Jimmy Paschal grew up listening to bluegrass records and eight-track recordings and watching Hee-Haw. “I remember a friend gave me an eight-track with a bunch of bluegrass music on it and funny songs,” Jimmy says. “I really got into bluegrass when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old.” Jimmy saw a banjo in a music store in Greensboro, and his mother bought it for him. He started learning by listening to lots of bluegrass, looking through some books on playing, and watching the banjo players and bluegrass musicians in his home area. Some of the musicians he heard around Yadkin County include Jerry Casstevens and Bill Van Hoy. “There was just a slew of musicians in this area,” he says. “Far too many to name.”
Jimmy first performed with Sam Jones and Moonlight Express. The group played at local and regional events. They recorded a CD that was often featured on the radio station in Mocksville, North Carolina. He also played for about seven years with Joe Stone, a bluegrass musician who made several popular recordings with Bobby Adkins and performed on regional radio and television programs. “He was about seventy years old when I met him and started playing with him,” Jimmy recalls. Most recently, Jimmy has performed with Brad Greer and Rodney Gordon, both Yadkin County musicians.
In addition to banjo, Jimmy plays bluegrass mandolin, and he refers to Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, and Reno and Smiley as influences. “I like to listen to about all the older groups,” he says. He enjoys playing the traditional bluegrass repertoire, that music has inspired his own songwriting. “I’ve been writing songs for more than a decade,” he says.
Jimmy also attends jam sessions and picking parties around the region. “I just jam around wherever we can all get around to pick,” he says.
Jimmy Paschal is available for performances with a small bluegrass group. He is also available for private lessons, demonstrations, and to help with recording projects.