads and softer stuff." Gill has two CD's in print, "So Fine" and last year's "Sky."
The headliner is Red House Records artist John Gorka -- the first time Lanning has booked a national act. Even he seems surprised at how it came off. "We just extended an invitation. He's been one of my favorite folk singers of the past 10 years; I'm such an admirer of his work...I think it started with an e-mail to his agent and followed up with a call."
Gorka, on a bicoastal tour, was available for the Bay Village gig on a holiday weekend, and Lanning couldn't be happier with the mix of talent. "His poetry blends in well with Jim Gill's ballads," he said.
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Concert on The Square, Medina Gazette 2007
The Medina Arts Council, as part of their Art in the Park Music Series, is proud to present singer/songwriter Jim Gill in concert on the Medina Square, Thursday, July 12. This free concert, which begins at 7:30pm, will be staged in the gazebo on Medina's historic hub. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket, a picnic basket and the whole family as you relax in the grass for this special music event.
Like a glass of Guinness in a room full of Miller Lite, Jim Gill stands out among Ohio singer/songwriters with a voice that is "Absolutely killer!" according to Nancy Lackner of Three Rivers Productions who represents Jim in the Pittsburgh area. Gill brings a stage show that is part Harry Chapin storyteller and part Robin Williams Night at the Improv. "It's almost not fair to be so musically talented and flat-out hilarious at the same time!" noted venue owner, Kelly Steele.
2007 has already been a banner year for this talented tunesmith. In February Jim shared the stage with Nashville phenom Mary Gauthier at the Columbus Performing Arts Center and brought down the house with his opening set. Most recently this Westfield Center resident was invited to appear at The Beachland Ballroom with Michael Stanley, Alex Bevan, Carlos Jones, Jim Ballard and a group of others as Cleveland area musicians paid tribute to John Bassette, an influential local songwriter from the 70's who died late last year. The concert marked the nationwide release of the John Bassette compilation tribute album. The disc includes tracks by Tom Paxton, Marti Jones and Don Dixon, as well as the artists mentioned above. It appears this hometown boy has inched ever closer to making it in a much bigger pond!
Jim was also a finalist in the 2006 Kerrville Folk Festival New Song Competition held in Texas. As a result, his song "Walk In My Shoes" has been enjoying airtime on XM radio. He also finished first runner up in the 2006 Pittsburgh Singer/Songwriter competition. Consequently, he has been asked to perform in Pittsburgh several times since that showing and as a result has grown a modest fan base in the Steel City. Over the past year Jim has performed in New York, Vermont, Philadelphia, and Boston as he brings his original contemporary folk music to an even wider audience.
"Jim Gill is one of the best dang singer/songwriters in America, let alone Ohio, and I'll stand on Steve Earle's kitchen table in my muddy boots screamin' it at the top of my lungs!" -- Louis Pastor, poet.
Gill has just finished production on his fourth release, "Jim Gill Live Volume One". The disc will be available at the Medina concert. It contains 14 tracks culled from shows at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin and Coffee Amici in Findlay, Ohio. There are 4 new songs on this recording, along with fan favorites plus a few hilarious stories that always unfold at his live concerts. When asked about the inclusion of some stories along with his music, Jim quickly responded, "I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I ever record these stories, because they're dyin' to get to their hands on a copy!" For the record, there are some doozies on this live album. Growing up as the only son in an Irish-Catholic family of ten seems to have given this artist more than enough fodder for outrageous yarns.
The new CD now joins his previous releases, "So Fine", "Sky", and Jim's EP, "Music for The Laramie Project". With this body of work Jim Gill is rapidly making a name in songwriting circles as a master wordsmith and an evocative storyteller. "More depth than your average poet", observed Jeff Niesel of the Cleveland Free Times, adding, "He has a quiet intensity much like John Gorka and Greg Brown." Cleveland Plain Dealer music Critic, John Soeder observed, "This gifted singer/songwriter grabs your ear and doesn't let go, whether he's delivering hard-hitting tunes about the world around us or heartfelt personal ballads. Don't miss a chance to catch this captivating performer in concert!"
Akron music producer Jim Ballard has described Gill's memorable voice as, "Jim Croce with warmth and range!" Armed with both six and twelve string acoustic guitars and his signature silky-smooth baritone voice, Jim Gill's music and hilarious stories make for a delightful evening out. He's also added a new techno wrinkle to his solo shows. He utilizes a looping device that allows him to actually record his voice in the midst of a performance then harmonize over it making for some exciting on-the-fly vocal effects. Do yourself a favor and catch one of the North Coast's hidden treasures in his own hometown. You can read more about Jim and listen to clips of his original music at www.JimGillMusic.com
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Friday Magazine, Cleveland Plain Dealer 2007
Aside from a shift in priorities during college, when he sold his musical equipment for beer money (now that's a great story!) singer-songwriter Jim Gill has been playing music his whole life. But it wasn't until the Westfield Center resident decided to work from home as an American Greetings illustrator and writer that his music started to become a focus. Inspired by the likes of John Gorka and Richard Shindell, Gill is known for his Americana folk style, which he started performing live in 2001. "I was too stupid to play other people's music, so I had to write my own," laughed Gill, a 1977 graduate of Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights. "And people seem to be staying away in droves." Gill said folk musicians who play Northeast Ohio have to love what they're doing, because they're "not going to get a ton of support." So why does he perform roughly 75 shows a year? "Because doing anything else would seem like a waste of life. You do what you love, hopefully, and I'm fortunate to scrounge enough money from writing, illustrating and stuff." Gill, who recently released his concert album "Jim Gill Live, Volume One," is scheduled to perform a free show at 10 p.m. Monday at the Barking Spider Tavern, 11310 JUniper Road, Cleveland. Call 216-421-2863.
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Tri-C Concert, Parma Sun Post 2005
Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus will be bouncin' on June 26 as it hosts Parma Heights native Jim Gill & Friends for a local performance of his original folk/rock.
The free concert, which begins at 7p.m., will be staged in the outdoor amphitheater, located at 11000 Pleasant Valley Road in Parma. Tri-C West will present this local talent as part of its Summer Calliope Series.
Jim Gill & Friends spent the last two summers as the featured performers at the Kelleys Island Brewery. The group has been invited to perform at this year's Rootstock Concert at Cain Park and on Memorial Day they will find themselves sharing the stage with Red House Records recording artist John Gorka at the Village Folk Festival in Bay Village.
Jim Gill, a graduate of Valley Forge High School, has just released his second full-length CD -- "Sky". His voice has been described by Akron music producer Jim Ballard as, "Jim Croce with warmth and range."
The concert will include regular band members Ted Lamarsson, who will play no less than three different instruments during the show, including bass, mandolin and keyboard, and J Lang, who plays a full drum kit as well as congas, bongos and an array of percussive gizmos. Fret wizard Bob Littlejohn will round out the foursome on acoustic and electric guitars.
As Gill says, "We're twice as fun as TV with only half the radiation!"
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Sonnet's Show, Trading Post 2005
Sonnet's Coffee House in downtown Wadsworth will be playing host to Northeast Ohio singer/songwriter Jim Gill. He will be accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Ted Lamarsson, Jim will feature his acoustic duo show which has been wowing audiences all across Northern Ohio for the past three years with his original folk/rock songs and hilarious stories. The performance is scheduled for Saturday, January 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Jim Gill & Friends spent the last two summers as the featured performers at the Kelleys Island Brewery where they converted fans from all over the Great Lakes region. "It's great getting e-mails from folks in Michigan begging you to come up to their place to play!" Jim remarked. "And play we will!" Jim is busy planning "mini-tours" for the spring, summer and fall of 2005.
With the independent release of "Sky," his second full CD recording, Westfield Center's Jim Gill is rapidly making a name in song writing circles as a master wordsmith and an evocative storyteller. "More depth than your average poet," quoted Jeff Niesel of the Cleveland Free Times. Cleveland Plain Dealer music critic, John Soeder, remarked, "This gifted singer/songwriter grabs your ear and doesn't let go, whether he's delivering hard-hitting tunes about the world around us or heartfelt personal ballads. Don't miss a chance to catch this captivating performer in concert!" Jamie Carr of Cuyahoga Falls observed, "I was fighting back the tears during Tell Me It's Not True (a song about 9-11) to laughing out loud just minutes later, it's an amazing ride!"
Armed with an acoustic guitar and a warm, silky smooth baritone voice that many have likened to that of Jim Croce's, Jim Gill's music will help you forget the drudgery of the past work week. Fellow musician, Ted Lamarsson, plays no less than four separate instruments during the course of a show including mandolin, bass, acoustic guitar and keyboard. As Jim likes to say, "We're more fun than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!" Do yourself, and your family, a favor and visit Sonnet's on Saturday and catch one of the North Coast's hidden treasures. You can visit Jim's website for more info and listen to clips of his music at: www.JimGillMusic.com
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