JD Hutchison, Mimi Hart, John Borchard, Jimmy Smailes, Dave Borowski, Geoff Goodhue are Athens, Ohio's Realbilly Jive
J.D. Hutchison has been called “One of the most famous performers nobody's heard of.” In fact, although he has chosen to live a quiet life in the Appalachian hills, J.D. has had a profound influence on four generations of musicians, from coast to coast, through his live performances, his early still-collected recordings with The Hutchison Brothers, and through the recordings of his remarkable compositions by Hot Rize, Robert Earl Keen, KT Oslin and more. His capacity for the singular turn of phrase assures his place as one of the original songwriters and performers to come from the music now called Americana. J.D. Hutchison and Realbilly Jive’s latest CD, You and The World Outside, is a collaboration between J.D. and the band and longtime friend, Grammy winner Tim O’Brien.
Realbilly Jive features Mimi Hart (vocals), John Borchard (guitar and steel guitar), Dave Borowski (bass and vocals), and Jim Smailes (guitar and vocals) and brings together a wide range of musical influences, tastes, and experiences to form a singular and expressive whole. Blues, bluegrass, folk, country, R&B, ‘50s and ‘60s pop, Western swing, and Appalachian mountain music are apparent in their repertoire – in addition to a large number of J.D.’s original compositions. The arrangements of twin guitars parts, plenty of lovely harmonies with a mix of lead singers, makes for a rare night. When added to J.D.’s lyrical and musical sensibilities, the result is a unique amalgam and expression of a large swath of American music. And now: right in our own backyard!
Jim Smailes – guitars
An Ohio native from the small town of Coshocton, Jim comes from a musical family, though with a limited exposure to country and the blues. He got serious about guitar when the Beatles hit – didn't everybody? With Hart and others, formed Hotcakes. Toured the East Coast with The Paula Lockheart Band. With Borowski and Borchard, performs in The Wingnuts, a band celebrating 30 years in 2016. Jim enjoys and is proficient in a variety of musical styles. He moved to Athens, Ohio, for the first time in 1969, kept coming back between travels and is now here to stay.
Geoff Goodhue – percussion
Now living in Vermont, he is the drummer for the Vermont Vaudeville house band, Granite Junction, The Can-Am Jazz Band and the mandolinist/vocalist of Beg, Steal or Borrow, a tribute to Old and in the Way. Geoff has performed on Mountain Stage and collaborated with autoharp legend Bryan Bowers. His family outfit, The Goodhues’ Band will perform in June 2016 at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering in Newport, PA.
John Borchard – guitar, pedal steel guitar, non-pedal steel guitar
In 53 years of playing guitar, John has performed in music communities across the country and Europe. He cut his teeth on blues and rock music as a teen in Chicago in the ‘60s and assimilated country and bluegrass influences upon moving to southeast Ohio. There he met Mimi, J.D., Jim, and Dave, playing in various groups with them and others. After short stints in the San Francisco Bay area and Boston music scenes, he spent 13 years further honing his craft in Austin, Texas, in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He now resides in Athens where he is elated to play music with this collection of life long friends.
Mimi Hart – harmonies
From a family of singers, Mimi jumped into performance at seven with her two older sisters, Georgia and Anne, who taught her some guitar chords. She played her way into folk music, arriving in Athens in 1967 where she, Borchard, and others formed Bruce and Mimi and Friends; sang throughout the northeast and NYC with the Paula Lockheart Band and returned to Athens to join Smailes in Hotcakes. She also toured with The Bopcats, sang backup with The David Bromberg Band and recorded and toured with The Allman Brothers Band. Her group, The Local Girls, plays regularly and has performed at the White House and on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion.
Dave Borowski – bass and vocals
Dave plays bass and sings with Realbilly Jive, providing harmony and is occasionally the featured vocalist on some of J.D.’s songs. He has recorded and performed regionally in jazz, swing, country, and blues bands since the mid-1970s, and also performs with J.D.’s nephew, mandolinist Zeke Hutchison. He is a founding member of the Cleveland-based blues band, Aces and Eights, and Athens' premier roots rock band The Wingnuts, which also features Borchard and Smailes.
JD Hutchison -
Read more about JD on this page.