Although many of the songs on the album address social and political issues, it’s done so in a way that blends seamlessly with the respective song. Over it all, Willingham’s distinctive voice shines through, an honest voice dripping with backyard Athens spirit and the sentiments of outsider folk. ” - Patrick Barry

Flagpole Magazine (Feature)

Songs such as ‘Turns Out Wrong‘, ‘The Nail‘ and ‘Open And Carry‘ are catchy and upbeat, whilst the slower-paced and more atmospheric ‘Swells Of Sounds‘ and ‘Phantom Train‘ provide an opportunity for the band to show their experimental side. Throughout, Willingham’s distinctive vocals ensure that each song is interesting, and with each listen there is more to discover; Dim Watts ‘Eye Two Three‘ is an album that, without doubt, adds another fascinating layer to the musical palette of Athens GA.” - Graham Bollands

Americana UK

I love thoughtful music that spins like a mobile over a baby's cradle, teaching hard lessons with a gentle spirit (subversive maybe to some but gentle) and I feel that here. Sonically, like an amalgam of Neil Young, Frank Black, Violent Femmes and Flaming Lips, the down home Dim Watts draws you in with a rustic, whimsical persona. We want to absorb, we want to sing along like a gospel misfit choir and I say misfit as a complement. ” - Robb Donker Curtius

American Pancake


“... this balance, comfortable atmospheric fugues, lingering melodies & a noisy take on traditional songwriting that give the record so much character. 5 Stars” ”

Creative Loafing ATL (’The Underground Stream’)

"...hails from the Lee Hazelwood school of atmospheric twang, with a touch of dreaming, drifting psychedelic listlessness... crunches together all these slightly different sides of the band into a good approximation of prime Elephant 6 lo-fi indulgence.." ”

Pitchfork (’The Captain’s Table’)

"Backed by a crew of esteemed townie musicians (members of Olivia Tremor Control, Ballard Lesseman, etc.), Willingham etches himself firmly into Athens’ musical lore."”

Aquarium Drunkard (’Ham1’ self titled)


The latest psyche folk rock project from veteran Athens, GA songwriter.

A long known and well loved gem of Athen's ever fertile music scene, Jim Willingham has steadily released his unique brand of gentle hearted but rough around the edges folk rock for over 20 years. From the mid 2000's into the teens, he fronted Ham1, which included members of Olivia Tremor Control and Patterson Hood's solo band. They toured with and backed well known folk outsiders such as Vic Chesnutt. 

Ham1 morphed into Old Smokey during the teens, focusing predominantly on Willingham's knack for succinct instrumentals with memorable melodic hooks. Old Smokey incorporated banjo, wind and bowed instruments and captured the kudzu covered pace of Athens and life in the southeast. 

Dim Watts is a return to Willingham's more straightforward folk rock- showcasing his knack for finding beauty or meaning in the mundane or meek, possessing an ever present emotional sensitivity in his lyrics, with humble and clever musings on being alive in an awkward world. 

Willingham has performed on stages across the southeast and wider U.S. From DIY venues to larger clubs and theaters- his unassuming demeanor paired with funny story telling and observation-through-song always leaves both new and familiar audiences smiling. He was the recipient of the 2020 Vic Chesnutt Songwriting Award and shares similarities to the namesake's songwriting. Think David Berman literary weight paired with Daniel Johnston hanging-by-a-thread delivery and you'd land somewhere in the ballpark of his style.

For most of the year, Willingham teaches reading to special needs students but is available for summer, weekend, festival and one-off bookings. 

Contact or for booking inquiries.  


Photo: Mike White,

Press photos