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The Great American Guitarist


Entering his sixth-decade playing on stage, JIM McCARTY, plays with passion and energy of younger days. Like his hometown defined the automobile he helped define the American ROCK guitar sound. McCARTY is regarded for lending his signature sound to MITCH RYDER & The Detroit Wheels, BUDDY MILES Express, CACTUS, and The ROCKETS. In recent years he’s step away from playing ROCK full-time to concentrate on his first love the BLUES.

Playing guitar is what he does. JIM McCARTY and Friends, now Two volumes, showcases him as “the BLUESMAN” trading licks and jamming with some of the finest BLUES musicians in the world. No rehersals. No planning. No net. Just old school jamming. Often borrowing a guitar to play.  Seeing where the music will go.

Sure he is an incredible ROCK player, but check out his BLUES chops. Whether it’s ROCK or the BLUES, JIM McCARTY, has a unique distinctive tone all his own. Endulge yourself in JIM McCARTY’s BLUES!

A Short History of JIM McCARTY

A Short History of JIM McCARTY


JIM McCARTY & Friends II – Live from Callahan’s

Based on response to initial CD second volume is released. CD again features live impromptu recordings made at CALLAHAN’S MUSIC HALL when McCARTY jumps on stage to jam with appearing Blues artists. Again with no overdubs or editing (other than..Read More


DBS Lifetime Achievement Award .. 2013

Received the distinguished “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Detroit Blues Society.


Cactus DVD & Tour of Japan .. 2012

Due to fan demand CACTUS reforms for a Tour of Japan. During Tour the band recorded and released a combined 2 CD set and performance DVD. McCARTY believes this the finest recording tehe band ever made.


JIM McCARTY & Friends – Live At Callahan’s

JIM McCARTY & Friends “Live At Callahan’s” is released. The album is a collection of impromptu jam recordings made on the spur of the moment when McCARTY jumps on stage to “jam” with various Blues artists at CALLAHAN’S MUSIC HALL...Read More


Cactus Reunion .. 2006

Experted from Wikipedia entry .. CLICK HERE for full entry. .. “After a long hiatus, Cactus re-emerged in June 2006 with two appearances in New York City: A radio appearance on The Radiochick Show, and their first show since 1972..Read More

The Grammy .. 2006

Exerpted from Wikipedia .. CLICK HERE for full entry. .. “In 2005, LES PAUL recorded Les Paul and Friends: American Made, World Played, with an all-star band. He covered 69 Freedom Special, an instrumental tune co-written by McCarty and recorded while..Read More


Mystery Train .. 1992 – Present

A request to assemble a house band for the now-defunct Memphis Smoke led JIM to form his current band MYSTERY TRAIN. Detroit’s now legendary Blues band that mixes in a little Rock and Roll here and there. JIM’s bandmate EMMANUAL..Read More


Post Rockets Bands .. 1984 – ’92

After the Rockets breakup McCARTY has spent time with three Detroit-area bands including his own Blues band MYSTERY TRAIN which he plays with today. – BLACK MARKET .. Consider Detroit’s all-time best Reggae Band for 2 years. – DETROIT BLUES BAND..Read More


Cactus Influence on Van Halen

McCARTY’S playing and the CACTUS sound have influenced a number of prominent rock bands. None bigger than VAN HALEN. CLICK HERE to check our the influence discussed in an interview in 2008. Watch the video below for an interesting video..Read More


Bob Seger “Get Out Of Denver” .. 1974

McCARTY plays lead guitar on “Get Out Of Denver” which appears on BOB SEGER’S “Seven” album. The track released as a single achieve #80 on the Pops chart. Many consider the album to be on of SEGER’S best and it..Read More


The Rockets .. 1973-’83

Exprted form Wikipedia .. CLICK HERE for the complete entry. Shortly after his return to Detroit, McCARTY along with childhood friend and WHEELS bandmate JOHNNY “Bee” BADANJEK, form The ROCKETS to be Detroit’s next great Rock ‘N Roll band. “.. Vocals..Read More

Returns To Detroit – 1973

JIM decides to return to his hometown of Detroit. Shortly after returning he is greeted with theft of his most prized guitars. According to JIM stolen were “.. ’59 cherry sunburst Les Paul, and that was stolen along with a ’54..Read More


Cactus .. 1970-’71

Portions exeprted from Wikipedia .. CLICK HERE for compelte entry Meets CARMINE APPICE who along with TIM BOGERT of VANILLA FUDGE have just finished supporting LED ZEEPLIN on tour. The experience inspired them to form a “hard rock” band CACTUS...Read More


Influences & Late Night Jams – 1968, 1969 & 1970

1968 .. Hanging out with BUDDY MILES and JIMI HENDRIX hears studio tape of just recorded “Vodoo Chile” which blows mind. Walks around in early morning contemplating giving up music and pursuing another occupation. 1969 .. A late night jam..Read More

Buddy Miles Express – 1969

Met BUDDY MILES after playing with SIEGALL SCHWALL Band. MILES was a MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS fan and ask McCARTY to join his new band The EXPRESS. Intrigued by the idea of playing with a horn section agrees...Read More


Siegel-Schwall Blues Band – 1968

Played a short tour with SIEGEL-SCHWALL Blues Band. During the West coast dates McCARTY meets BUDDY MILES at the famous Whisky A Gogo in Los Angeles, CA. The meeting leads to him joining the BUDDY MILES EXPRESS.


Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels (1964-67)

Extracted from Wikipedia entry … CLICK HERE for complete entry ” ..  a young white singer by the name of William Levise, Jr., who was singing at a black soul club called The Village, met a rock & roll group..Read More



June 1, 1945 in Detroit, MI Father was a Big Band Drummer. Began playing drums at the age of 3. Father knew father of life long friend Johnny “Bee” Badanjek. As teenagers, McCarty gave Badanjek his first drum lessons. Still..Read More


JIM McCARTY & Friends II - Tracks


JIM McCARTY & Friends II – CD Release Party