Jimmy Barnes is truly about as Maine as it gets. He was born in Ellsworth and was raised, first, on his grandaddy's farm, where he makes his home today. After graduating from high school, he ventured out into the world, making stops in New York City and Chicago. He ran deep-sea fishing boats in Bar Harbor, crew boats to the Louisiana oil rigs, fished commercially up and down the east coast and always played the guitar and sang; first in rock and roll bands, later playing country music. He graduated from the University of Maine at Machias and eventually went to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In 1997, by chance, he wrote a Christmas carol called, "Downeast Christmas." Although he had written songs for years, they had never made it past his memory and the listening enjoyment of a select few. However, at the urging of friends and family, he approached a local Ellworth radio station about playing it at Christmas. The two remaining weeks before Christmas that year soon became frantic -- there really was a demand for a home-grown song that people could relate to. Jimmy had the song produced in 1998 with a comical song called "Lobstah for Santa" on the flip side. The tape touched many people and had relative success on local radio stations.
Encouraged, the next year, he produced a full-length album of original tunes called "Fishin' for A Livin'." It is an effort to convey what he feels about living in the state of Maine. This time, people from all over the country responded as the CD made it's way through relatives of transplanted Mainers to other states.
"Fishin' for A Livin' is a collection of songs I've written about life in Maine. I hope the varied styles of this work paint a somewhat realistic collage of seriousness, humor and down-home values that I believe Mainers possess.
The work was recorded in Maine by Maine musicians; friends who live "just up the road." My thanks go out to them. The only thing better than a good friend is a good friend who plays a good tune. Roger, Pam, Lei, Susie, Becky, Steve, Jesse and I hope that you hear a certain quality of self-expression rather that strict conformity to commercial rules. We all hope this pleasurable effort becomes part of your musical routine and that you share it with others."
"Jimmy Barnes is honest-to-goodness Maine..."
-Machias Valley News Observer-
"He earns listeners' respect with his talent, hard work
and the courage to write about home."
-The Ellsworth American-
"Fishin' for A Livin' is about the Maine that incorporates the hard-living, fun-loving, heart-breaking themes of
country-and-western into East Coast experience."
-Bangor Daily News-
"Barnes looks like someone who sould write about life on
the Coast of Maine..."
-Rockland Courier Gazette-