Lena'pe Turtle Clan
Jim is an accomplished singer songwriter, whose vision and career began at age fifteen. Jim was raised in Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the very lands that were some of the strongholds of his ancestors. As a young boy, the woodlands, rolling hills, streams, rivers and ancestor spirits of these lands, began a line of communication with Jim that would later become evident through his music. Another important factor in Jims childhood, was the Lena'pe Historical Society, owned and operated by some of Jim's family members in Allentown Pa. In Jims' own words, he says "many people lose their culture because their family before them has let it go, but I was blessed to have a direct link to my roots kept alive and accessable.
Eventually Jim became active in the public school system, doing cultural programs. Part of Jims presentation included his original songs which were loved by children of all ages. After years of playing solo around campfires,Jim, at age 23 began performing at local pow-wows, and other gatherings geared towards the preservation of the American Indian Culture. Making an album for the public to hear was still no more than a distant thought. Then, at age 24, one of Jims greatest inspirations came when he was blessed to do a traditional song with his hand drum, to open the stage for Bill Miller. "It was the first time I had seen someone playing music that was somewhat similar to my own. His performance blew me away as well as inspired me to think more realistically about getting my own out there for people to hear. I set a spiritual goal at that time, to someday open for Bill Miller".
In 1995 Jims vision became reality. Jim found himself in Macon, Georgia knocking on the door of the Muscadine Recording Studios, just to check it out and dream a little. Much to Jims surprise, Paul Hornsby answered the door and invited Jim inside."Paul was in the middle of a session at the time," says Jim "I had to wait for three hours until he was finished. So while I waited I checked out the gold and platinum records on the wall from Marshall Tucker and the Charlie Daniels Band. I was feeling positive, wondering what Creator was up to now." Turns out, Paul was a Georgia Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame Legend. He played in the band "HOURGLASS" with the Allman Brothers as well as producing Marshall Tucker and Charlie Daniels. "Our greatest tie of all, was that Paul was descended from the Muskogee Creek Nation. We had lots in common and Paul loved my music."
A few months later, Jim and Paul co-produced Jim's first release, "TURTLE ISLAND" Two years later, Sunshine Records, out of Winnepeg Manitoba Canada, signed a contract to distribute Turtle Island. In connection, Canyon Records also carried Jims' first release. In March of 98 , another of Jims visions became reality, when Jim Beer and the River opened for Bill Miller at Godfrey Daniels in PA. Bill was very pleased with Jim's music, and was open to working together in the future. In the spring of 1998, Jim was nominated in the first annual Native American Music Awards. He was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Folk Artist of the year.
"This was a great honor and blessing," said Jim. In late summer of 1998, Jim released his second recording DUST OF OUR FOREFATHERS BONES. The response has been very positive, and the next project is already underway.
" We all have talents gifted to us by the One who has made us. It is up to us whether we cultivate these talents or not. It is also our choice to use our talents for the good or the negative.I have found that doing it my way, never measures up to the results of letting Creator guide it in the way of the spirit".
"The music is an entity of its own. It exists with it's own spirit. All I can do, is take fragmented parts of Creation, of sounds, of thoughts ans assemble them in a new way, a personal expression, a new song.Sometimes the music works for me, and somtimes I work for the music.I see the music as my spiritual responsibility, for which I am greatly honored, and give all thanks and praises to the Great Magical and Mysterious One who has made all of the stars"