Jim Stephens is the kind of guy you can’t size up. Upbeat with a classic Irish smile, with a little bit of mischief and at least as much heartbreak in his eyes. Salt of the earth with a good amount of spice, Jim Stephens is anachronistic, hearkening back to a time of real men and real grit. Or maybe he’s one of the real seeds that we look to when our transparent copies of life are wearing thin. Or maybe it’s all still real – the heartbreak, the saloons, the gritty life on the street, the dust bowl of humanity that we all miss while we’re busy daydreaming inside the matrix.
After his Ropeadope debut – On Our Way To Forever – and his gritty, stripped down album of salt of the earth tunes – Boxcar Blues – Jim Stephens returns with his opus. Songs Of Healing:Philassippiola Soul brings Stephens full vision into view, with classics like Down By The Riverside and Baby Please Don’t Go interspersed with his soulful gospel-tinged compositions. The process is one of inclusion, with a solid cast of stellar and inspiring musicians from Chuck Treece (Bad Brains) Doug Grisby (Teena Marie, Michael Jackson), Lucky Thompson (Nina Simone) Stan Davis (Teena Marie, Lauren Hill), Pablo Batista (Phyllis Hyman, Eddie Palmieri), Boy Wonder, and introducing Ja-Tun Thomas and others contributing their unique styles in the arranging and recording process.
Jim Stephens has taught music and ensemble performance in Biloxi, MS; Homestead, FL; Port Au Prince, Haiti; Gonaives, Haiti; and Tamil Nadu India. He has also co-taught in inter-discipline arts programs.
Jim has also been a panelist, speaker, and curator in numerous arts, art education, and music business forums. He has also designed and taught a class/ interactive lecture/presentation on the artist's responsibility to society which will be introduced into classrooms in Philadelphia in 2015. Additionally, Jim was also a judge at the Russell Simmons and HBO Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry competition in July, 2014 in Philadelphia.
Jim is also the founder and presenter of Mermaid Rescue Week. An annual week long festival in benefit and support of domestic violence and rape survivor advocacy. The event is the 3rd week in June every year in Philadelphia, with 2017 being the 3rd year, and the 1st year will be in New Orleans in September 2017.
Jim can regularly, and has been seen around New Orleans sitting in and performing with a who's who of musicians including Big Sam's Funky Nation, The Soul Rebels, Russell Batiste, Mainline, Johnny V, Honey Island Swamp Band, and countless others, as well as pick up shows and jam sessions.
Picture In A Frame (Radio Edit)
All lyrics and music by Jim Stephens Except:
- Mississippi Flu, Lyrics by Jim Stephens. Music by Jim Stephens, Will Winborne, Jr., Ja-Tun Thomas
- His Eye is On The Sparrow, Down By The Riverside, and Mother Pray - Traditional
- Baby Please Don’t Go - Big Joe Williams
- Picture in a Frame - Ben Harper/Ward/Nelson/Yates/Charles/Mobley
All Production and Arrangement by Jim Stephens, with additional production, arrangement credits:
- By My Side - Arranged and Produced by Jim Stephens, Scott Coulter, and Sarah Crowell
- Mother Pray – Produced by Jim Stephens, Sarah Crowell
- Box Car Blues – Produced by Jim Stephens, Chuck Treece, Stan Davis, Andre “BoyWonder” Coles
- Mississippi Flu - Produced by Jim Stephens, Ja-Tun Thomas, Will Winborne, Jr.
- Baby Please Don’t Go - Produced and Arranged by Jim stephens, Ja-Tun Thomas, and Dave Schonauer
- Mother Mary - Produced and Arranged by Jim Stephens, Ja-Tun Thomas, Dave Schonauer
- Torture Me - Produced and Arranged by Jim Stephens, Andre “BoyWonder” Coles, Eric Bogacz
- Down By The Riverside - Produced and Arranged by Jim Stephens, Ja-Tun Thomas, and Dave Schonauer
- Lost Souls Cavern - Produced by Jim Stephens and Andre “BoyWonder” Coles
- Eye on the Sparrow - Produced by Jim Stephens Ja-Tun Thomas
- Mixed at Morning Star Studios by Dave Shonauer
- Mastered at Morning Star Studios by Glenn Barratt
All songs written by Jim Stephens, Except:
- Waiting for You by Ben Harper © 2005 off of Both Sides of the Gun Album: And John The Revelator, Traditional written by Son House
- All songs produced by Jim Stephens
- All songs songs arranged by Jim Stephens and Andre Coles
- Jim Stephens: all harmonica and electric guitars
- Boy Wonder: vocals and acoustic guitars
- Mike Tyler: bottleneck slide on Bluebird
- Tracks 1-8 recorded live by Mike Tyler at the Dungeon
- Tracks 9-10 recorded live by Boy Wonder at Boy Wonder’s Lair
Cover art by: Toni Cannon: Toni@ToniCannon.com