Jim Wake & Sleepwalker
Jim Wake & Sleepwalker played a unique mix of musical styles in and around the Netherlands. Between 1994 and 2014, the band released three CDs and early on, a cassette of a live recording.
They built up a substantial repertoire of original compositions, taking the traditional themes of love and loss, treachery and abandonment, hard times and cruel women and blending them with healthy doses of irony. Sleepwalker specialized in twisting forms as varied as country, Americana, gospel and tango to their own not altogether innocent purposes.
The band was fronted by Jim Wake, a transplanted American with an abiding passion for old time blues, bebop jazz, and the lyric that told a story and revealed a barbed or poignant truth. Besides serving as the lead vocalist, Jim Wake played rhythm guitar and blues harmonica. He was accompanied by Arnoud van Buuren on keyboards and accordion, Egbert Kemner on lead guitar (and occasionally, harmonica and saxophone), Konstantin Iliev on tenor sax, Eelco Flapper on drums and percussion, and Ruud Fransen on bass. Arnoud, Egbert, and Ruud also sang backup vocals.
In addition to compositions by Jim Wake, Egbert, Ruud, and Arnoud all contributed compositions to the repertoire. From 1994 until 2005, Gerard van den Andel played sax in the band. Over the years, numerous guest artists performed on stage and on Sleepwalker recordings, including blues harp legend John Lagrand; Thijs Rietveld, Kees Broekhof, and Erik Dekkers on trombone; Pim van der Hulst and Wim Nienaber on sax, Mathieu van der Krul, Ruud Peper, and Mauk van der Woude on trumpet; Baart Landstra, Jef Bos, and Bryan Chin A Feong on blues harp; Corné van Woerdekom on violin; and Geert Hoornweg on drums.
The band played its final gig on December 12, 2014.