Jimmie Fadden

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Jimmie Fadden

There are few who have had as large an influence on modern harp players as Jimmie Fadden, with his over four decades of recording and touring, and his unique country blues style. Jimmy was a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, formed in 1966, when the members all agreed "It was a way to avoid legitimate work". And today they are still on the road. Jimmie’s first memory of playing harp is some where in high school: "maybe the summer of 64", he says.

His harp mentor and teacher was Sonny Terry: "He let me hang out with him every time he came to town". There was a growing folk, blues, and rock scene in the L.A. area in the 60's and Jimmie was right into it with Dirt Band. His early harp buddy's were Allen Wilson and Taj Mahal, and he says you can hear similarities in their styles.

His opportunities to "sit in with the "Cats" that were passing through the area was a dream for a young player: Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Manse Lipscomb, Lighting Hopkins, JB Hutto and the Hawks, Harmonica George Smith, and Muddy Waters (to name a few) were to be recalled as formative experiences.

As if this weren't enough, then there were the numerous country acts, such as Merle Travis and Earl Scruggs. Take this and then add the daily comings and goings of all the music friends that just hung out and played together: Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstandt, Taj, Poco, Tim Buckley, Hoyt Axton, for starters, you get the idea. Jimmie's playing outside of NGDB can be heard on many of their early albums. His recorded work with NGDB spans four plus decades, thirty some odd albums, ("who's counting") for which the band has won 3 Grammies.

His playing has evolved into a very rhythmic country blues style which compliments the many forms of Americana music that he is immersed in and identified with today. Jimmie says: "The Seydel 1847 is the harp that I've been looking for all these years…. Thank you, Seydel!"

> Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Jimmie Fadden
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