The Emerald City Jug Band -- Music For The Uncommon Citizen

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Jim "The Emergency Folksinger" Nason

Jim plunks out the bottom end on the mop bucket bass

Jim Nason has developed a unique, energetic style over several decades of strumming strings. A bedrock of acoustic music in Seattle, Jim is a musical treetop flyer, taking regular chances with his vocal range. Sliding in and out of falsetto, he dives the depths and sails the heights, nonchalantly working without a net.

Jim began plucking strings at age 11 when he fiddled around with his sister's plastic ukulele. He picked up his first guitar, a three-stringer given to him by his elementary school janitor, months later and instantly became attached to the instrument. (In fact, it took half the football team and a surgeon to separate them!)

"It just felt natural," Jim says, "It was an infection. I was drawn to it."

Jim's music is influenced by his childhood idols, such as Elvis, Ricky Nelson, the Everly Brothers, the Kingston Trio, Hoyt Axton and Phil Harris. However, his lyrics are influenced by everyday happenings, he said. One of his songs, Burnt Bean Water, is an homage to Seattle's legendary caffeine addiction. Others are about heartburn, Walter Mitty-ish fantasies, improbable Hawaiian vacations, and the like.

While it may seem a comedown to be limited to the one string on his mop bucket bass instead of the six that are his usual milieu, Jim makes up for it by bringing his usual energy and enthusiasm to the task.

"Music is my life," Jim says. "I love being around musicians and hearing new sounds.

Jim asked us to remind you that while he's not really a crazy man, but he does play one on TV. We generally manage to get him off the TV set in time for a gig.

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