Jim Feenstra is a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist with his band, The WizBangs. The WizBangs include his two sons, JP and Charles, adding a unique dynamic to their songs. “We have diverse tastes in music, from indie/folk to jazz-laced riffs to hard rock to British Invasion sounds,” says Jim. “So when we compose, these different perspectives make for cool songs.” This is a new experience for Jim. He spent time in his teens and early twenties dabbling in music. Then, a growing family and business took priority. A change in focus led Jim to start composing music and bringing his sons and friends into the fold. Jim explains, “After years of 60-hour work weeks and 100,000 miles on airplanes, I needed a change. So, I joined the board of several non-profit organizations and jumped back into music.”

 “Writing songs is magical,” says Jim. “I can’t really explain where all the stories and melodies come from. I’m so thankful for my smartphone. I can be anywhere when the spark happens, so I capture the melody or storyline quickly.” Jim’s inspiration comes almost every genre and time, and can include soft acoustic melodies or hard-thumping 12-bar blues songs. “What I really spend time on is the story. It isn’t necessarily autobiographical, but there’s always some level of personal experience in what I write.” The band focuses on original material versus cover songs. “I’m sure we'll do covers, both on releases and shows, but we enjoy the full experience of creating our own music.”

The WizBangs’ first album is LIFE, LOVE AND OTHER MISHAPS. While JP, Charles and the other musicians have played in band and recorded before, it’s a first for Jim. “It was interesting in the studio,” says Jim. “I’m a parent of band mates and the oldest guy in the room, but the least experienced. It certainly isn’t in my makeup to defer, but I know I had to in this case. In a way, while we had tremendous fun recording it, I treated it like a business trip.”

Acting as the band’s manager for now, Jim is defining the steps the band will take moving forward. Jim is working with JP, who is a digital art director, on the web site and social media. He’s formulating a support team of talent in video and communications. “We’re taking a deliberate approach to each step,” says Jim. “I’m just so happy to be making music and doing so with my sons. That alone has make this trip worthwhile.”

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Thanks to WEEU 830 in Reading, PA for hosting our live performance. Soon, we'll post video of the show on YouTube.

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