Jim’s musical journey began at the age of 4 years when
he sang Frankie Laine’s song Mule Train and by the age
of 15 years commenced his professional career in Sept 1961.
many talented recording artists, Jim Hermel’s rise to
success was no overnight occurrence.
As lead guitarist with the top Adelaide band, “Nozmo
King,” (1967-70) Jim performed at the top Clubs, and
Venues, in Adelaide and South Australia, appeared regularly
on the Saturday morning teen-age music television shows, and
the top night-time variety shows of the day, “Adelaide
Tonight,” “The Ernie Sigley Show,” and the
Jim became one of the finest guitarists around, and he was
soon backing lead guitarist to Australia’s top recording
stars, John Farnham, Billy Thorpe, Ronnie Burns, Denise Drysdale,
Marty Rhone, etc., on concert tours early in their careers,
and later graduated to a session musician on records and television
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Jim emerged
as a recording and concert star in his own right, as vocalist,
multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter.
Three albums recorded at that time were all widely acclaimed,
receiving national and international air-play.
1976 ‘STONE MOUNTAIN MUSIC.
1978 ‘SON OF A WHISKEY DRINKIN’ GAMBLIN’
1983 ‘SOUTHERN BOOGIE.
These three LPs were recorded for the Adelaide based record
company Nationwide and were all top selling albums.
In the late 1980’s, early ’90’s, Jim fronted
a band, “Red Buck” which the Australian government
commissioned as part of the A.I.D.S. Awareness program where
the band performed at every prison, and every Aboriginal community
throughout the state of South Australia, and then medical
officers would give lectures on the dangers, and avoidance,
1980 – U.S.A. - In 1980 Jim toured the United States,
performing at Clubs in Nashville, Tennessee, including an
appearance on the same show as legendary rocker, Jerry Lee
Lewis at the “Jerry Lee Lewis Showroom,” in famous
Printer’s Alley, Nashville on Jerry Lee’s 45th
In 1986 Jim again toured America, being based for three months
in Austin, Texas, performing at the top venues in Austin,
including appearances in Austin’s Sixth Street, the
home of “Texas Blues,” and former “haunt”
of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.
in Austin Jim recorded his fourth album, “Texas Jam,”
which was featured in a “live-cross” to the recording
studio during the television Six O’Clock News.
also appeared on the main stage of the San Antonio Big River
Festival, an annual event which attracted 100,000 people.
on the top Saturday night cable television variety show, “Citizens
Live,” and performed concerts throughout the state of
Texas, including an appearance with Willie Nelson’s
band, and recording with Kris Kristofferson’s band.
was through this connection that Jim formed a band with Willie
Nelson’s then bass-player, the late Chris Ethridge…,
(ex-Flying Burrito Brothers, Clarence White, Gram Parsons,
Jim also performed at the Crystal Palace, Tombstone, Arizona,
a hotel once owned by the famous “Old West” Marshall,
In 1991 Jim again toured the United States, this time as male
lead vocalist/lead guitarist with the band, “Red Buck.”
this tour he again performed at the Big River Festival, performed
for the Desert Storm troops at the U.S. Army Base at Fort
Huachuca, Arizona, appeared on NBC Television, performed in
Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, and many venues in
Arizona, and featured in a 30 minute documentary for U.S.
band was also invited by the Apache Council of Arizona to
perform at American Indian reservations which included Fort
Apache, and Peach Springs Reservation, (AZ.)
1993 – SOUTH EAST ASIA. In 1993 Jim was again with “Red
Buck” when the band became the first western rock band
in the world to perform in communist Laos, and the first band
to perform in Vietnam since the Vietnam War.
eleven concerts of South East Asia were “sell-outs”
with the Hanoi daily paper reporting that “the Australian
band Red Buck’s two concerts at the Red Army Stadium
(the biggest stadium in Hanoi) were sold out within hours,
leaving many thousands of fans disappointed. The band could
have filled the stadium for weeks!!”
This tour of S.E. Asia also saw Red Buck become the first
Australian band to perform at the famous Hard Rock Café
in Bangkok, Thailand.
In 1994 the band was invited back to perform at the Hard Rock
Café due to the success of the 1993 appearance. On
this trip Red Buck also performed a two week “season”
at the prestigious Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bangkok.
In 1999 Jim released a 12 track CD of all original country,
country rock and blues, written by South Australian songwriter
album, “Highway to Ride” using some of the finest
session musicians in Australia. A year later a five track
CD was released entitled “The Ballad of Creswick Mine,”
and in 2001 another CD, “Nothing To Lose,” (15
tracks, again all written by Craig Roberts,) featuring Jim’s
unique brand of southern country rock.
In 2000 Jim re-formed the classic rock, rhythm & blues
band, ‘BLACK CAT BONE,’ with original band members
Bruce Benham, (bass,) and Dave Brogden, (drums,) “Black
Cat Bone,” originally formed in 1988, performed around
Adelaide and South Australia off and on for seven years, and
Bruce and Dave were also often in “Red Buck.”
Buck,” (named after the red buck kangaroo,) was the
name used when the band went to 5 piece for special projects
of touring, recording, or film-making. Black Cat Bone released
two CD’s, (a live album, “Lightning Strikes Twice,”
and a studio album, “White Lightning.”)
In 2004 Jim married Virginia Coad, a fellow professional musician
whom he’d met when they were both working at the Royal
Melbourne Show in 1998.
Jim and Virginia were married on the Quorn Railway Station
in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia in March of 2004,
and honeymooned in the United States in May, 2004.
that tour Jim and Virginia performed concerts in Arizona and
Jim, Virginia, and Lynette Coad formed Runaway Dixie a bluegrass/country
band in 2009, and also a rock n roll band Jim Hermel &
The Hot Chix.
2011 – U.S.A. – Jim toured the United States with
Virginia and her brother, Peter, and sister, Lynette. Performances
included the Smith Family Theatre, (the biggest musical show
in east Tennessee,) The Amvets Association, (Arizona,) and
a one hour live broadcast streamed around the world from the
studios of Radio Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee.., and a
performance at the notorious “Dragoon Saloon,”
in the “Old West” town of Tombstone, Arizona,
the “Town Too Tough To Die,” and site of the most
famous gunfight in the West, the “Gunfight at the O.K.
In 2017 the Runaway Dixie trio represented Australia at the
Mississippi State Bi-Centennial in conjunction with the Jimmie
Rodgers Festival, appearing on USA TV networks, along with
radio appearances and performances, and also a spot on a multi
artist concert at the famous Peavey Auditorium in Meridian.
Jim has achieved 4 Golden Guitar nominations as part of the
Runaway Dixie trio.
Runaway Dixie have released 6 albums and perform in their
own right at events and as part of the Peter Coad & The
Coad Sisters concerts.
‘Jim Hermel & The Hot Chix’ played for R&R
events and Festivals such as Canberra
Multi Cultural Festival, Birdwood Rock n Roll Rendezvous,
Twin Towns etc. (2009-2020)
The band still performs but under the title of the Jim Hermel
In May 2018 Jim released a book, “Twelve Tales of Terror,”
published by Austin MacAuley (London), a collection of stories
of the supernatural which Jim had written over many years
as a sideline hobby, and he currently has a novel of the American
Civil War ready for publication.