Hugely popular in North Carolina and among concert audiences in NYC since the ‘80’s, the original cast recording of Coastal Cohorts Jim Wann, Don Dixon, and Bland Simpson (Red Clay Ramblers)… a trio still recording new songs and touring “Songs And Stories Of The Carolina Coast.”
Jim Wann, chief composer and leading man for Broadway's (Tony-nominated, Best Musical) Pump Boys and Dinettes, is a music and theatre artist whose work has been performed across America and around the world.
A Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, Jim graduated with Honors in Writing and formed a music club with friends, Cat's Cradle. He migrated to New York City with his first show (co-author, Bland Simpson), Diamond Studs: The Life Of Jesse James, A Saloon Musical , a hit off-Broadway (NY Times: "Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!"), and a pioneering work for actor-musicians from the '70's to the present.
The Great Unknown is about John Wesley Powell’s journey down the Colorado River in search of the Grand Canyon in 1869, at that time the last unmapped portion of America. His crew were all Civil War veterans, and there was triumph and tragedy on the river. Powell found the passage he was seeking, but at a price. Some of his crew found redemption from the effects of the war, and others did not fare so well.
MONA has been a work in progress for Patricia Miller and me since its initial production at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2000. Since then it’s been presented in Atlanta twice, Chattanooga, Visalia, CA, and San Diego, always with a new song or two and some new dialogue. We’ve been fortunate to receive great reviews and audience response along the way, and we’ve been told it’s broken box office records in a couple of places.
I performed King Mackerel for twenty years, as a member of the Coastal Cohorts (myself, Bland Simpson, and Don Dixon). Now, with a new cd of coastally themed songs, "Wild Ponies," we Cohorts are a concert act, blending King Mackerel songs and stories with new material. Our mission to save the down-home Corncake Inlet Inn from the ubiquitous Greedhead Development Corporation continues.