Jim Conway is acknowledged as a highly accomplished harmonica player whose distinctive style is well known to blues, jazz and country music enthusiasts. His extensive career includes national tours with American bluesman Brownie McGhee, The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, Circus Oz and The Backsliders.
Jim was a member of the Conway Brothers Hiccups Orchestra from 1984 – 1988 and toured the U.K. in1986 appearing at the Edinburgh Festival, the Capitol Music Festival and the Newcastle Festival. In 1988, the Conway Brothers appeared at the Houston International Festival, World Expo 88 and the Perth festival. Jim joined the Backsliders in 1989, touring nationally at festivals including the Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne Festivals, Womad, the East Coast Blues Festival, the Port Fairy Folk Festival, the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, the Bellingen Jazz Festival and the Gold Coast International Jazz and Blues Festival .He has twice been a judge at the Hohner Australian Harmonica Championships at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Apart from four successful recordings, including two gold records with Captain Matchbox, and an album with The Conway Brothers, Jim co-produced two of the Backsliders eight albums; “Sitting On a Million” and “Hellhound”. In 2003 he produced a recording funded by the Australia Council for his band “Big Wheel”.
The resulting recording , ‘Little Story’ was nominated in the Blues & Roots category for the 2004 ARIA awards.
Jim is a sought after session musician and has recorded with numerous artists including Shane Howard (Goanna Band) Colin Hay (Men At Work), Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Bob Brozman, Slim Dusty, Jan Preston, Tim Gaze, Dutch Tilders, Anne Kirkpatrick and Pat Drummond.
Jim has also composed, produced and recorded music for a broad range of film and radio projects, including the Kennedy Miller telemovie ”The Riddle of the Stinson” and the comedy feature “The Honourable Wally Norman “ which was chosen to open the 2003 Sydney Film Festival.
At the Sydney Paralympics Opening Ceremony Jim performed a piece of music specially written to feature his harmonica playing.
A documentary film celebrating Jim’s contribution to Australian music was screened on S.B.S. Television in July 2000.The film won a silver medal for Best Independently Produced Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival.
A photographic portrait of Jim by renowned photographer Greg Weight won the inaugural Prize for Photographic Portraiture associated with the Archibald Prize
In 2003 Jim was awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal in recognition of his contribution to the Arts.