Jim Wurster is traveling lighter these days. The songwriter packs up his guitar, his stomp box, and his vintage pedals, and presents his arsenal of songs exactly the way they sound in his head. “Actually, I first tired this out so that I could do some solo touring in Nashville and out on the West Coast. Then people started coming up to me intrigued by what I was playing. It made me realize that I was able to express the lyrical content of my work, through these different kinds of sounds, as well as my voice.”
Jim began recording these stripped down but amped up songs along with some of his favorite covers, when he noticed that the music was taking a decided bent. These were stories yanked from American headlines: deadly love affairs, battered wives, mistreated children, and vigilante justice. The new approach suited the themes, the distortion predicting the train wreck of life in “Southern Pacific. The name of the album became clear, Wurster decided to call the record, ‘RAW.” In his album notes, Jim discussed the recording process, “All my parts were recorded live and simultaneously…I wanted to reproduce as closely as possible, my touring acoustic show.”
“RAW” will be officially released on January 14, 2014. It features 5 originals and five covers demonstrating the depth and variety of Jim’s influences. A Miami native, Wurster succeeds in showcasing the darker side of his native city, in songs like Ojus and Dade County Jail.
Though Wurster’s sound has changed through the years, it has always kept him in the top tier of accomplished Florida songwriters. His early works with Black Janet earned the band a Jammy Award for Best Independent Release, a Florida Rock Award for Best New Band, cover stories in the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel, and extensive play at college radio. Jim’s second band, The Atomic Cowboys, delivered stripped down American roots music with songs that spoke volumes on the state of politics, the state of relationships, and the state of mind of the inscrutable Wurster.
From 1990 through 2011, Jim released 12 albums, with the assistance of top Florida producers including Jack Shawde, Bob Wlos (L7 studios), and Roger DiLorenzo. Inevitably, with a catalog of over 100 songs, Jim’s music came to the attention of an indie record label, Fake Four Music, which had kick-started the careers of several alternative folk and hip-hop bands. Fake Four released, Hired Hand, a collaboration between Jim and labelmates, The Skyrider Band featuring Jim’s stepson Bud. The sound was visceral, like the backdrop for a modern western film. Hired Hand received airplay in the states and abroad, made it to the Top Ten of the Year at Amoeba Records,