Looking back on Jim’s long musical history, it’s interesting to see the diversity of music he’s written. He’s got lost-at-love ballads, sentimental falling-in-love songs, cry-in-your-beer country songs, up tempo rallying songs, and funny dry-wit songs delivered with a wink in his eye. It’s also cool to read the stories behind the songs — something you don’t always get from the songs you hear online or on the radio.
“Paradise Bay. Oh man, Paradise Bay... I’m shaking my head as I’m typing this. That song means everything to me. It’s been my theme song for decades, my personal beloved song, and it’s always been my audiences’ favorite. The song I save for last in my performances. I wrote two verses of it in pencil on a small piece of cardboard in a factory where I worked. (Yes, I still have that piece of cardboard from Friday the 13th of March 1981. Framed.) My longtime friend Jerry Danks lent his incredible harmonies and fingerstyle guitar playing to it. Yet after all these years, it’s still a mystery to me. It’s one of those rare moments when the muses or the angels descend and get close enough to whisper the words and melody in your ear. Magical and miraculous... I am blest to have been entrusted with it.” - Jim Shoulak
“Hey, Jim, it was a pleasure working with you on this wonderful project! Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of such a great album. I think your songs are a great tool to help and inspire people as well.” - Anthony R.
On the album “Stayin' Focused,” love songs and lighthearted ditties mingle among tunes calling attention to human rights and social justice causes. It includes songs for the victims of domestic violence and child sexual abuse; and Jim’s commentaries on same-sex relationships, politicians, loneliness, and war.
“Hey, your project turned out pretty dang great! I like everything about ‘A Ship Called Jonathan Lee.’ The women’s backing voices in ‘The Roses of Dundee’ are genius. You totally channeled Randy Newman in ‘I Miss You Every Lent’ - I busted out laughing!” - Jerry Danks
Jim has a wonderful sense of humor that comes through in some of his songs. “It’s All Because of Jim” tells the story of a guy who’s envious of a guy named Jim for dating a young lady who just happens to be the object of his own affection. Confusing? Ha-ha. Give it a listen. Then there’s “I Miss You Every Lent” about a guy whose girlfriend gave up something unusual for Lent a few years ago. Creatively humorous. Don’t miss “Puppy Dog-Eyed Blues,” a daddy-daughter relationship song featuring his real-life daughter Sarah on background vocals. Finally, there’s the comical “Now That I’m 50,” written the day before Jim turned that age in 2008.