With his soaring tenor vocals and vintage 6-string bass guitar with surf inspired twang, Jimmy Touzel has crafted a unique concept album and signature solo country act. His debut full length album, Lonesome Lullabies, was released on July 21rst, 2023 by Belle Isle Records and is available on all streaming platforms as well as LP/CD/Cassette. Drawing on influences such as 50’s rock, surf guitar, spaghetti westerns, and the 1960’s Nashville Sound, Lonesome Lullabies was recorded and mixed 100% on analog tape and is drenched in plate reverb, tremolo, and slap back delay. These hallmarks of 50’s and 60’s music were deftly used by Jimmy to craft a sound with Lonesome Lullabies that is dreamy, ethereal, and sad. Early reactions to the album have drawn comparisons to Brian Wilson, the Flamingos, Eddie Arnold, Link Wray, Hank Williams, Ennio Morricone, and Ricky Nelson.
Before embarking on his journey as a solo artist, Jimmy has been a mainstay in the San Francisco Bay Area’s traditional American music scene for the past 15+ years. Playing upright bass, electric bass, tuba, clarinet, and sax, he specializes in traditional bluegrass, traditional jazz, django jazz, old time, rockabilly, classic country, and western swing. In addition to numerous music and film recordings on the upright bass fiddle, electric bass guitar, and clarinet, Mr. Touzel has toured coast-to-coast at home in the US, as well as performances in Canada, Holland, France, Belgium, Costa Rica, and Russia. He has performed live on stage with groups of note, such as the Earl Brothers, Gaucho, the Stylistics, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Evanescence, Lindsey Sterling, the Brothers Comatose, Jackie Gore, and the Tams.
In addition to his love for traditional American music, Mr. Touzel has a passion for performing classical music on the clarinet. Before moving to the Bay Area, he held the Bass Clarinet chair in the Symphony Orchestra Augusta (GA) and the 2nd/Eb Clarinet position in the Long Bay (Myrtle Beach, SC) Symphony. Additionally, he played with the Wilmington (NC) Symphony and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Jimmy has performed under the batons of many of the worlds leading conductors such as David Zinman, James Dupriest, Julius Rudel, Michael Stern, and Damon Gupton. He attended the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with Bass Clarinet legend Dennis Smylie.
Originally from Georgetown, South Carolina, Jimmy earned his Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of South Carolina where he studied clarinet with Doug Graham, jazz bass with Jim Mings, and jazz with Bert Ligon. Past clarinet studies also include Mark Brandon, and Gloria Campione. Past bass teachers have included Ken Miller, Djordje Stijepovic, Craig Butterfield, and Reggie Sullivan. An educator himself, Mr. Touzel is a member of the instrumental music faculty at the Oakland School for the Arts, where he teaches classes in classical, jazz, rock, and music history.