Jim Balcerek has been writing music since 1994 and recording it almost that long. He has appeared live in such places as Grape Street Philadelphia in Manayunk and Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, PA. In 1999-2000 Jim recorded his first album, Afterimages. His continued work writing and recording original material led to his commercially available second album, Playing Life by Ear, in October 2007 and the "True West" soundtrack EP True To Me in November 2007.

8/27/2014 The set list for Jim's gig at Fresh Ground Coffee house has been added to the Performances page.

7/22/2014 One month from today, on August 22, Jim will be performing at Fresh Ground Coffee House in Willow Grove, PA, beginning at 8 pm. You can get more information—and RSVP, if you'd like—on Fresh Ground's Facebook Invitation for the event.

10/30/2013 - New Album Update

Tracking is in progress on four new songs for the upcoming album. Tentative titles are:

  • "No Shame" — A track inspired by early 70s soul/R&B, telling the story of an office worker having a tryst with an older colleague

  • "Throwaway" — An upbeat cultural commentary on the increasingly disposable nature of human relations

  • "What We Knew" — Jim's first political song, an edgy rocker expressing frustration over the election process

  • "Acadian Dream" — An easygoing ballad inspired by Jim's trip to Bar Harbor in 2009, relating a fictional visit by a man who is so enamored by Mount Desert Island's attractions that he's willing to give up is "normal" life to stay there

More to come... stay tuned!

news archive ]

6/19/2013 - A New Album!

After a long wait since the release Playing Life by Ear and True To Me, Jim finally has a new album officially underway. At least 13 new songs are planned to be included in the sessions. The recording approach will be similar to Playing Life by Ear, but Jim has some new toys to include in the production. Anticipated completion is sometime in 2014. At the moment, preliminary drum tracking is complete for two songs. More details to come as the project develops. Miles to go....

Meantime, for a taste of some of the possible sound on the new album, check out this remake of "Ticket" (originally found on Afterimages) that Jim recorded in Spring of 2013.

12/30/2011 A message from Jim...

As you can see, it's been far too long since there has been an update to this site. The last few years have given me a new perspective on the role of making music in my life.

I haven't gigged in a very long while, and I don't seem to mind too much. Admittedly, playing solo has held less appeal for me lately, and I haven't really sought further opportunities to do so. That said, I am by no means done with music. I have delved into some aspects like mixing techniques and instrument tones, and I have continued to further develop my playing and singing skills. I have also considered that playing live, preferably with other people, could become a separate avenue from being a singer/songwriter.

I still very much enjoy creating music, and I continue to feel some need to have a project that is designed purely for my own artistic expression. It is certainly great to have an audience for that, but to me, making the music is an end in itself.

I am planning to start another album project in the not too distant future. Since working on Playing Life by Ear and True To Me, I have written and recorded demos of ten new songs, and I hope to write a few more before starting work in earnest on an album. I will be happy to provide updates on this site as the project unfolds. I will also be happy to share any other music developments in which I am involved.

Happy New Year!
-Jim Balcerek

8/7/2008 Apologies for the complete lack of notice here, but Jim made good on the June cancelation and played First Friday Hatboro last week. The set list can be found on the Performances page. We'll try to actually let you know in advance the next time Jim has a show!

6/17/2008 In case anyone hasn't already realized, Jim's recent scheduled appearance at First Friday Hatboro was canceled at the last minute. The venue had Jim double-booked with another act, and rather than deal with splitting the time or some other inconvenient scenario, Jim made the decision to step aside.

2/27/2008 The set lists for Jim's appearance at the Curl-a-Thon benefit have been added to the Performances page. Links have been added to the top of that page to make it easier to access Jim's older appearances.

2/19/2008 This Saturday, Jim will be playing at a Curl-a-Thon benefit at the Philadelphia Curling Club in Paoli, PA. He'll be playing at the end of the Curl-a-Thon from about 8-10pm. The event supports the NTAF Mid-Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund, and is in honor of Jeff Harris, a member of the club who recently became paralyzed. Details can be found on the Curl-a-Thon Website. Non-members are welcome, but a minimum $10 donation is requested.

The set list for Jim's recent open mic performance at Puck has been added to the Performances page.

1/23/2008 The Lyrics Page has been updated with the lyrics to Jim's single True To Me, as well as all tracks from his new release Playing Life by Ear.

11/30/2007 More new ways to obtain Playing Life by Ear online! Here is the complete breakdown of how you can get Jim's new album:

  • CD purchase at any of Jim's live performances, $10

  • Online CD purchase or MP3 download of entire album at CD Baby, $12

  • Download from Apple iTunes, $0.99 per track or $9.99 for the album

  • Download from Buy.com, $0.89 per track or $8.90 for the album

  • Napster Download — Must be a Napster member

  • PayPlay.fm Download, $0.88/$8.88 for MP3 files or $0.77/$7.77 for WMA files

11/27/2007 Jim's new album, Playing Life by Ear, is now available on iTunes.

11/20/2007 The set lists and a couple of pictures from the private event that Jim played on November 16 have been added to the Performances page.

11/13/2007 The True To Me soundtrack EP that Jim created for a performance of Sam Shepard's "True West" has been released, and will be available at Jim's gigs. Details can be found on the Discography page. Two videos featuring songs from the EP have been added to the Downloads page. And finally, a few more clips from Jim's Playing Life by Ear major release have been added to the Discography track listing.

11/9/2007 Set lists for Jim's September, October, and November performances at the open mic night at Puck in Doylestown have all been added to the Performances page. Jim's next appearance will be at a private event on Friday, 16 November.

11/5/2007 Jim's new album is now available!

10/16/2007 It's been about a year of waiting since this website appeared, but Jim's second album, Playing Life by Ear, has finally reached its official release date! You can buy tracks or the whole album on Jim's MySpace site ... track purchasing and CD details will be available on this website soon.

8/22/2007 The set list for Jim's recent performance at Molettiere's Cafe in Lansdale has been added to the Performances page.

7/31/2007 A new photo of Jim's first solo live performance has been added at the bottom of the Performances page. A zip file of the complete Afterimages debut album has been added to the options on the Downloads page.

6/22/2007 We've moved things over to a new server. Apologies to those who saw the temporary "Under Construction" message while things were underway!

6/19/2007 The Performances page has been updated with the set list from Jim's Grape Street gig at the end of May. A live version of "Wishing Well," recorded at Jim's first Grape Street gig back in February, has been added to the Downloads page. Jim's next scheduled gig will be at Molettiere's Cafe in Lansdale on August 18.

5/14/2007 While Jim has been busily working on the final mixes for his upcoming album Playing Life by Ear, his debut album Afterimages has been made available for download in its entirety (including art and insert text).

3/29/2007 Wondering what Jim's been up to lately? He's hard at work writing new tunes for a local production of Sam Shepard's play True West. Jim's music will be featured during preshow and intermission music, and used exclusively during scene changes. His main theme track, "True To Me," is now available on the Downloads page.

2/23/2007 The set list for Jim's recent appearance at Puck as been added to the Performances page. Things have also been tweaked a bit on this page: Older news items are now archived below, and an Upcoming Appearances box has been added above.

2/17/2007 Photos from Jim's recent Grape Street gig have been added to the Performances page. And no sooner are those up than a second Grape Street gig has been confirmed! Jim will be returning on Saturday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m.

2/16/2007 Jim played an impromptu set at an open mic night last night; the set list has been added to the Performances page. He's planning to be at another open mic this coming Wednesday, 21 February, at Puck in Doylestown. The show begins at 7:30, with free admission.

2/9/2007 Special thanks to everyone who came out for the Grape Street gig. It was a very cool experience to play at such a renowned venue! You can check out the set list from last night on the Performances page.

1/19/2007 Jim is scheduled to appear at the Grape Street Philadelphia on Thursday, February 8, at 8:15, in the Grape Room. The site design has also been tweaked again, courtesy 5-x-5 Design. Continue to keep an eye out for further updates, as well as announcements on the upcoming Playing Life By Ear release.

12/29/2006 As you can see, the site has been given a makeover for 2007, to coincide with the upcoming release of Playing Life by Ear. Special thanks to Glen Eric Reed for taking and providing the photos.

12/03/2006 This year's new Christmas download, "Time For Christmas", the 2006 version, is now available on the Music Downloads page.

11/19/2006 Thanks to everyone who made it out to the Kitty Cottage benefit last night. Your donations will be a big help for the cause!!! Last night's set list has been added to the Performances page, along with a new picture.


Copyright ©2003–2013 James P. Balcerek. All Rights Reserved.