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Jim o'Neill

 

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Australia’s Jim O’Neill crafts melody-driven songs that let his trademark soaring voice wander through rich lyrical territories, and performs them with gripping intensity. 

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His work has been described as “stunning” by ARIA nominated engineer Jimi Maroudas (The Avalanches, Kimbra) and he now brings his solo performance to Canadian stages, after a permanent move in 2015.

Jim didn’t come from a musical family that gathered around and sang old folk songs at Christmas time. A working class kid from the rust-town of Geelong, Australia, he taught himself to play on a bashed-up old acoustic guitar that his dad had picked up for a song from a pawn shop in the 70s, and took to the stage.

The melodic, poignant sound that he has grown into is distinctly roots-derived, but carries the hint of those early raucous days. Jim’s song-writing shows a childhood spent listening to 60s protest folk, Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, Crowded House, and newer influences such as the Decemberists, Tallest Man on Earth and Gillian Welch. From songs of love and loss, to politics and conscription, Jim tackles his subjects with a literate and modern folk voice.

It’s been nearly 20 years of writing and playing since those early, defining gigs. Jim has played on some Australia’s best venues, performed live on national and local radio. He’s played at big-shot festivals like the Queenscliff Music Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival and Yackandandah Folk Festival, and boutique festivals like the Happy Wanderer Festival and Bicheno Rockpool Festival, in bands and as a solo performer. He’s performed his songs to crowds in four countries on three continents.

After nearly a decade with his band Autumn Gray, and touring as harmonist, keyboardist, banjo and cajon player with the critically lauded Luke Legs and the Midnight Specials, he is now looking forward to bringing his songs to the Canadian audience. 

Jim is also a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer. You can see his visual works at jeremiahjamescreates.com

 
 
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