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Jim Haynes reckons he’s just an ordinary bloke who wants to make people laugh and feel good. But this multi-talented character is far from ordinary.

Over the course of his working life, he’s excelled at so many careers that even he’s lost count. He¹s been a serious and humorous songwriter, performer, bush poet, author, comedian, raconteur, compere, after-dinner speaker, recording artist, academic, sapphire dealer, nurse, rouseabout and teacher - usually several of them at the same time.

"I guess I’ve seen a lot of the world and experienced my fair share of life, and it has all given me some great fuel for my songs, stories and poems," Jim said.

"I try to write music that captures people’s humanity - their quirks and their funny habits, but also their desire to do the right thing and make it all work out in the end."

"My humour and satire are meant to be gentle, to make people laugh and feel good. That’s the attitude I always take in my shows, and it’s crossed over to the music in my new album."

Jim’s new album on the Compass Bros. Label, Titled Words of Wisdom, is a collection of gently funny, warm, very human and extremely appealing songs about us Aussies.

Jim Haynes’ real talent is his ability to cut through to the heart of our national spirit - that larrikin streak that runs through all Australians, and our strong sense of mateship and a fair go. He’s more than happy to take mickey out of himself, but can also bring to life poignant moments or memories with which everyone can identify.

It¹s a skill he¹s honed over years of songwriting and singing, writing and performing verse and comedy and writing and compiling extremely successful collections of Australian stories and verse.

"I’ve been lucky to have a varied background and the chance to see a lot of Australia over the course of my life. That¹s helped me to understand what makes people tick, and write about it," Jim said.

Trained as a teacher, Jim had ten years teaching on the Darling River and in the New England area before his thirst for knowledge led him to study in the UK. After two masters degrees and quite a few years living in Britain and Europe he threw in the academic life to return to Australia.

While teaching in Inverell, he formed the legendary Bandy Bill & Co Bush Band, which had some impressive hits, he also had a solo hit with “Mow Ya Lawn”. That song was snapped up by Sunday morning radio show Australia All Over, and eventually its host, Ian McNamara, offered him a full-time job on the show. It lasted about a year and enabled Jim to quit teaching and focus on a whole new career as a full -time entertainer.

He was encouraged by John Williamson’s manager, Phil Matthews, who shared his passion for music which captured the mood and character of our country. Phil gave him that all-important first break in the music business and from there Jim went on to write and record many songs, including hits like “Since Cheryl Went Feral” and “Don't Call Wagga Wagga Wagga”.

"I’ve always believed in planning any career," Haynes said, "I love what I do but I see this as a business, so I decided the way to go about it was to build a pyramid-like structure, with lots of levels - fall back positions, I suppose,"

One of those layers was his involvement in bush poetry. It had been a long-time passion, so Jim decided to start the first Bush Poetry Breakfasts at Tamworth’s Longyard Hotel during the annual festival. Against all predictions, they were an instant success, and eight years ago moved to the West Tamworth Leagues Club, becoming the phenomenally successful Big Bush Brekky Show, and combining bush poetry and Jim’s unique style of country music.

In turn, that led to the release of Jim¹s first book, I’ll Have Chips! which was a huge seller, won him the inaugural Bush Laureate Book of the Year award in Tamworth in 1996 and started a whole new phase of his career, this time as an author.

He’s since released seven books of Australian short stories and verse, including the Australian Heritage of Verse and the Australian Treasury of Popular Verse, which won him his second and third Bush Laureate Book of the Year awards.

But Jim’s focus right now is on his sensational new album, Words of Wisdom, which was produced by Compass Bros chief Graham Thompson.

"Graham understands where I am coming from as an entertainer," Jim said, "and we set out to make an album of entertaining, listenable, singable Australian songs that everyone could relate to. It has a distinctive sound, and it reflects who I am and what I’m about. I can’t wait to get out there and perform the songs live."

The spirit of the album¹s been captured in the first single, “Half a Dozen Stubbies in the Fridge” - a song that celebrates the simple pleasures of domestic life in the suburbs.

For further information please contact:

Compass Brothers Records Publicity

32a Halloran Street, Lilyfield NSW 2040
ph: 02 9555 9144 fax: 02 9555 9188

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