Jimmy Heffernan is a highly respected Nashville session player, sideman, and producer. He’s a versatile multi-instrumentalist, and one of the true masters of the resonator guitar.
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, and drove the truck till I invented Rap. By the way…I have never received any monies from Suge Knight or Dr. Dre. I did however learn how to play Salt Creek, so I figure we’re even.”
For the next two years Jim played Dobro® with “Transatlantic Bluegrass”, a popular (but not well paid) 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.
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( In bars, where it was meant to be played}.
1988 was a momentous year for Jimmy Heffernan. He played electric guitar for Doug Kershaw for a year, and then joined Joe Diffie’s band, where he stayed 9 years. Jim reflects fondly on this time: “We toured every major venue and appeared as a members of the Grand Ole Opry. We played lots of television, including The Grand Ole Opry Live, Regis and Kathy Lee, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and Hee Haw, to name but a few. Joe sold over eight million records during this time.”