Go Jimmy Go is a ska, rocksteady, reggae and soul influenced band from Honolulu, Hawaii. Although chronologically, the band belongs to the third-wave, their mellow, slower tempo sound is reminiscent of the classic style of the original 1960s Jamaican first wave of ska.
History, 1996 to 2000
Go Jimmy Go was formed in 1996 during the height of the third-wave ska craze by Larry Gordon and Cameron Wright during the weekly Ska Night at a club then known as The Vibe at the renowned Puck's Alley near the University of Hawaii. Several of the regulars of Ska Night had discussed forming a band which would be Hawaii's answer to the thriving "traditional ska" scene. After several false starts and frequent jam sessions featuring a rotating cast of trial members, a small core emerged consisting of Wright on bass guitar, Gordon on alto saxophone and vocals, Eric White on tenor saxophone, Ian Ashley on guitar and Tyson Balmores on drums, with several musicians rotating in and out of the lineup to fill in at various positions. "We had so many members come and go that first year. We were picky from the start," remembered White. "By the second year, we must have had about 20 total members pass through." These included a trio of female back-up singers, an organist and a trumpeter.
From the beginning it was decided by the band that Go Jimmy Go's sound would be more influenced by early ska and rocksteady pioneers such as The Maytals, The Wailers, The Skatalites, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe and more recently L.A.'s Hepcat. Eventually soul music, rocksteady, reggae, funk and even Hawaiian began to blend seamlessly with the band's sound, reflecting the many musical influences of the core members. The band decided that a focus on original music as opposed to covers would set them apart from many of the traditional ska groups currently performing on the scene. "Egyptian Ska", "Mafioso", and "Jericho" were early favorites that were staple tunes in GJG's early set.
In 1997, a turning point came when Go Jimmy Go was introduced to Santa Barbara roots reggae favorites Dynamic Pressure, who had recently relocated to the islands. However, the stress of maintaining the band, playing shows and living in a new state were too much and Dynamic Pressure unfortunately disbanded. The premature demise of the group led to former lead singer Jason "Bison" Friedmann being offered a spot in Go Jimmy Go.
During a show at the Karaoke Ninja House in Honolulu, guitarist Tino Olsen was invited to join the Go Jimmy Go. Olsen's strong song writing and vocal skills were a valuable asset to the group and led to many great GJG songs featuring a solid three part harmony that further strengthened the band's sound.
1998 was an important year for Go Jimmy Go as several high profile gigs, including the Spring Skalabration, which featured Go Jimmy Go along with ska superstars Hepcat, Save Ferris, and Dance Hall Crashers helped cement the band as Hawaii's premier ska act. Several compilation CDs were released nationally on Stubborn Records and Steadybeat featuring Go Jimmy Go, which helped expose the band to a much wider audience. 1998 also saw the departure of Gordon from the group, as well early studio sessions which helped expose the band to a studio setting, helping pave the way for the group's debut CD "Slow Time".
Much of 1999 was spent in studio working on "Slow Time" as former Red Session drummer Shon Gregory and Exit 24 trombonist Fernando Pacheco joined the group, cementing the lineup.
2000 to 2007
2000: Go Jimmy Go's full length debut album "Slow Time" released on Jump Up! Records
2003: Go Jimmy Go's second full length album "Soul Arrival" released on Moon Room Records
2004: "Slow Time" re-released on Moon Room Records with un-released tracks and re-mastered by Chris Murray
2005: Go Jimmy Go's third full length studio album "The Girl With The Fishbowl Eyes" released on Moon Room Records
2006-2007: Currently Go Jimmy Go are scheduled to begin their first tour of Europe spanning 14 countries over 5 weeks to include dates in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and several eastern European nations with The Toasters.
2007 : Moon Ska World release " The Girl With The Fishbowl Eyes " in the United Kingdom. "Holiday Hell Yeah!" released on Moon Room Records as Go Jimmy Go's fourth full length album.
2009: Go Jimmy Go's self-titled and fifth album released on Ska in the World Records
- Jason "Bison" Friedmann (Lead Vocals) [1998 to current]
- Andrew McClellan (Bass) [2009 to current]
- Ian Ashley (Lead Guitar, Vocals) [1996 to current]
- Shon Gregory (Drums, Backup Vocals) [1999 to current]
- Eric White (Tenor Saxophone) [1996 to current]
- Brandon Hutton (Trombone/Keys) [2009 to current]
Notable Former Members
- Cameron Wright (Electric/Stand-up Bass, Founding Member) [1996 to 2007]
- Fernando Pacheco (Trombone) [1999 to 2007]
- Larry Gordon (Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Founding Member) [1996 to 1998]
- Tino Olsen (Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Vocals) [1997 to 2002]
- Andrew McClellan (Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Vocals)
- Lindy Patterson (Percussion)
- Tyson Balmores (Drums, Founding Member) [1996 to 1999]
- Jayder Kalk (Bass, Vocals) [2007-2010]
- Ryan Kunimura (Trombone) [2007-2010]
- MTV recorded a live performance of Go Jimmy Go for The Real World: Hawaii. Although the performance ended up on the cutting room floor, Teck Holmes mentions the band in an episode.
- ABC Network's hit prime-time series "Lost", which is filmed in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, features Go Jimmy Go lead singer Bison Friedmann in an uncredited, non-speaking role as a U.S. Marshal who helps arrest Evangeline Lilly's character Kate Austen in the episode "What Kate Did".
- Slow Time (Jump Up! Records, re-released in 2004 by Moon Room Records) (2000)
- Soul Arrival (Moon Room Records)(2002)
- The Girl With the Fishbowl Eyes (Moon Room Records) (2005)
- Holiday Hell Yeah! (Moon Room Records, released in 2007) [(Image:)]
- "Go Jimmy Go" (Go Jimmy Go Music 2009)