ALL ABOUT JIM 'N' I
Jim 'n' I is Jim Gillies and Sherry Aldrich. Accompanying themselves with acoustic guitars and a variety of hand percussions, these community minstrels offer a wide repertoire of original, traditional, and contempoary melodies. Their unique arrangements demonstrate a comfortable versatility in a shared balance of melody, with enchanting harmonies and delightful harmonics. Their experience and shared enthusiasm results in an engaging interactive vaudeville style that appeals to any aged audience.
Jim 'n' I are comfortable presenting customized programs including swing, jazz, blues, traditional, folk, and children's music, and enjoy sharing the history of each song. Audiences experience a strong and enduring sense of comfort, hope, and community through their connection with the essence of Jim 'n' I. Known for their busking, their grass-roots growth and versatility has led Jim 'n' I to repeat invitations, from back yards to provincial parks, from fairs to festivals, from living rooms to libraries, from cafés to live radio. Jim 'n' I are happy to offer the comfort of their music weekly at seniors homes and hospitals.
Jim Gillies received a guitar for his 12th birthday. At 16, he learned the art of busking in London, England, before returning at the age of 20 to his birthplace, Montreal, to finish his schooling. It was at this time that Jim began to compose music and write lyric. Jim worked as a session musician and presented original songs as a featured local singer-songwriter on Sarnia Community Access Radio. Immersed in song-writing and the family circle, Jim's path took him from Quebec through southern and then rural northwestern Ontario. It was an appetite to again share his music with other musicians that brought this seasoned songwriter into the city of Thunder Bay where he met Sherry.
Sherry Aldrich moved to Fort William (now Thunder Bay) at the age of 7, via London and Windsor, Ontario. She was instructed in classical piano, and influenced by her father's love of harmonica and the household record collection. Frequent family sing-a-longs found Sherry wailing the lead, but more often vocalizing the harmonies she felt. A self-taught guitarist with a strong sense of rhythm, Sherry's pursuit of music led her to the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus in 1994, and on to the cross-cultural a capella Global Rhythm choir in 1995. Sherry's first original song, A Minor Blues, was composed just a week before she boldly moved onto a January 1996 open stage where Jim 'n' I met...and the rest is harmony.
WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING...
"...warm and infectious style of folk music...outstanding ability to get an audience involved."
"...a small slice of what angels must truly sound like."
"...unique entertainers whose music brings out the song and laughter in everyone...an enjoyable and unforgetable evening of fun and music."
"...very nice vocal blend and interplay, and the songs are arranged well...originals by Jim are really good tunes... good lead playing...a strong sound, and a consistency of style that's good."
"...delighted one and all with their colourful and spirited renditions of new tunes and old familiar favourites."
"...experienced and enthusiastic musicians...certainly had the audience spellbound, thrilled, delighted."
"...beautiful music and song...a gentle, friendly, fun-loving couple with a great deal of love and compassion..."
"...not just singers, but story-tellers."
"Modern day minstrels...interacting with their audience like a vaudeville duo that had been together forever and know all the right moves."
"Jim 'n' I is a contemporary Canadian duette whom I compare with Sonny & Cher of the 60's. Only they have more charisma, more personality, are more down-to-earth and...dare I say...more talented."
"Their sound is calming and comforting."
"Beautifully blended voices."
Selected for the celebrated national television series Up and Coming, three of Jim's songs were locally produced and nationally broadcast as music videos.
Jim 'n' I were delighted to receive an impromptu invitation to participate in the grand finale of the Family Stage at the 2000 Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Inspired by Sherry's son's 2002 wedding, Jim 'n' I joined in their first songwriting collaboration to produce a most precious love song, Our Wedding Song, When Jim 'n' I presented this new song to an audience that included Roy Forbes, Roy offered the encouraging comment, "Well I like it!"
From a live recording of an Open Stage at Rasputin?s Folk Café in Ottawa, Jim's song, A Summer Place was chosen to be included in a compilation CD to raise funds for the Ottawa area's homeless.
Heather Bishop approached Jim 'n' I to comment "I enjoyed your workshop very much", after the "There's No Place Like Home" Workshop At the Live From The Rock Folk Festival 2003, where Jim 'n' I presented original music... 'The Community Folk Café', by Bill Houston, Sherry Aldrich, and Jim Gillies, and 'Summer Place' by Jim Gillies.
Jim 'n' I have been featured 3 years at the Trout Forest Festival,but have also enjoyed attending and participating in 7 festivals in Ear Falls over the years. The highlight of all those wonderful Troutfest experiences happened in August 2003, sharing tunes and close harmonies with Valdy, around the campfire jam.
all material on this site ©Jim 'n' I 2004-2006