Jim Heffernan

Jimmy Heffernan is a highly respected Nashville session player, sideman, and producer. He’s a versatile mult-insrumentalist, and one of the true masters of the resonator guitar.

Jimmy also happens to be an outstanding music instructor who loves to teach, and has a real gift for it.

Jim’s latest recording project was the 2003 release, The Resocasters, on which he collaborated with Dobro® legend Mike Auldridge and pedal steel guitar ace Hal Rugg. The Resocasters has become an instant classic, a “must have” CD for any resonator guitar enthusiast’s collection.

Here is a brief biography, that spotlights a few of the highlights and accomplishments of Jim's career, which has spanned nearly thirty years as an active member of the professional music industry.

Jim started playing on the road in 1974 with a Bluegrass band called Raintree, from western Massachusetts, touring full time up and down the east coast and playing lots of festivals and clubs. “We played the Philadelphia Folk Festival and Lincoln Center, recalls Jimmy. “I played Dobro® and banjo.”

For the next two years Jim played Dobro® with Transatlantic Bluegrass, a popular French Bluegrass band that acted as Bill Kieth’s backup band whenever he did his European touring. One of the highlights of that period was Transatlantic Bluegrass’ appearance on a PBS special called Bill Monroe and Friends.

In 1980 Jim joined Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, again as Dobro® player. He toured with Sparks for two years, helping record two albums for Rebel Records and two more for Old Homestead Records during this period.

Over the next six years Jim played with Red Allen and Bill Grant and Dehlia Bell and started learning to play the pedal steel guitar.

1988 was a momentous year for Jimmy Heffernan. It was at this time that he made the move from the Northeast United States to Nashville, Tennessee. he played electric guitar for Doug Kershaw for a year, and then joined Joe Diffie’s band, where he stayed 7 years. Jim reflects fondly on this time: ”We toured every major venue and appeared as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. We played lots of television, including The Grand Ole Opry Live, Regis and Kathy Lee, The Late Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America , and Hee Haw, to name but a few. Joe sold over eight million records during this time.”

Upon leaving Joe Diffie’s employment, Jim stayed in Nashville, producing albums and working with new artists before finally joining Brad Paisley’s band in1999.

Jimmy says, ”I toured with Brad for two years as well as played Dobro® on Brad’s second ARISTA album, Part Two. On this platinum record I had an opportunity to play on a track called Too Country, which featured preformances by George Jones, Buck Owens, and Bill Anderson. Another track Munster Rag, was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Country Instrumental in 2001.”

Since leaving Brad Paisley’s band, Jim has been busy playing with Mark Cosgrove (The Jerry Douglas Band) and producing records for new artists, including Michael Mason, who’s song, Cape Lonely, reached #32 on the country charts and was nominated for Best Male Country Performance at the 1991 Grammy Awards, and Sony recording artist, Buddy Jewell, first winner of the popular television series, Nashville Star.

These days, Jimmy Heffernan is shifting gears, devoting more time to one of the things he loves best, teaching up-and-coming players. If you get a chance, be sure to attend one of Jim’s intensive Dobro® Workshops, and if you happen to be in the New Jersey area, contact Jim for the highest quality, private Dobro® instruction.


Jimmy Heffernan Workshops

ResonatorGuitarist.com, along with The ResoWorkshop, is excited to be sponsoring a series of instructional Dobro® workshops taught be Dobro® ace Jimmy Heffernan.

We had a short, incredible run in 2003, with workshops in Dallas, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee, Warwick, Rhode Island, and Troy, Ohio. Jimmy's workshops have all been huge successes, and they are fast becoming MAJOR events in the resonator guitar world ! Everyone who has attended has had a great time. Jimmy Heffernan has proved himself to be a GREAT instructor, as well as one of the premier players in the world today!

In 2004 we have planned a coast-to-coast series of 16 workshops, with more to be added. Jim will be holding workshops in Sacramento, California, Gainesville, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Seattle, Washington and Denver, Colorado, among many other locations. Be sure to check the complete schedule to find out when and where Jim will be holding a workshop near you!