Jimbo Pap is three friends living in midwest Los Angeles. A couple of recent arrivals from the southern U.S. (Georgia and Tennessee), along with singer/songwriter Jim Bowers who grew up around Reno, Nevada. Jim’s most recent work in music was as guitarist with Merge Records recording artists Radar Brothers. He is not that band’s founder Jim Putnam, although the two remain good friends.
The band formed around an intended solo album that Jim had already started recording in early 2018 at fellow Radar Brother Be Hussey’s studio out in Glendale. After two friends kindly offered to record his songs with him, Jim called Hussey up and asked how soon they could start; Cal Campbell and Siggy Sjurgen had spent a few years as the touring rhythm section with Cal’s Dad, hall-of-fame singer/guitarist Glen Campbell. Their offer of help was the kick that convinced Bowers to get started on recording his songs.
The first session commenced in late January, continuing whenever schedules aligned. Several weeks passed with no other plans but to finish the album and give it to some friends and family to enjoy (or ridicule) privately. A few other friends were invited down to play on the record; among them was Bo Brannen who was there at the first session. Now let’s back up a few months.
Bo had first met Jim in the late summer of 2017 over a bummed cigarette during happy hour at The Daily Pint in West L.A., roughly across the street from McCabe’s guitar shop. The two figured out that they were both relative beginners learning to play the squareneck dobro on that first afternoon, so they thought they might get together and trade a few licks or whatever, maybe hit up a bluegrass night. The next time they got together ended up sealing the deal on the friendship, but they didn’t get around to trying out that dobro stuff until weeks later.
The guys met pianist Pap Shirock a few short months later after recording had started, at a mutual friend’s birthday party [Singer/songwriter Austin Manuel] at the Tee Gee in LA’s Atwater Village neighborhood. Within a week of the guys meeting Pap and learning she was an experienced musician, she wound up contributing to the developing record in ways that gave an exciting new shape to the sound of it.
Unsurprisingly, the “aw fuck it, let’s have a band and play some shows” moment arrived one night in April 2018. A classic drunk and delusional decision from people old enough to know better.
Jimbo Pap is continuing work towards completion of the debut album and preparing to play live for a few friends beginning mid-summer 2018.