Jim Stringer fronts the AM Band, an Austin, TX, roots music collective initially inspired by the sentiment that "There's really only one band in Austin and everyone plays in it." First known as the Austin Music Band, the group honed its craft at a several-year-running weekly gig at Austin's Carousel Lounge. Regulars of the unit include Stringer, Carl Keesee, (bass), Jarrod T. Bonta (piano), and Kevin Hall (drums). Also making significant contributions are Boomer Norman (guitar), Andrew Nafziger (guitar), Gene Kurtz (bass, guitar), Alan Barnette (vocals), Mitzi Henry (vocals), and Susan Maxey (vocals). Guests have included Roger Wallace, Karen Poston, and Bear McCready, to name a few. The group's debut, Swang (a conflation of swing and twang) was released in 1999.
Stringer moved to Austin in 1994 from Lawrence, KS, first emerging with the rockabilly trio Git. The group was building a solid following until bassist/vocalist Sharon Ward left due to the demands of a day job that frequently took her out of town. Stringer released the album Travis County Pickin', an album of country-jazz instrumentals, on HighTone Records in 1997. The effort featured collaborations with members of the Derailers, High Noon, and the LeRoi Brothers, among other Austin acts (as well appearances from noted steel player Lloyd Maines and the late drummer Donald Lindley). Later that year, Stringer formed a country- and swing-influenced trio with drummer Lee Potter and bassist Dave Wesselowski. When Jarrod T. Bonta, an 18-year-old piano whiz, sat in with them, the foundation for the AM Band was set. Jim Stringer & the AM Band's sophomore release, On the Radio, came out in May 2001. ~ Erik Hage, Rovi