Fans first discovered Jim Henry in the Sundogs, an eclectic "swamp-boogie-swing" group that was one of New England's hottest touring club and dance hall bands in the late 80's/early 90's. In 1993, Jim released his debut solo disc, Into the Blue, whose title track garnered national praise and still gets airplay 15 years later. Signed to Signature Sounds in 1995, Jim released Jacksonville, which hit the upper reaches of the Gavin Americana chart and received significant airplay throughout the country.
In 1997, Jim joined with acoustic axe man Brooks Williams to record Ring Some Changes, a soulful album of guitar duets which continues to be a favorite among fans. Never straying too far from his small-town roots, Jim Henry released The Wayback in 1999, whose title track is an anthem to the importance of family. The disc, recorded live and unedited, features cream-of-the-crop players.
It was about this time that Jim started to explore the world of being a side man. Though not the usual career path, the shift allowed him to do a little on-the-job training with some other instruments. He started to play mandolin and dobro and picked up his electric guitar once again. He soon found himself being asked to play with other folks. Lots of folks. The Burns Sisters. Then Mark Erelli. The Kitchen Table. Deb Talan. The Weepies. Cliff Eberhart. The Nields. As his chops improved, so did his resume. And so did his arsenal of available instruments. To this day, it's not uncommon to see Jim on stage with an asortment of instruments from his collection: acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, dobro, lap steel, baritone, and 12-string guitar.
In 2003, Jim got a last-minute call from Tracy Grammer, who found herself suddenly in need of an accompanist on the east coast. Jim Henry was the first name on the lips of people in the know. In only 3 days Jim learned the lion's share of the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer repertoire. Tracy and Jim's first show at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA went so well they have been playing together ever since. Says Tracy, "I can't imagine not having Jim by my side. I have come to count on his sensitive playing and glorious singing. He is a musical force whose presence is huge without over whelming, always subtle and reliably strong." Tracy's first solo release, Flower of Avalon, features Jim on dobro, mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric guitars and backing vocals-something on every track.
It was during the Avalon sessions that Jim met his long-time guitar hero John Jennings and songwriting hero Mary Chapin Carpenter. Jennings was sufficiently impressed with Jim's ability that in 2006 he asked Jim to sub for him on a show he couldn't do with Mary Chapin. Subsequently, Mary Chapin asked Jim to join her band for her 2007 summer tour.
Jim is currently in the studio preparing for a summer 2008 release of a yet-untitled EP. It will be an intimate recording in the style of his 2005 release, One-Horse Town, which features Jim on an array of instruments and Tracy Grammer in the role of accompanist on violin and vocals.