“I have the Nord Electro 2 (73) and the Nord Stage Classic. I purchased the Nord Electro 2 not long after it first came out. I remember setting up the Electro next to my Wurlitzer. I would play the Wurly, then play the Nord. I was blown away by the way the Nords Wurlitzer patch sounded compared to the real Wurly. The only difference was that the Nord was way more quiet. Plus, no tuning. Then there is the Nord’s B3 Organ sounds. It the best “non tone wheel” organ sounds out there. When I don’t have access to my Hammond C3- I use my Nord.
However, the Nord Stage is my workhorse. It goes with me everywhere. I love the acoustic piano samples, especially using the inboard compressor, I prefer it over any “plug in’ compressor. Its great having the option to use the amp simulators, and inboard effects. Its like having a pedal board at your fingers. Having the Synth section on the Stage, for me, has been a life saver, or “session” saver. Its so easy to create a cool synth concoction in a matter of seconds. The best part of it is being able to manipulate the timbre, waves, frequencies all manually.”
~Jimmy Wallace- keyboardist for Gavin Degraw
GEAR: Electro 2, Stage (soon to be the Stage 2)
What is left for a seasoned musician to accomplish when he’s put his talent into the mix of chart-topping hit records and shared the stage with some of the greatest acts that music will ever see? Many industry veterans would hang their hats and say it’s been a grand ride. However, Louisiana-native, Jimmy Wallace has chosen to test his trades in yet another aspect of the business with his debut solo album Workin’ for Peanuts.
Inspired by various characters from the Peanuts comic strip, Wallace brings to life this staple of American pop culture in his catchy compilation. Driven by his signature skill on the blacks and whites and backed by his soulful, dynamic delivery, each tune more than proves that he has a natural knack for songwriting.
The idea for a cartoon-based concept album arose from a creative struggle after returning home from extensive touring in 2009. Scanning the room for inspiration, Wallace fastened in on a plastic figurine of “Schroeder,” one of the many pieces of Peanuts memorabilia in his home. A longtime fan of the comics and cartoons, he empathized with the conflicted characters. “Why not write about what Schroeder is thinking or feeling and get out of my own head space?” he thought to himself.
“The song ended up being one of my more creative and rewarding songs to date,” Wallace says. “So I asked, ‘Why not write a whole concept album on the Peanuts characters?’”
“The Life of Schroeder” was followed by seven equally dulcet yet distinct tunes that accounted for each character’s handling of adolescence and the challenges of growing up, such as love and physical insecurities. Musically, the album encompasses Wallace’s vast range of tasteful style and composition, including the Snoopy-based instrumental “Snoopstock,” which was inspired by original Peanuts composer, Vince Guaraldi.
Undoubtedly bestowed with an innate, raw talent, Wallace began studying classical piano at the age of 8, and continued to be influenced by a wide realm of piano and organ extraordinaires, such as Billy Preston, Billy Powell, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Jimmy Smith and friend, Chuck Leavell. He joined Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band in 1993, where his Hammond B-3 and piano work became an integral part of the band’s sound with his fiery presence on Ledbetter Heights and Trouble Is… Together these albums produced five top 10 singles and two #1 rock hits, earning Wallace nationwide accolades for his top-notch contribution. He later reunited with the band in 2000 for the Jimmy Page and Black Crowes tour, The Place You’re In tour of 2004 and the Ten Days Out blues documentary, released by Warner Brothers in 2006.
Sharing the stage with icons such as Bob Dylan, the Eagles, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, B.B. King, the Black Crowes and Jimmy Page, Wallace has already joined an elite group of musicians. His resume extends to performing with R& B artist N’dea Davenport (Brand New Heavies Fame), Pam Tillis, Chuck Berry, Leroy Parnell and most recently, Gavin DeGraw, who he joined on the road in 2008-2009, playing Hammond Organ, piano, acoustic guitar and background vocals.
Still adjusting to life off the road and focusing on his creative approach, Wallace is currently promoting the release of Workin’ for Peanuts with solo appearances in Nashville and as a member of the up and coming band, 18 South, featuring Jon Randall Stewart, Jessi Alexander, Guthrie Trapp, Mike Bub and Larry Atamanuik. His song for the Peanuts’ character Linus, cleverly entitled “Don’t Take My Blanket,” has become a crowd-pleaser, as the band makes their introduction at festivals across the country. Workin’ for Peanuts and a ringtone for “Don’t Take My Blanket” are now available on iTunes!