Jim is a prairie living reggae and blues songwriter and performer who is currently working in the studio with a new batch of original songs. Jim’s previous album releases were recorded in Jamaica and Canada, ‘Breathe’ (2017) and ‘In Jamaica’ (2015) (Number 2 at CFBX Kamloops).
Jim’s connection with blues and reggae music goes to the roots of their expression for justice and equality, and Bob Marley’s songs have been an inspiration for many years. He is a long-time social worker and educator who has worked with thousands of individuals and numerous communities who experience poverty, racism and gender inequality. He spearheaded three years of ‘Musicians for Peace’ shows on the International Day of Peace (September 21), and spent many years with the city’s race relations committee.
Jim’s recent video song ‘Wild West’ came from a recognition that electing and supporting Donald Trump is a symptom of many underlying issues, the number one being the gross disparity between incomes. Jim says “My favourite line in the song is ‘Own Your History’, and by this I mean for any individual, or even a society as a whole, to first make an unequivocal acceptance of responsibility for misdeeds.” It is from there that efforts can be made to repair the damage. Instead, what usually occurs, is the victim(s) is blamed, therefore the struggles continue.
Jim has been the front man for reggae bands ‘Natural Mistik’ and ‘Jim Balfour and the Outer Rings’, and blues bands ‘Full Moon Blues’ and ‘Ernest Ernies’ Pan Fried Blues’ performing for many years at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival and many other venues. Since 2009, he has been a guest artist performing at a number of venues in Negril, Jamaica, often introduced as ‘White Bob’! Jim is also an accomplished percussionist and has provided support to headliners such as BC Read, Oral Fuentes, Earl Pereira, and Tim Vaughn.
The next steps: Jim is a steadfast believer that music and the arts are the best things that humanity produces, and his new songs reflect life’s loves, losses, and human relationships.
Following the studio recordings, and hopefully with a post-COVID return to ‘normal’, he plans to form a band from the studio and perform original, and other reggae and blues material. Jim says ‘I love to write and share music at a time when very few people buy music, so it amounts to an expensive hobby, but wth, I love music and having a musical connection with people’.
Wild West Lyrics
The land of the free and the home of the brave
Brainwashing begins at an early age
Selling freedom and equality, myths become reality
Saying anyone can make if they try
Claiming people at the top, from their hard work should never fly, ‘cuz it’s a lie
It’s illusion, delusion and pretense living in the wild, wild west, the wild, wild west
Stick a flag in the ground and believe you discovered it
Slaughter the people who first lived here
Brought in slaves, for no cost labour
And hanged anyone who ran to freedom
And you don’t even see the irony
Cover your heart with an anthem of war and believe you are acting in defense
You’re always at war, even with yourselves in the military industrial complex
Conquer poor countries, steal their resources, play puppets with their lives
If they oppose call them terrorists or communists, and oh yes, none are white
It’s illusion, delusion and pretense...
Poverty and punishment, a culture of violence where everyone needs protection
The quickest draw and machine gun wins, it’s a human disconnection
The ok corral is in your schools, build walls and arm fools
Hold tight to your guns to fight tyranny, except one problem, shot the tyranny is you, the tyranny is you
You believe others don’t adapt to your superior ways. So you blame them for their lives
You hate public health and education, government and taxes you despise
You tell them to get over it, pay their own way so your power is guaranteed
You own the machinery that keeps the system moving to continue with your greed
Promote Adolf, to fill your pockets create a diversion for your pleasure
Subvert government, take your money to places with sweat shop labour
You have no shame, blaming those countries, for the loss of local jobs
Find scapegoats, with immigrants, and even plan, to build a wall
Ignorance is a virtue when wrapped in a flag and the working white poor, do your dirty work for you,
Dirty work for you
It’s illusion, delusion and pretense...
Entertain the masses with modern day gladiators and go look! They can get wealthy
Just work hard, follow the rules, and oh yeah, don’t protest and don’t lose, or get eaten by lions
‘cuz you’re lucky, to be living in the wild, wild west
The wild, wild west
The history, of ownership of land ensures segregated neighbourhoods
You name call, to keep people down, no better than playground bullies
You claim to be the greatest country in the world, yet know nothing of other countries, how does that work? How does that work?
It’s illusion, delusion...
You can only sleep in one bed at a time, you can only drive one car, you can only live in one house at a time, a private jet, private bar?
You got freedum dum to control the races
Freedom to make them fight one another
Freedom, police push them around
Freedom, to keep women down
Freedom, to care only about yourself, yeah, only about yourself
Out of this chaos, things must get better
People only want to live in peace, be safe and healthy
Own your history, define equality, face reality, give people a chance, show the children love, make sure they’re taken care of, spread the wealth around, make it a total community dance, a community dance
This is hard work, sisters and brothers. To learn the meaning of freedom is to respect, and care for each other, care about each other
You need (shot) public health care for everyone, you need (shot) gun control to make people feel safe, you need (shot) professional police, so pay your taxes, let (shot) go of john wayne, stop living in the wild west, the wild wild west
And if you continue down this crazy path, i gotta say that maxwell smart did a better job of managing chaos
(chaotic band crash)
Jim Balfour (september, 2020)
There are currently no shows booked.
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