"Genuinely evocative and refreshingly cliche-bashing work"
-- Los Angeles Times
"Mr. McAuley's precise writing and playing is full of blues figures and rich-toned, acoustic-folk resonance. It's peaceful and rigorous music."
-- New York Times
"Great stuff!" -- The Wire (London)
Jim McAuley began his professional music career in 1969, when his folk-rock group Mouse came to LA to record an album for Capitol Records. The group broke up shortly after the release of their first single, but Jim remained in LA, forming other groups as well as performing solo.
His guitar playing soon came to the attention of legendary arranger-producer Don Costa, who invited Jim to join his stable of session musicians. Stunned and humbled to be in the company of “Wrecking Crew” alumni Howard Roberts, Barney Kessel and Tommy Tedesco, Jim recorded with practically every pop crooner on Costaʼs roster: Frank Sinatra (“Olʼ Blue Eyes is Back”), Perry Como, Pat Boone, Eydie Gorme, Vic Damone, Jack Jones, Don Ho, Trini Lopez, etc. -- even “little” Donny Osmond!
During a brief sojourn in Paris in the mid-70ʻs Jim arranged and recorded accompaniment for mime Marcel Marceau, landed a pop single on the French Top 40 and played with Steve Lacy at his weekly jazz workshops.
Returning to LA, Jim began focusing on his original music. He earned a Masterʼs Degree in Composition from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He attended Master Classes of Andres Segovia and Carlos Montoya, and was mentored by jazz master John Carter.
Throughout the years Jim has performed his music at nearly all of LAʼs major venues, from the Troubadour to Disney Hallʼs REDCAT Theater. And he has continued teaching private students, including many industry professionals (he coached Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch and Catherine OʼHara for their roles in “A Mighty Wind”).
In 1999 he was invited by Nels Cline (Wilco) to join him and British fingerpicking innovator Rod Poole in the Acoustic Guitar Trio. The BBC hailed their debut CD as “wonderful stuff”. A second CD, “Vignes,” enjoyed similar success but the groupʼs career was sadly cut short by the tragic death of Rod Poole in 2007.
Jim has released three CDʼs under his own name. “Gongfarmer 18,” a solo effort, appeared on the “Best of 2005” lists of nine international jazz critics. His 2-CD set of duets, released in 2008, was praised by the New York Times and other major publications. “Gongfarmer 36,” his second solo album, was named one of the “Best CDʼs of 2012: The Essentials” by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
Blues for John Carter / Another November Night (with Scott Fraser) (2013) Workbench Recordings (DL single)
Marxophone (with Andrew Pask) (2010) Workbench Recordings (DL track)
The Ultimate Frog (2008) Drip Audio CD
Gongfarmer 18 (2005) Nine Winds CD