Jed Zimmerman of Heber Springs has added his name to the treasure trove of talent found in Cleburne County.
Jed Zimmerman of Heber Springs has added his name to the treasure trove of talent found in Cleburne County. Zimmerman comes with an extensive and varied music background, providing a refreshingly new choice for residents who feel the musical selection in our county hasn’t changed much in the past years.
Zimmerman writes and performs all his songs. Each song sounds new and fresh, though influence from past legends is evident throughout his music. After listening to his songs, it is hard to pigeonhole his style into a stereotypical musical genre. Blues, country, rock, fold, alternative, and a host of other sounds noticeably influence each song. Zimmerman describes his musical style as Americana, incorporating many different sounds from the American songbook.
Zimmerman lived in Memphis, which is historically well known for its unique and eclectic musical styles. The Memphis sound is unmistakable in the songs on his most recent album, “Shedlight”. Zimmerman soaked up musical influences during his time in Austin, Texas and also in Taos, New Mexico, which is a well known cultural Mecca for artists of all stripes.
“I was born in Ohio close to Lake Erie,” said Zimmerman. “We moved to Memphis when I was eight. I lived in Memphis until I was in my early twenties and then I went out on the road.”
“My mom was a real accomplished piano player,” continued Zimmerman when asked about his musical influence as a child. “My dad played guitar and wrote some songs and stuff, but it was when I was in the 9th grade, when I heard Bob Dylan, that I fell in love with songwriting and music. It was a song called ‘Before the Flood’ and his voice was the strongest voice I had ever heard. From that moment on I got into the songwriting part of it.”
As with many songwriters, Zimmerman used music as a way of working out his thoughts and problems.
“I started writing just to deal with my own problems or something,” said Zimmerman. “Just like someone writing a diary or writing poetry.”
“ I started doing that and would start playing on my front porch,” continued Zimmerman. “I had a few musician friends that would ask me to come play at places in Memphis and it all kind of took off from there.”
Although he has been in a band, Zimmerman is currently a solo artist as he settles into Heber Springs to focus on raising his family.
“My parents always had a place in Tannenbaum for like 20 years,” said Zimmerman. “So after traveling all over this country, I’ve seen all the national parks and everything, I would always come back here and go ‘This place is beautiful and it’s a great place to raise a kid.’”
Zimmerman and his family have lived in Heber approximately a year. He recently played at a songwriting festival in Hot Springs. He has set up business as an accomplished painter, but music is his heart and hopes to share his sound with residents at events and concerts in the future. Concerts at private parties have become popular at other Arkansas tourist destinations, especially summer lake homes, and Zimmerman has stated he hopes that takes root in our community as well.
If you would like to view a video of Zimmerman performing his original song, “Black Eyed Susan”, check out the video section of our website at www.thesuntimes.com