Making a Scene Presents Gerry Casey’s Interview with Jim Basnight
Jim Basnight started recording solo and with the Moberlys in the late 70’s and led a pre-grunge original rock and roll scene in his native Seattle, before relocating to NYC in 1980. He’s been working live and releasing records ever since.
Armed in NY with his first album “The Moberlys” (on Seattle’s Safety First Label), he received critical acclaim there from among others Trouser Press, New York Rocker and Rolling Stone Record Guide. He reformed the Moberlys and worked with various east coast musicians and producers before returning to Seattle in 1984 where he found a more fertile ground to carve out a rock and roll living.
In 1985 Basnight moved to LA, CA with a third version of the Moberlys on the heels of his second album “Sexteen” on the Lolita label (France). In LA the Moberlys recorded with REM’s Peter Buck for EMI-America Records and several other noted producers.
Not securing an album release with EMI, led to the band separating in 1989, until reuniting in 2015. Jim took his reels of Moberlys tapes and continued to record in LA, leading to “Pop Top” (on his own Precedent label), his 3rd album release (first on CD) in 1993, after again returning to Seattle in 1992.
There he worked live with the Rockinghams in the NW, as well as solo. Basnight also co-composed “Little Rock,” a regionally successful musical, with productions in various US markets in 1994-96. Also in ’96 Jim released “Sexteen,” a CD album with the Bear Family label (Germany) of early Moberlys material.
That album was followed by the solo CD album “The Jim Basnight Thing” (1997 on Precedent), a Rockinghams CD album “Makin’ Bacon” (1999 on Not Lame), “Seattle-NY-LA” (2001) a CD album compilation of latter day Moberlys tracks on the Pop the Balloon label (France) and the solo “Recovery Room” (2004) on Precedent.
After the Rockinghams split in 1999, Jim turned the Jim Basnight Band into a full-time working pursuit, constantly traveling in the NW region (up to the present at the rate of 200 dates per year in WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, UT and CA), while issuing CD compilations of past material in Italy (“Pop Pleasure” on Rave Up Records 2006), Japan (“Return” on Wizzard-In-Vinyl 2006) and the USA (“We Rocked and Rolled” on Disclosed Records 2008).
After working as a sports website journalist with the Seattle Times, Yahoo and ESPN from 2005-11 to support a new family while still gigging the region, Basnight became a managing partner in a research project on blues icon “Sonny Boy Williamson” (Alex Miller).
Jim released the CD album “Introducing Jim Basnight” in 2012 on Precedent and continued his “Sonny Boy” research and shows. In 2019 Basnight released the album “Not Changing,” which received a strong response from indie radio, specialty shows and widely heard podcasts, as well as notable reviews from around the globe.