Just as there are two sides to every story, there are “two sides” that motivate and inspire the kind of music I write and sing. When you come to one of my shows, you can expect to hear a range of music in style and emotion from the tender sentimental love song, “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley or an edgy rocker like, “Take It Outside” by Brantley Gilbert.
I can remember sitting behind the drums in my Uncle’s rock and roll band when I was two years old and feeling, for the first time, a surge of energy being on stage. From that time on music became a part of my life. When I was three years old, my mother and father gave me my first guitar and I began a journey that has led me to where I am today.
While growing up I listened to Rock n’ Roll including, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Billy Joel, Kiss, Foreigner, Leonard Skynyrd, The Beatles, James Taylor, Ted Nugent and Peter Frampton, along with the country sounds of Johnny Cash, Keith Whitley, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. These early influences, along with today’s music of Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Montgomery Gentry and others, have molded the man I am and the music I sing today.
The first time I got on stage to sing was at the famous Nashville Palace when I was 19 years old. I remember how I felt looking at the audience and being nervous and excited all at the same time, telling myself to do the best I could and to just keep on going. At a later time, during a conversation with Barbara Mandrell, I asked her how she dealt with being on stage. She shared a quote that Minnie Pearl had given to her, “If you get up there on stage and love them, they will love you right back.” From that day forward I have thought about the power in those words; and, for the most part, when I perform on stage I feel comfortable and relaxed, like the stage is “my shower” and the audience is “my mirror.” I always look forward to engaging with my fans both on and off stage and giving back to them as much as I can.
The way I share my life stories through songwriting was influenced by “A Good Year for the Roses” and “It’s Midnight” by Jerry Chestnut, even before I picked up a pen to write my first song at the age of fifteen. I could relate to the lyrics in his songs and this made an impact on how I wanted to write songs. The lyrics in “The Dance” have also inspired me and kept me going. Knowing how much songs have touched my heart, I strive to write songs that tell stories about the everyday situations in our day to day lives that others can relate to. I recently released my 14 song album and am enjoying sharing songs from the talented writers who contributed to this project.
I will always be grateful to singer/songwriter Keith Whitley who helped me along the way with his encouragement and support. In pursuit of my dream, Keith opened many doors and introduced me to many people in the music business, which I appreciate and do not forget.
An experience along the way that has made a big difference in my life as to what I feel and consider important was in 1997, when I was working in Memphis and volunteered to read stories to the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. To see what these kids go through and how they can still keep a smile on their faces and have hope is truly inspiring. This is one reason why when you come to a Jim Brown Band show you will see that we like to give back to a charity or someone in need. When you see children and families in these situations you come to find out what really matters. For me, being a good, single father, providing for my son, picking him up from school and spending time with him, is the most important thing in my life.
Reflecting on my journey through life and the music business, I have learned that you can’t please everyone, and you can’t change the way others feel about you, so be yourself. Equally meaningful and helpful for me to remember is that if you want something and you think it is within your reach, there is nothing that will hold you back, except yourself. In my life God is in control. I see doors open when our wants become other people’s needs. It is then we are truly blessed.
- Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off - J Nichols
- She Only Smokes When She Drinks - J Nichols
- The Chair - George Strait
- Fire and Rain - James Taylor
- Old Enough to Know Better - White Haze
- Stay a Little Longer - Brothers Osborne
- Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
- Don't Rock the Jukebox - Alan Jackson
- Mercury Blues - Alan Jackson
- Chattahoochee - Alan Jackson
- Don't Close Your Eyes - Keith Whitley
- Redneck Crazy - Tyler Far
- It Ain't the Whisky - Gary Allan
- I Don't Dance - Lee Brice
- Stay Here and Drink - Merle Haggard
- Watermelon Crawl - Tracy Byrd
- If that Ain't Country - Anthony Smith
- Small Town Saturday Night - Hal Ketchum
- Luckenbach Texas - Waylon Jennings
- Lay You Down - Conway Twitty
- I'm Still Crazy - Vern Gosdin
- Looks Aren't Everything - Mark Collie
- Just a Swinging - J Anderson
- Free Falling - Tom Petty
- Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
- Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison