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At age 14, Jimmy DePoy is already a singing, guitar-playing, songwriting veteran. Audiences can hear DePoy at this year's Relay for Life. Photo by Phil Houseal

Jimmy DePoy will perform at the annual Relay for Life this Thursday at Hondo's, along with David and Mark Mayfield, Riley Webb and Marc Utley, Rachel Remlinger, Tiffani Moellering, Hannah Jeffers, Angie Knaupp, Josh Dodds, Landon Rode and Rick Brodbeck. The grownups perform Wednesday, April 23.

Contact DePoy by calling 919-395-9879, or by visiting www.jimmydepoy.com.


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Jimmy DePoy

by Phil Houseal
Apr 16, 2008

If this guitar thing doesn't work out, he can always be a doctor or a lawyer.

At least that's what young Jimmy DePoy told me when discussing his precocious music career. The Fredericksburg Middle School student is a veteran in the music business. He let the world know he wanted to play music when he was only 4, according to his father, Jay.

"When he was 7, I bought him his first guitar," Jay DePoy said. He took lessons, and realized his lifelong dream by giving his first performance at age 8. It wasn't as easy as all that.

"I am shy," confessed Jimmy, who is now 14. "At that first performance, I was so shy I actually got sick. But my dad really pushed me along."

Dad pushed by introducing his son to a variety of artists.

"When I was little, my dad got me hooked on Johnny Cash and Bobby Bare. I wanted to be on stage, but I didn't know how hard it would be."

Jimmy still has to "psyche himself" before a performance. "I worry about what the audience is going to think, or what if I make a mistake."

Once young Jimmy had the performing part under control, he discovered a new challenge that intrigued him: songwriting.

"When I was little, I kept telling dad I heard songs about girls and love, but I wanted to write about something different," Jimmy said. His father went into Jimmy's room one night and found him with his guitar flipped over and him "writing like crazy."

"I said Jimmy what are you doing?" Jay recalled. "He said, 'Dad, you know all these songs about girls and stuff?' Well, he didn't like them, so he was working on writing his own song."

Life experience in an 8-year-old being somewhat circumscribed, Jimmy's themes were limited.

"My first song was about my allowance, something I didn't have at that time, and I wanted one," Jimmy said. "I wrote songs about stuff like when our well went dry."

Not the heart of romance, perhaps, but it was the incubator for later creativity. Today Jimmy has his own studio where he writes, arranges, plays all the instruments, and sings all the vocals as he creates his CDs, which according to his dad, sell quite well.

All child performers face one unavoidable challenge: they grow up.  Jimmy is approaching the stage where true talent trumps winsomeness, so he is getting more serious about his music. Trying to be a better guitar player is his top interest currently. Musically, he is branching out beyond country into classical, rock, and blues.

"I like listening to all sorts of music, and all styles of performance" he said. Has he found his own voice yet? "I think I've found my own voice, but it's not very clear right now. I am in the middle of that. All I know is that I love music."

Even while playing that music he loves every week, Jimmy still works on getting good grades. It is nice to have that "doctor" thing to fall back on.