Jim Hurst was born in Middleboro, Kentucky into a musical family and was raised with a guitar in his hands. Jim was influenced early in his career by flatpickers such as Tony Rice and George Shuffler, but Doc Watson and Clarence White especially.
He also heard Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, and especially Jerry Reed, calling his discovery of their fingerstyle playing "a turn in the road" for him. His diverse tastes led him to play in several bands, playing country, bluegrass, blues, jazz and other styles. His career was already growing when Holly Dunn came calling in 1990.
He joined Holly's Rio Band as guitarist/mandolinist and harmony vocalist, touring the US and internationally, playing live TV, and stunning audiences with his musicianship. He joined Trisha Yearwood's band in 1992 adding electric guitar, something he spent many years doing, to his job description and toured more extensively including many high-profile radio and television appearances.
In the mid 1990's Jim also performed with Sara Evans, Travis Tritt, and the McCarter Sisters. He recorded with Sara Evans on her 1998 RCA release "No Place That Far", on harmony vocals and acoustic guitar.
In search of more bluegrass playing, Hurst joined Grammy nominated and IBMA Vocalist of the Year - Claire Lynch in 1995 and toured with Claire and The Front Porch String Band until the end of 1999. Jim joined Claire (and then husband, Larry Lynch), multi-instrumentalist Michael McLain and bassist Missy Raines to complete the Front Porch String Band ensemble.
It was then that Jim and Missy realized the similarities in their playing styles and musical desires. Jim and Missy began the duet "Jim Hurst & Missy Raines" in 1998 while touring with Claire Lynch. They broke off from Claire Lynch's band in 2000 to focus more sincerely on the duet, a groundbreaking arrangement in bluegrass music circles.
Together Jim & Missy's music delved into several different genres, while staying close to their bluegrass roots. Their two Pinecastle Records releases "Two" and "Synergy" received critical acclaim, culminating with Jim and Missy receiving the Guitar Player and Bass Player of year awards as well as nominations for Emerging Artists of the Year at the 2001 and 2002 IBMA Awards Ceremonies.
Jim and Missy rejoined Claire in the newly formed "Claire Lynch Band" in 2004, but continued playing as a duet for until November 2006.
Jim is a sought after Nashville studio musician, recording and performing with many acoustic artists such as John Cowan, Mark Schatz, Tim O'Brien, and Sam Bush. Jim continues to record and tour working solo dates, guitar workshops and clinics, and teaches private lessons as well as at music camps around the country.
Jim's most recent recording "A Box of Chocolates" - 2007 is the newest CD from the musical mind of Jim Hurst. Always looking for the new inspiration, Jim is currently working of his next recording.