Welcome to the Big Tent

In the spring of 2013, we wrote a song tribute to our home town Grand Rapids and posted a video of the band performing it on YouTube, as the city was competing for the title of 'Beer City USA'. We are certain that the 7 or 8 additional votes that our video inspired were the main reason that Grand Rapids secured the title by a landslide. As our special gift to you, we offer this free download of the song.


May 9 - GRSA 10th Anniversary, Grand Rapids MI, Wealthy Theater 7-11pm
The Grand Rapids Songwriters Alliance will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year by putting on a showcase of local songwriting talent. The Jukejoint Handmedowns will be opening up this show at 7pm with a short set of 4 original songs, and the evening will be full of performances by local songwriters who have had connections with this long time songwriting group. (founding members Nathan James and Tim Foley met at a GRSA meeting in 2010, and still participate in meetings from time to time to try out new material) Tickets are $10 and proceeds will be donated to Wellhouse.

May 17 - 7th Annual Bob Dylan Tribute at Founders, Grand Rapids MI, 9:30pm
Founder's Brewing Company presents the 7th Annual Tribute to Bob Dylan. Featuring performances by Nicholas James and the Bandwagon, Devin and the Dead Frets, The Jukejoint Handmedowns, Ian Gorman and Josh Rose. All Bob Dylan, All Night.

May 30 - Bow Tie Tavern, Sparta MI, 9-1
The Jukejoint Crew has been invited back to the Bow Tie Tavern for a Friday night show in the end of May - Our last appearance here was during one of the coldest and snowiest winter blizzards, and we're looking forward to kicking off the summer season in high style. Time to break out the bow ties again!

June 6, 7 & 8 - Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids MI, Time & Stage TBA
The Jukejoint Handmedowns have been playing this festival for the past three years, and we're hoping to play it again this year, as it frequently proves to be a highlight of the early summer. Watch this space for further details as they get ironed out.

June 19 - Lowell Showboat Sizzlin' Summer Concerts, Lowell MI, 7-9
The Jukejoint Handmedown boys are excited to announce that they will playing this summer at the Lowell Showboat's Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series. Thursday night at the Riverwalk Plaza in Downtown Lowell from 7:00-9:00pm. (for our 'East Side Michigan' fans, this is a half an hour closer, just sayin') Pack a picnic basket and come on down and enjoy the show down on the riverfront. Fun for the whole family!

July 12 - Private Party

September 20 - Fallasburg Fall Festival - Lowell, MI 3:45-5:00 pm
This is the third year that the Jukejoint Handmedowns will be playing the Fallasburg Fall Festival. Always a fun time for the whole family, with lots of Arts and Craft booths, delicious food, and an afternoon of toe tappin' live music.

October 11 - Private Party : Wedding Reception


Recording News - TWO NEW CDs PLANNED FOR 2014 - The Jukejoint Handmedowns have begun preliminary work on a pair of CD releases for the coming year. One full length 'thematic' CD, and an EP of Christmas tunes in time to stuff your holiday stockings at the end of the year.

'OH ME OH MY!' nominated for three 'JAMMIE AWARDS' -

The Jukejoint Handmedowns have released their follow up CD "Oh Me Oh My!" which we are excited to announce has been nominated for three JAMMIE AWARDS, for 'best Americana album', 'Big Jammie Album of the year' (a category which can be voted on by WYCE listeners), and for 'best Production/Engineering' - NOW AVAILABLE for download at CDbaby (and available as physical discs as well), Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, eMusic, etc -- 14 new songs by the boys, and featuring a few surprise guest appearances.

Meanwhile, our "Multiple Jammie* Nominated" debut CD "Everything But the Squeal" and is still available for $10 at any of our gigs, or you can also find it on iTunes for immediate download, or on Amazon.com, or physical discs and digital downloads are available at CDBaby.com. The disc is currently in the library at local alternative radio station WYCE (give em a call and make a request) and soon to be sent to a radio station near you (If you have a suggestion of where we might fit in, drop us an email with a suggestion). Click on the image below to see a larger version of the cover art. Reviews are In: Check out our demo page to read some of the rave reviews the cd is starting to receive.
*WYCE's local music award, we were one of the top 5 finalists for 'Best Roots Album', and were also nominated for 'Best Song ('Wings of Happenstance')', 'Best New Artist' and 'Album of the Year'.

About Us

The Jukejoint Handmedowns were established in 2010 as a duo act by founding members Nathan James and Tim Foley. They describe themselves as a 'Big Tent' American Roots group whose eclectic set list mixes old school country & western, 70's AM pop radio hits, jazz standards, rock and roll, an extensive catalog of original material, and just about anything else that strikes their fancy. Expanding to a trio in 2011 with the addition of Paul Harris on steel guitar, and then to a quartet in 2012 when Craig Van Otteren signed on as Mandolin/3rd Harmony, this entertaining group, with their country/bluegrass instrumentation, three part harmonies and suprising song choices are a hit with young and old alike.

Nathan James (rhythm & lead guitar, vocals) found a guitar in the closet and started playing in high school. Formerly a member of West Michigan bluegrass band 'Rusty Thimbles', and playing in various bands for the past 20 years. Mainly on guitar in our live shows, Nate is a talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, also playing ukulele, keyboards, harmonica, banjo, mandolin and percussion on several of our studio recordings.

Tim Foley (doghouse bass, vocals) learned to play guitar on an old Harmony Sovereign given to him by his uncle on his 13th birthday and has been playing in living rooms and around campfires since the early eighties, when, on a whim, he took up bass and cello about 15 years ago. Songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (adding piano, guitar, bouzouki and ukulele to studio recordings), formerly a bass player for the group 'Neon Grafitti', he's been playing in the St. Cecilia Adult Orchestra on both bass and cello for several years, plays cello in a string quartet, and also plays with Craig's band, 'The Significant Otters'.

Tim and Nate met at a Songwriter Group Meeting in the spring of 2010 and formed the JJHD as a "country & western" duo shortly thereafter. The act was honed on the streets of Holland at their summer 'Street Performer Series' and soon graduated to bars, festivals, private parties and nightclubs.

Paul Harris (pedal steel guitar or 'the ironing board') Paul's musical journey started with the gift of a Gretsch Country Gentlemen guitar for high school graduation. After 10 years playing guitar with local classic rock band 'Buffalo Cannon' he got the itch to play pedal steel guitar and signed on with the Jukejoint crew in the spring of 2011 and has since become an indispensable part of the 'Jukejoint Sound'.

Craig Van Otteren (mandolin, vocals) A good friend gave Craig an old Alvarez 6-string to learn on in the fall of '82. For the last 8 years it has served well as the house guitar at Quinn & Tuite's Open Mic which he hosts on Friday nights in Grand Rapids. In 2001, Craig took a liking to his wife's "Kentucky" mandolin. He now gets his kicks singing harmony and playing a Bill Bussmann "Old Wave" C# model mando. Also a member of the groups 'The Willeys' and 'The Significant Otters'. Craig's tent is also a regular fixture at several summer outdoor music festivals, and has volunteered at the Wheatland Music Festival for several years on 'kid's hill'. Craig signed on with the JJHD boys in the spring of 2012, and his command of that 'elusive third part harmony' and skills at improvisation have rounded out the band's sound immeasurably.

Photos above courtesy of Regina Joy Photography - stop and 'like' her facebook page, and tell her the Jukejoint Handmedowns sent 'cha.

The Jukejoint Handmedowns  ☀  Nathan James, Tim Foley, Paul Harris, Craig Van Otteren  ☀  616-516-7707