11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Jim Hoke

Jim Hoke

I reckon that you all are as excited as I am to see and hear live music again. But I will be honest and say that I won’t miss the hassles of having to work hard and pay a lot of money for a good seat, dealing with inattentive and chattering crowds and getting home past my bedtime. I will however love returning to the joy of watching local artists at the special small venues that we are blessed with here in Music City.

My first venture into the wild will be to see one of Nashville’s true treasures, master multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke this Thursday 6pm at East Nashville’s 5 Spot. I will buy my ticket at the door for a few bucks, sit down in front at one of the best sounding rooms in town, be with like-minded folks who actually listen to the band, and best of all, be home by 8pm!

If it’s a musical instrument, then Jim Hoke can play it. He’s also played live and on records with just about everyone, from Sir Paul McCartney to NRBQ and local faves, Swan Dive. Well, after a string of records with his instrumental-oriented Aqua Velvet project, in 2018, Hoke finally got around to recording a record under his own name and voice. Jim released “The Floating Zone,” an LP that I listened to just about more than any other that year. It’s a mix of musical styles that reveals his loves, from Doo Wop to Beatlesque Pop. Hoke is also joined by and co-wrote songs with many of his friends including Duane Eddy, John Oates, and the “Q’s” Terry Adams. Give a listen to and enjoy “If You Change Your Mind” from Jim’s LP.  

Thanks, Jim, for visiting 11 Questions and we will see you this Thursday at The 5 Spot. Show starts right after 6pm and there will be plenty of cold PBR in the fridge! And if you come, be sure to ready your request of an obscure Beatles’ song for the band to cover!  

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I was born in Lima, OH, just prior to when my mom would walk my older brother down the street with a neighbor and her new baby, in their strollers. The other baby was Al Jardine of The Beach Boys. This story is alluded to in my new song “Ohio” which will be premiered this Thursday at The 5 Spot by me and my band, The Floating Zone. I moved to Nashville in ’85 for (guess what?) the music scene.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

First record I shoplifted was “Wild Weekend” by The Rockin’ Rebels. First money transaction was “Runaway” by Del Shannon. Last record I bought was the first one by Aztec Two Step (at Great Escape) the one Pat Sansone played on his “Baroque Down Palace” radio show.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

First was The Lovin’ Spoonful, Spanky and Our Gang and The Jim Kweskin Jug Band at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Last one might’ve been Neil Young solo at the Ryman.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Roger Miller.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Pizza Perfect on 21st. Two-for-one Mondays. Portland Brew on 12th Ave. or Eastland.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Blonde on Blonde

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

If the gig was lousy, McDonalds for a hot fudge sundae. If it was good, uh…. McDonalds for a hot fudge sundae.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Rodney Crowell, Don Henry, and Dolly Parton

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

The 5 Spot, the Ryman, and the Basement

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

Paul McCartney

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

Memorizing the lyrics to my song “Fear of Longitude” so I don’t screw them up at The 5 Spot show coming up.

One comment

  1. I don’t recall hearing about Jim Hoke before. “If You Change Your Mind” sounds awesome.

    Hope you have a ball at your upcoming gig! I went to my first live concert in more than 1.5 years on Sunday, a small free outdoor event.

    Listening to live music after all this time felt so good! In fact, it inspired a spontaneous post I’ve scheduled for tomorrow! 🙂

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