The South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), a regional chapter of Folk Alliance International, will present a SERFA Award to longtime bluegrass and Americana artist/producer Jim Rooney at their annual SERFA Conference in Montreat, NC on May 18.
Rooney has been active in music since the 1960s, when he and banjo icon Bill Keith met at Amherst College in Massachusetts. They worked together as a duo for several years and recorded some memorable projects, including Living On The Mountain in 1962 with Keith, Joe Val, Herb Applin and Fritz Richmond.
Soon he was also involved in event and venue management, running Club 47 in Cambridge and working with the vaunted Newport Folk Festival. 1969 saw him record Sweet Moments With The Blue Velvet Band, which included Jim on guitar and Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg, and Richard Greene.
In 1970 he saw his book, Bossmen: Bill Monroe & Muddy Waters, published, and he moved from Boston to Woodstock, NY to manage Bearsville Sound Studios. This began his long career as a record producer and engineer, which exploded once he moved to Nashville and began his association with Cowboy Jack Clement.
In the early ’80s, Rooney found himself engineering debut projects for Alison Krauss and Edgar Meyer, and producing new works for John Prine and Nanci Griffith. He also returned to performing again with Keith and Weissberg.
Still active now at 80 years of age, Jim will give the Keynote Address at the SERFA Conference next month.
Also to be honored are Miami broadcaster Michael Stock, one of the founders of Folk Alliance in 1989, and old musicians Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz.
Registration information for the SERFA Conference can be found online.