Somewhere between the rhymthic yodeling of “The Singing Brakeman”, Jimmie Rodgers and the flavorful grooves of ragtime guitarist/singer, Blind Blake lies the roots of Jim Henman’s musical beginnings. Writing his first tune, at age 12, Jim spent much of his youth strumming a Stella acoustic guitar on the sandy shores of Clam Harbour, Nova Scotia. By the mid-60s, Jim, with high school friends Myles Goodwyn, Greg Stephen, Dave Dodsworth & Doug Grace started the top 40 band, “Woodies Termites”. Jim and Myles went on to co-found the Canadian rock band, April Wine, in the fall of 1969 with Jim’s cousins, David and Ritchie Henman . Jim , David,and Ritchie ,along with George Mack , had formed the band Prism from late 1968 until summer 1969 . April Wine moved to Montréal in 1970, signing with Aquarius Records.
Shortly after the release of their debut album in 1971, Jim decided to leave the band, moving back to the East Coast to start a family and pursue a career in Medical Technology. While his career as a professional musician may have been put on hiatus, Jim remained connected to the musical community in Halifax, continuing to write music and performing locally.
Jim officially re-emerged onto the East Coast music scene in the 90s, co-writing and co-producing the album,” More Than My Share” for Cape Breton singer, Jeannie Beks. He also co-wrote the music for “Death the Musical”, a stage production performed both at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre and in French, at Théâtre Génération in Montréal. This musical score was later released on CD. In addition to writing and producing, Jim also began performing in songwriters’ circles throughout Nova Scotia, alongside artists such as Terry Kelly, Laura Smith and Cheryl Gaudet.
Despite the mainstream success of April Wine, Jim’s contribution to the band can hardly be deemed his greatest musical accomplishment. Over the passed thirty years, Jim has dedicated his passion, enthusiasm and expertise to numerous projects, much of which hold special meaning in his life. One such project, “Night to Remember”, was a musical event (held annually for four years) that Jim co-produced along with Halifax entrepreneur Joe Graves , in support of recovery homes for men and women in Halifax.
In keeping a promise to his late friend, Canadian blues artist, Rick Jeffery, Jim completed and produced Rick’s final album, 13 Vultures in 2009. The CD/DVD was released at the Dutch Mason Blues Festival in July 2009 with a twenty member tribute band who performed select tracks from the album. The tribute band included various artists from the Maritime Blues scene, including, Joe Murphy, Thersea Melenfant, Pam Marsh, Wayne Nicholson, Carter Chaplin, A. Jardine, Charlie Phillips, Mike Legget, and Shirley Jackson.
In 2009 Jim was installed along with April Wine in to the Canadian Music Industry Hall Of Fame and in April 2010, Jim had the great honour of receiving a Juno award, commemorating April Wine’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Indeed, this is the ultimate achievement for any musician.
Jim has recorded three solo projects in last 5 years. Same Old feeling , Shame, Shame Boogie (with April Wines Myles Goodwyn on guitar) and House Plants , a project inspired by writing songs with the fans at 10 house concerts in 2015. Jim continues to perform across Canada at house concerts and small venues. In spring of 2017 Jim was asked to join his old band mate , Myles Goodwyn, in touring an acoustic show ” Just Between You And Me” , a followup to Goodwyns memoirs release of the same name.
This blog has been set up as a vehicle to post information on Jim’s next project along with video of various performances . Jim’s songs are available on itunes at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/same-old-feeling/id523763223 and at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/death-the-musical/id148090792