Jim McCarty

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Jim Mcarty
Jim McCarty.jpg
Background Information

Birth name

James William McCarty


June 1, 1945


Hard rock, Blues, R&B





Years Active

1964 - Present

Associated acts

Mitch Ryder
The Detroit Wheels
Buddy Miles
The Rockets
Detroit Blues Band
Mystery Train


James William McCarty (born June 1, 1945) is an American blues rock guitarist from Detroit, Michigan. Jim McCarty broke onto the music scene as guitarist for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in 1964 and from ‘64 thru ‘66 they charted with the songs “Jenny Take A Ride” (#4), “Devil With A Blue Dress On” (#2) and “Sock It To Me” (#4). When Mitch Ryder decided that he wanted to turn the group into a Las Vegas act, McCarty knew it was time for a change.

Jim moved on to join up with Corry Siegal and the “Siegal Schwall Blues Band” and, on a trip to the west coast, he met Buddy Miles. Buddy was coming off the “Electric Flag” and putting his own band together and Buddy asked Jim to join the “Buddy Miles Express”. McCarty accepted because he wanted to work with the “Big Sound” of a horn section. Jim recorded two albums with the “Buddy Miles Express”, the latter being produced by Jimi Hendrix.

In addition to Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels and the Buddy Miles Express, he has been in Cactus, the popular Detroit rock band The Rockets. currently he plays in the Detroit Blues Band and Mystery Train. He also is a Regular Special Guest in the Kenny Parker Band, so much so, Just condider him part of the band.
He also recorded with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Seger. He plays in a heavy blues-rock style that has inspired fledgling guitar players for more than 40 years.

In 2006, he participated in a Cactus reunion, performing in New York City, Sweden, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. It coincided with the release of a new Cactus album, Cactus V. In 2007, Cactus played a Detroit date, a McCarty homecoming, to a sold-out, standing-room-only house.

In an August 2006 interview on VH1 Classic, Ted Nugent remarked "I'm the only guy in rock'n'roll that plays that hollow body jazz guitar and it's because in 1960 I saw Jimmy McCarty creating those big fat full chords like I do on "Stranglehold"; I learned that from Jimmy McCarty. Remember the name Jimmy McCarty. He is as important as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry and Les Paul...a god on guitar."

In 2005, Les Paul recorded Les Paul and Friends: American Made, World Played, with an all-star band. He covered 69 Freedom Special, an instrumental tune co-written by McCarty and recorded while in the Buddy Miles Express. In February 2006, Les Paul won a Grammy for his cover of the song, thus propelling McCarty into another award-winning arena as songwriter.

In 2009, a new band, the Hell Drivers, was created. The members are Jim McCarty, Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Marvin Conrad (bass), and Jim Edwards (vocals). A high-energy band, they play a variety of Detroit rock and roll from Iggy Pop, The Rockets, Mitch Ryder, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger and more to great critical acclaim.

On September 25, 2010, Jim McCarty was inducted into the Canada South Blues Society "Living Blues Museum" located in Windsor, Ontario.

Currently Jim McCarty can be seen around Metro Detroit playing at venues such as Boo's in Royal Oak, Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills and at The Blue Goose Inn in St. Clair Shores where one Sunday night a month his Band Mystery Train hosts a Jam session where musicians can get up on stage and Jam with Jim & the Band.


Jim McCarty Wikipedia

Discography CD's/Digital downloads:

  • Talkin' to Myself (8/2018) Amazon cdbaby iTunes
  • Jim McCarty & Friends II (6/2016) Live from Callahan's Amazon
  • Jim McCarty and Friends (6/2011) Amazon