Jim Wyly was born and raised in Tyler, Texas and has spent the last 40 years living and playing in the Austin area, so it would be easy to label him a “Texas Songwriter”. While that may be the easy route and very much true, it would also be lazy and a mistake to box him in with that label. Wyly has spent those 40 years honing a craft that expands far beyond the box of his home state.
That’s not to say that Texas is not flowing through the blood of the songs he writes. For years as a member of several bands including Movin Target and The Lunar Rollers, Jim has been widely regarded by his peers as a master of the songwriting craft. At the young age of 71, Wyly is stepping away from the sound and life of being in a band and releasing his solo debut, The Artisan.
Wyly’s influences come from seemingly every direction, including his father’s experience in the big band scene of the 30’s, the folk and country of the 50’s-70’s and the rock n roll of the Beatles. Music has always been a driving force in Wyly’s life. In junior high school he learned the keyboard, before turning to the guitar in his senior year. While attending college in Nacogdoches he played around campus as part of a four piece folk outfit and after graduation he moved first to Houston where he soaked in the thriving folk scene of the early 70’s. By 1973 he was living in Austin, an area he has not left since and began to discover his voice as a songwriter.
The last four decades plus have found Jim moving in and out of the music scene while balancing the needs of everyday life. From honky tonks to coffee houses, the stage and song have always called him back. In 2016 he made the decision to dedicate himself full time as solo artist and his unique blend of soul, country, folk and rock songwriting alongside his animated and crowd captivating performance has been increasing his fan base ever since.
Artisan finds Wyly in the studio for the first time not only as a solo artist but as a co-producer as well along side fellow songwriter, Chuck Hawthorne. The album is stripped down to allow the lyrical content standout. With songs spanning Wyly’s entire songwriting career and varied subject matter, Artisan serves as a perfect introduction to Jim and is a culmination of 40 years of living, writing, and performing form a man that has done his share of them all. Accompanying Jim on several tracks are folk blues legend, Ray Bonneville on harp and Grammy nominated country singer, Libby Koch on background vocals. The finished product, is a record that will please listeners with a discerning ear for lyrical content and any fans of folk, Americana or alt country music. Following the release, Jim will continue doing what he does best, performing the songs live in front of captivated audiences.