The first time I ran into Jimmy Free, I was wandering through one of the local farmers markets. It was a beautiful sunny day and the market at midday was crowded. And noisy! Dozens of people were milling about, laughing and chatting as they browsed through the booths. There was also the ever-present pop-pop-pop of kettle corn and the sizzle of sausages as we neared the food court.
Well, in the midst of all this happy confusion, I suddenly heard a hauntingly beautiful melody wafting through the air. I couldn’t help but follow it, hoping like crazy that the music wouldn’t end before I found the musician! I threaded my way through the crowd and, all at once, there he was . . . this free-spirited young man standing in sunshine, barefooted and dressed all in white.
His name, as I found out later, was Jimmy Free. Eyes half-closed, he was swaying softly in time to the music that flowed from his violin. (a custom-made 7 stringed instrument known as Peacemaker) The sound was rich, with remarkable resonance and an almost dreamlike quality. I was hooked! And, yes, I did go home that day with a couple of his cd’s tucked away safe in my bag.
For a taste of what I saw and heard that day, please check out this live performance by Jimmy Free. The video was filmed at beautiful Lucia Falls which lies just east of Battle Ground, WA.
Since that day in the farmers market, I’m happy to report that Jimmy now has four cd’s available for sale. His most recent, entitled Where Saints and Angels Tread, was just released in March 2011. All can be ordered directly from the Jimmy Be Free website. And I encourage you to do so!