Jim VanNewKirk / Bio
Jim VanNewKirk is a Country, Christian, Folk, Blues and Rock Singer-Songwriter from Garden Grove California, and was raised on the music of Elvis, The Beatles, Glen Campbell, The Monkees, Elton John, John Denver, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson, Bob Seger and Eric Clapton to name a few. Jim's voice has been compared to Bob Seger, Marc Cohn, John Mellencamp, Don Henley, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Healey.
At the age of 19, Jim had already been married to his high school sweetheart for 2 years, and they had their first of 3 children, when Jim joined the Navy in 88. Jim served for 3 years as a submarine pump and valve repairman on board the USS Dixon "a sub-tender out of San Diego, and the first coed ship in the Navy," until 1991. After his time in the Navy was up, Jim and his family moved back to Garden Grove, where Jim devoted his time working as a drywall and building materials stocker "like his father before him" and raising his family with his beautiful wife. 4 years latter, Jim moved his family to Corona, CA, but due to problems with his job, Jim changed careers and took a job in Alpharetta, Georgia, but that only lasted about 6 months, and Jim moved his family back to Corona, where he went to work for a drywall contractor as their warehouse manager. In 2005, Jim decided to see if he had the vocal and guitar chops to make it in a rock cover band, so Jim and two close friends "from Westminster High School" formed Bad Fonzie. Up to this point, the closest Jim ever got to performing winning enough money to pay off bar tabs with his friend on Karaoke nights at the local sports bar. After 3 years, Jim's new found love for country music "that sprouted from his time driving through the South," and songwriting, began taking Jim in a different direction from the rock cover songs that he'd been performing with his friends, so he decided to leave the cover band to see what he could do on his own. Jim tried out for America's Got Talent 4 times in Los Angeles. Auditioning as a solo act in front of the show's producers gave Jim the confidence to continue on his new musical path.
Over the next few years, Jim devoted his time to writing, recording and performing his original songs whenever and wherever he could. Thanks to Reverbnation. Jim was asked to audition for a local benefit show in Temecula, California called Temecula Live, and this began a great new relationship with Country at the Merc in Old Town Temecula, where Jim has had the pleasure of performing with many great new singer-songwriters from the area. Many of those artists have gone on the compete on American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor. Jim has performed in a number of Singer-Songwriter Showcases at Country at the Merc, and at one of those showcases, Jim had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Dr. Randy Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs is not only a great songwriter, guitarist and performer, he is also a well known dermatologist, and the inventor of Guitar Hands Handcare Lotion. Dr. Jacobs was so impressed with Jim's heartfelt songs and soulful voice, that he asked if Jim would like to perform in the Guitar Hands Booth at the" world famous" NAMM Show in both Anaheim, California and Nashville, Tennessee. Playing the NAMM show has been a dream of Jims for many years, but Jim never thought he would get the chance to perform "much less attend" the music industry only trade show, but since then, Jim had performed at the 2012 Winter and Summer NAMM Shows, as well as the 2013 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, where Jim has had the pleasure of performing in front of some of the music industries most famous artists. While playing at the Nashville Summer NAMM Show, Jim had the pleasure of performing in a Songwriter's Showcase at the famous Commodore Grill "thanks to his friend and Music Row Show radio cohost, Scott Southworth," and Jim also sat in on a Music Row Show radio interview with "songwriter" George Teren at WSM 650. This was another dream come true for Jim, because George is the cowriter of hit songs like, When I Get Where I'm Going "recorded by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton," and Real Good Man "recorded by Tim McGraw," just to name a few.
Jim has competed in 2 local Texaco Country Showdown Competitions at Knott's Berry Farm, and scored very high with the judges. After Jim's second year of competing, Jim was approached by American Idol top ten finalist, TV show host and Texaco Country Showdown judge "Matt Rogers," who told Jim that he loved his Bob Seger like soulful voice, and thought he did a great job in the competition. In 2011, Jim competed in the Dodge Ram Battle of the Band and ended the competition in the top 16, and in 2013, Jim also competed in Ernie Ball's Play Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Gardens, and was in the top 100 out of over 3000 bands. Two of Jim's supporter's in the contest were American Idol's Matt Rogers and Brad Paisley's guitarist, Gary Hooker.
Jim's love for the lord has directed his songwriting in the direction of writing songs that help people heal, and also bring awareness to people with special needs and the needs of our troops and their families. Being a Navy Vet himself, "and also the father of a United States Marine who served a tour in Afghanistan," our troops and their families are very important to Jim, so Jim hopes to be able to do more for them through his music.
One of most rewarding and steady gigs for Jim, has been leading worship for the preschool children "for the past 4 years" on Sunday mornings at the church he attends. He is know only as Mr. Jim to the children, and that is a title that is very dear to his heart! Jim even wrote a song for them called (Jesus J.E.S.U.S), so children would learn how to spell Jesus. That has become their favorite song to perform, and one of the songs that Jim is most proud of.
- Band Members:
- Jim VanNewKirk (Singer-Songwriter-Vocals-Guitar)
- Artist Name:
- Jim VanNewKirk
- Home Page:
- Active Since:
- Singer Songwriter / Singer Songwriter / Christian/Gospel
- Columbus, OH
- April VanNewKirk / Jim VanNewKirk
- Travis Tritt
- Bob Seger
- Marc Cohn
- Don Henley
- Jeff Healey