My Mission With Big Jim
Big Jim and I have been on a journey since we met in March of 2013. For a minute there I thought our journey was about to end when my dear blues buddy fell ill in August of 2017. It was a crazy ride for some time while he did battle with pneumonia. In an effort to help him through all of that, the amazing medical team at CarolinaEast had to put the bluesman in a coma to help him combat his addiction with alcohol. Big Jim makes no secret about his love affair with beer and whiskey for 30 years. A love affair that ended after the disease of its co-dependency nearly claimed his life in 2017.
When it was all going down, I prayed hard for God to keep him here. I sat by his side, playing music in his ear and promising him that if he fought for his life, I would stay the course and build a stronger healthier music community in his honor. My daily work with music has been happening in his honor since his 50th Birthday, September 1, 2017.
The Crawl and The Comeback
After a long road of addiction recovery, knee replacement surgery, and battling the blood sugar bounce, Kohler emerged back on our local scene on April 11, 2018. He performed his first gig in front of the Black Cat Shoppe on Middle St for ArtWalk. It was the greatest joy my heart had known in more than 8 months. Big Jim was playing the blues in New Bern again!
Part of the hope in his return is advancing beyond the New Bern scene. He is a seasoned pro with many years logged with a few awesome national blues acts. There are times and seasons in everyone’s life where there is a need for reflection. Big Jim has now moved beyond those moments and has emerged, sober and stronger than ever before. I thought that would be enough for our community to rally behind him in support of getting him back in the studio.
PLEASE! Help Us Pave The Road Ahead
Having said that, Kohler created a Kickstarter campaign at the end of February which will be shut down in 10 days without the promise of a product because we did not meet the goal. I cannot tell you how frustrating this is for me, so I can’t even imagine how disappointed Jim must feel. I know I was stoked about it and thought his goal of $4,000 was a reasonable one to meet. It breaks my heart that we did not rise in the first week to meet him in this need. And now here we sit, after two months we are still short! ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH! Given how much he has done for this community with his music, I thought for sure, we would return the favor to our own father of the blues.
Thus far 19 backers have pledged $1831.00 to his $4000.00 goal. That means we have 10 days to raise just under $2200.00 and the bluesman’s spirits. If we meet him in his need he will return the pledged with a great new blues project. We are all ready for that! This will also give us both a product to push him back on the national blues circuit. We are both ready for the ride, we just need the help of the community to gas up the engines! Please take a minute and pledge your support for more Big Jim Kohler music by visiting this link:
It has been a busy season for the bluesman. Big Jim hosts two jams in town. Each is a little bit different than the other. On Monday he jams at The Brown Pelican with the band at 7 pm and the jam at 8 pm. Each Wednesday you can find the boys on stage at The City Stage, where again music starts at 7 pm and fun runs til 9 pm.
Fun At The Fair
This Thursday is going to be a beautiful night to join the fun at the fair. That is where you can find the band this week. Come out and dance! Big Jim Kohler Band will be kicking off the fun and festivities of the Craven County Jaycees who bring the 2019 Spring Fair to the Craven County Fairgrounds located on Highway 70 W.
Traditional blues will usher us in for the opening night, with the sound ceremonies commencing at 7 pm. Before he closes out the night he will bring you down to the delta and raise you up in Chicago. He will welcome his bride to the stage and it will serve as their alter as they take us all to church with their blues gospel.
Blues At The Bruin Bruin Relief
If you have a big heart and beer and blues is your big deal, please consider coming out this Saturday night. The band will be rocking their blues for the relief of Hurricane Florence victims. All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response is hosting a full night of fundraising for our local area. Please come out for the event which starts at 5 pm and goes till 9 pm. Live music will be offered by from 6-8 pm. There will be raffles, silent auction, and donations being accepted all evening!