Guitar Player, Songwriter, and Music Producer
They say you can't live forever, but you can put your work and history on a website, so, over time, that's what I intend to do on this site. I also plan on setting up a blog so that I can document my recollections of my over half a century music carreer
A lifetime of music
JIMMY FOOT is perhaps best known for his work as a guitarist & World Music Producer. He has played guitar professionally since the late 60’s, spanning genres that began with surf guitar, playing in a duo with his friend GARY SCHNEIDER called The DIMENSIONS.
In 1965, JIMMY’s first full band, The ARGONS, with RICK SHOEMAKER, BILL SHARPLIN, and JIM McDEARMON recorded a Mersey-style pop song with BOB KEANE at DEL-FI Studios in Hollwood (BOB KEANE was the man responsible for RICHIE VALENS, SAM COOKE, and the BOBBY FULLER FOUR). The ARGONS won a city-wide Battle-of-the-Bands in Los Angeles and were scheduled to appear on the popular television show, SHINDIG, when the show was cancelled by the network because it had become too alternative.
Shortly after that, still a teenager, JIMMY and a couple of friends hopped freight trains to New York City, where he played folk clubs like GERDES FOLK CITY, The GASLIGHT, and The CAFÉ WHA? before forming the group The OWSLEY BLUES BAND. The OWSLEY BLUES BAND played hard-edged pre-punk psychedelic rock and played gigs broadcast live by WBAI radio, and were managed by WBAI’s LARRY The BAGELMAN. In that same time frame, JIMMY also worked as a studio guitarist for PAUL VANCE and LEON CARR, who wrote “Catch a Falling Star” and “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”. JIMMY was offered, but turned down, a contract to back early Calypso/Reggae singer SCOTT FAGAN by DYLAN manager ALBERT GROSSMAN.
JIMMY pursued his solo career as a folk artist when he and his wife SUSIE & son PJ moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1969. There, JIMMY played regularly at BEAUX ARTS, a center of artistic synergy that featured hanging art, live music, independent films, and hosted the Florida Folk Festival where JIMMY was awarded 1st prize for an anti-war song he wrote entitled “Standin’ In A Jungle Isn’t Much Fun, Dyin’ Ain’t Either”.
The FOOT family then migrated to San Francisco in 1970. JIMMY formed a band named SPARKY that played numerous free concerts in
the Bay Area as well as clubs like The DEMON RUM. SPARKY was acid-rock, very psychedelic, and played through an innovative stereo P.A. system that sported effects like live tape delay, octave divider, and distortion that are commonplace now, but were very experimental and cutting edge at the time.
Soon after SPARKY, JIMMY formed The MAGIC MIND with RICK MILLER and JOHNN MURPHY in Sonoma County. JIMMY’s wife SUSIE became the band’s engineer and spent hundreds of hours in their 4 track studio tracking, overdubbing, and mixing demos. The MAGIC MIND recorded their first record in L.A.’s LARABEE STUDIOS with CHRIS MARS who later worked with STEVIE WONDER and FLEETWOOD MAC. SUSIE FOOTand COREY BAILEY (an engineer on the first LOGGINS & MESSINA album) remixed the tracks a few months later.
JIMMY and SUSIE moved back to San Francisco in 1974. SUSIE had landed a job as a staff engineer for the prestigious WALLY HEIDER RECORDING studios, working long hours with big artists like SANTANA, LA BELLE, THE POINTER SISTERS, GEORGE DUKE & HERBIE HANCOCK. Besides working on producing demos, JIMMY worked for several years playing Top 40 at local clubs and for the military to pay the bills. In the studio, though, he was recording with great musicians like MELVIN SEALES*, TONY SAUNDERS, VICKI RANDLE*, MICK GILLETTE*, “BIG BUMP” JOHN MIZUTANI, JEFF NARELL, PAUL JACKSON*, ROBIN SYLVESTER*, BILL THOMPSON, and many others.
This project was known as JIMMY FOOT & The ATHLETES.
With SUSIE FOOT engineering, JIMMY started producing other artists; demos mostly, arranging the songs and bringing in players. JIMMY also played guitar on demos for VICKI RANDLE, The COCONUTS, Nigerian Superstar JONI HAASTRUP* and others, and appears on HUNTER DAVIS’ debut album with ERNEST BOYKIN.
In the late 70’s, after working with JONI HAASTRUP, and with his Calypso Rock experience with SCOTT FAGAN, JIMMY became drawn to reggae and other African based genres. Together BILL THOMPSON, JEANETTE SARTAIN, JOYCE JACKSON, SHELLY HUNTLY, KAREN IDA WHITE, JIM CARRINGTON and JOSH MILLS, JIMMY formed REGGAE JACKSON and recorded an album with the legendary BOB JOHNSTON** in 1980. With special guest appearances by CHERYL LYNN*, KENNETH NASH*, DELBERT LANGSTON, WAYNE BIDGELL, and a school full of children, the album was recorded at VILLA RECORDERS, the RECORD PLANT, FANTASY STUDIOS, CHEROKEE STUDIOS, KENDUN RECORDERS, and was mixed at CARIBOU RANCH. The band broke up a year or so later.
JIMMY made some appearances as a solo artist and also performed with producer BOB JOHNSTON at political rallies and colleges. During this time JIMMY recorded a great number of songs in his home studio that gradually morphed into a “World Beat” style.
In 1984, during Jesse Jackson’s bid for the California Democratic presidential primary, JIMMY met drummer ANDREW SCOTT, and together with bassist ERNEST BOYKIN and percussionist RUDI ORTIZ, they formed BIG BUX. With a repertoire of mostly instrumental South African songs to raise consciousness about apartheid, they played several fundraisers for the Jackson campaign. This was the beginning of what soon became The RHYTH-O-MATICS, with DAVID SOMERS on sax, WAYNE WALLACE on trombone, and ROSS WILSON on trumpet.
BOB JOHNSTON came in to produce their first album “Walking in The Shadow”, with the legendary FRED CATERO engineering and JIMMY and SUSIE FOOT co-producing. “Walking In The Shadow” was a BILLBOARD MAGAZINE “Pop Pick of the Week” and received great reviews from SPIN, DOWNBEAT, AFRICAN & REGGAE BEAT, BILLBOARD, ROLLING STONE and other national magazines. The
RHYTH-O-MATICS quickly became a San Francisco party favorite and were nominated for a BAMMIE award in 1987 and lauded in the local media for their recordings and performances.
During the late 80’s, The RHYTH-O-MATICS appeared with MADNESS, JIMMY CLIFF, ETTA JAMES, TITO PUENTE, FISHBONE, OLATUNJI, MICKEY HART, DAVID LINDLEY and many other great bands. They played their last gig at San Francisco’s KENNEL CLUB in 1989. Several weeks before, they had been the first musicians to perform at The Esalen Institute since BOB DYLAN & JOAN BAEZ in 1970.
While performing with The RHYTH-O-MATICS, JIMMY FOOT produced an album and soundtrack for ESPN’s Surf Magazine with world music artists BORRACHO Y LOCO in San Diego, with SUSIE FOOT. JIMMY & SUSIE then produced the “Truth & Rights” album with TERRY BECKER engineering, for Humboldt reggae artists ROD DEAL & The I-DEALS. That album achieved critical acclaim from a number of national magazines. That album was never signed because of its pro-marijuana message in an era of the war on drugs, yet it has been selling steadily for 20 years and is a favorite for many ROD DEAL fans. JIMMY & SUSIE FOOT also produced a professional video of ROD’s 1991 appearance at REGGAE On The RIVER, entitled “Marijuana Man” which was finally released on DVD in 2005.
JIMMY FOOT then recorded a solo album, “RHYTHM ADDICT”, featuring a number of former RHYTH-Os and ATHLETES. There are guest appearances by CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE, GEORGE T. GREGORY, DAVID FRIEBERG, LINDA IMPERIAL, SUSAN SHY, JOSH MILLS, TOM DOTY and was engineered by Grammy Award winner TERRY BECKER. “RHYTHM ADDICT” was co-produced by SUSIE & JIMMY FOOT and recorded and mixed at HYDE STREET STUDIOS in San Francisco and STUDIO D in Sausalito, California.
JIMMY FOOT joined the African band HEDZOLEH SOUNDZ, a band from Ghana who had been HUGH MASAKELA’s original back up band. In
fact, HUGH MASEKELA sat in with the band at the CLUB MANYATTA,
a Ghanaian-style club by the Oakland Airport.
After HEDZOLEH SOUNDZ, Jimmy joined the Brazilian group ESCOLA NOVA de SAMBA, led by former RHYTH-O-MATICS front man RUDI ORTIZ, playing various styles of Brazilian music for events and festivals like Carnival and Mardi Gras.
JIMMY FOOT was asked to play in an “all-star” band for the GRAMMY NOMINEES PARTY in San Francisco, where he met GEORGE MICHALSKI, SQUID VICIOUS and HARVEY MANDEL. After the CD release party for MANDEL’s “Twist City” album at SLIM’s, JIMMY toured with the HARVEY MANDEL BAND for about two years, playing with the likes of BUDDY GUY, GREG ALLMAN, & HOWARD WALES. The HARVEY MANDEL BAND opened for JOHNNY CASH at ANTOINE’s in Austin, Texas at SXSW and were featured performers at the CHET HELMES MEMORIAL show in San Francisco at Maritime Hall.
Together with pedal steel player GEORGE PIBURN, ROBIN SYLVESTER, JIMMY SAGE, JONI HAASTRUP, RUDI ORTIZ & SUSAN SHY, JIMMY formed the SKY RANGERS in 1996 and recorded an album with western songs like “Home On The Range” played in reggae, ska, and Cajun styles.
In 1999, JIMMY & SUSIE FOOT produced and engineered the debut album for TEA LEAF GREEN. JIMMY FOOT also engineered albums for PAM PAM (The Imposing Figure), KEVAN CARTER, SUSAN SHY and he and Susie recorded RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOT live and in the studio.
In 2001, they moved from San Francisco to Humboldt County, where they built and continue to operate a recording studio, BONGO BOY. JIMMY also taught audio production for two years at Humboldt State University.
In 2004, JIMMY FOOT began playing with the Senegalese band DJIALY KUNDA KOUYATE, with KEN LAWRENCE on bass and TIM RANDALS on keyboards. In 2007, TIM RANDLES & JIMMY FOOT produced the DJIALY KUNDA KOUYATE album En Amerique. In Humboldt County.
Shortly afterward, Jimmy, Ken and Tim joined JAH SUN and
The LION CAMP, featuring ISHI DUBE and RAS ATTITUDE, for a gig
on the Main Stage at EARTHDANCE. The LION CAMP toured the Northwest for 2 years, played at REGGAE ON THE RIVER and made several appearances at and around SXS.
In 2009, JIMMY FOOT co-produced another album with the
legendary producer BOB JOHNSTON at the HOUSE of BLUES studio
in Encino, CA, for artist CHRIS NANCE. The musicians were an all-star band composed of MARK KARAN and JOHN MOLO from RATDOG, JT THOMAS from BRUCE HORNSBY band, “HUTCH” Hutchinson from BONNIE RAITT, JIMMY FOOT, JASON YATES from BEN HARPER band & BARRY SLESS from NEW RIDERS.
In 2010, Jimmy produced the SKA SANTAS album, a Ska instrumental collection of Holiday songs featuring MIKE KIMMEL
from ASHA NAN, JUSTIN SWARTZMAN from the LION CAMP, KEN
LAWRENCE and TIM RANDLES.
In 2011, JIMMY FOOT released an album entitled MOB JUSTICE, a gritty punk-rock style political collection of songs with a parental advisory.
JIMMY joined ASHA NAN in 2011. Playing at The SUMMER
ARTS FESTIVAL in Benbow, CA 2012, ASHA NAN was joined onstage
by AMDE HAMILTON of The WATTS PROPHETS and JUMA SULTAN
from JIMI HENDRIX’s BAND of GYPSYS. ASHA NAN also played that
festival in 2013 on the Main Stage, as well as playing numerous gigs in the Humboldt area.
JIMMY FOOT also played with JOE KING (aka Joe Kieney) nearly
every week since 2001. In 2013, they were joined by upright bassist KEVIN JOHNSON, who was a former member of Humboldt’s MAGNOLIA. The three of them formed the acoustic trio, KINGFOOT. KINGFOOT has released 3 studio cds, “Moscow”, “Borderland” and “Steelie” as well as a “Kingfoot Live at the Redwood Curtain” and their first demo cd, “Tracking The Beast”. Kingfoot currently plays regularly in Humboldt County.
JIMMY also plays lead guitar with GHOST TRAIN, a rock/pop/soul band fronted by CHRISTINA D’ALLESSANDRO, with SAM KAPLAN-GOOD on drums, NATE ZWERDLING on bass, ZACH ZWERDLING on rhythm guitar, and DEVIN PENNER on keys.
JIMMY FOOT is also a member of GHOST TOWN SOUND, a band
led by the world famous DJ, DOUG WENDT aka The MIDNIGHT DREAD.
GTS played festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has recorded
a self-titled album co-produced by DOUG WENDT and JIMMY FOOT, which was released in 2014.
As a recording engineer and producer, Jimmy has worked
with a number of artists on their albums in the studio including:
DICKY LA LA
DJIALY KUNDA KOUYATE
DOUG FIR & The 2X4s
ESCOLA NOVA de SAMBA
GHOST TOWN SOUND
GREG ALLEN BAND
HONKY TONK BILL THOMPSON
JAMES “One Eye” SPEARS
JIMI JEFF BAND
JOHN “El Flaco” NELSON
MOBILE CHIEFING UNIT
SAINT JOHN & The SINNERS
SICK DONKEY RECORDS Projects
TEA LEAF GREEN
and many others. He also produced a 2 CD compilation involving over 20 other Humboldt artists for a local cause entitled “Democracy Rocks”. He is currently playing with ASHA NAN, KINGFOOT, and
For many years, JIMMY FOOT served on the Board of Governors and as Chapter Vice-President and National Vice-President for the San Francisco Chapter of NARAS (The National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences i.e. the Grammy organization). He was also heavily involved with regional Grammy productions and chaired and served on numerous committees for the organization.
PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION:
Address: 1873 Cliff Ave
Mckinleyville, CA 95519
Music Album Credits: (as Producer)
The RHYTH-O-MATICS Walking In The Shadow Catero (co-producer)
The RHYTH-O-MATICS Ghost Skankers Bongo Boy
ROD DEAL & The I-DEALS Truth & Rights Bongo Boy (co-producer)
BORRACHO Y LOCO Soca Surfers BongoBoy
RICK BROUNLEY Unplugged Brounley
TEA LEAF GREEN Tea Leaf Green Bongo Boy
REGGAE JACKSON Smash Hits Bongo Boy (co-producer)
SUSAN SHY Shy , Blue Day Tears Bongo Boy
JIMMY FOOT The Instrumentals, Footman, Rhythm Addict Bongo Boy
SKY RANGERS Sky Rangers Bongo Boy
TEA LEAF GREEN Tea leaf Green Bongo Boy
JIMI JEFF Jimi Jeff & The GYPSY Band
DJIALY KUNDA KOUYATE En Amerique Bongo Boy
SKA SANTAS Bongo Boy
MOB JUSTICE Bongo Boy
Film Credits (as a musical artist)
Raw Power (Surf films by Kris Klopf)
Kashmir (film by Seattle filmmaker Gray Purdy)
1999 (film with BUCK HENRY & STEVEN WRIGHT)
Mission (film with ADAM ARKIN)
Who Bombed Judi Bari? (film by Mary Liz Thompson)
One Day In Petra (Trureelz)
Other Production & engineering credits:
Over 100 accredited legal education seminars for the Center for
Continuing Education, Wayne Mack & Ken Nordine archiving & editing,
radio interviews with KCBS reporter Michael McGauley, archiving and editing 2500 hours the teachings of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennet for the Shasta Abbey Monastery, countless and various music demos and soundtracks for indie films & videos.
BOB JOHNSTON – Produced albums for BOB DYLAN (inc. Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61, New Morning, John Westley Harding & Nashville Skyline, Blood On The Tracks), JOHNNY CASH (inc. Folsom Prison), SIMON & GARFUNKLE ( inc. Sounds of Silence), LEONARD COHEN,
CARL PERKINS, WILLIE NELSON, The WATERBOYS, CHERYL LYNN,
as well as several hundred other albums. BOB JOHNSTON’s records occupied 3 of the top ten greatest records of all time in a world-wide poll of several thousand DJs, and nearly one quarter of the top 100.
MELVIN SEALES – has played in the SF Bay Area and is known for his
work with THE GRATEFUL DEAD
VICKI RANDLE – currently appears nightly in the TONIGHT SHOW BAND
MICK GILLETTE – Trombonist for TOWER OF POWER
PAUL JACKSON – known for his work as bassist with THE
HEADHUNTERS, HERBIE HANCOCK, and many other
ROBIN SYLVESTER – known for his work as bassist and guitar with
both STEVE SESKIN and MARTIN BRYLEY,
currently bassist for BOB WEIR’s RAT DOG
GEORGE T. GREGORY- Sax player for JAMES COTTON
DAVID FRIEBERG – original QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE
front man and STARSHIP jack-of-all trades
JONI HAASTRUP – Lead singer for The CLUSTERS & MONO MONO,
JONI was drafted into GINGER BAKER’s AIR FORCE
and was brought to London. He came to America in
the late 70’s to record an album with ASHLEY
BRIGDALE engineering and O.J. EKEMODE co-
producing, where JIMMY FOOT met him. He also led
the 200 person choir at a rally honoring NELSON
MANDELA at the Oakland Coliseum.
CHERYL LYNN – perhaps best known for her disco era hit “To Be Real’”
KENNETH NASH – percussionist with many jazz and funk artists. He
had just done the soundtrack for a movie called The
HARVEY MANDEL – best known for his 60’s album “Christo Redentor”,
HARVEY MANDEL replaced ERIC CLAPTON in JOHN
MAYALL’s BLUES BREAKERS, played with CANNED
HEAT, and appeared on 2 songs on The ROLLING
STONES “Black And Blue” album and is known as
an innovator in the overdriven guitar sound.
CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE – probably the best known blues harmonica
player in the world.
RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOT – a well-known folk singer, he was a very good
friend of WOODY GUTHRIE and has recorded many
albums and toured extensively.