On Wednesday, October 12th at 6pm, Hub City Bookshop will welcome Jim Sonefeld to the Bookshop for a reading and signing of his memoir, Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride. The book tells the unvarnished story of the drummer and principal songwriter's experience with the band—their humble beginnings, meteoric rise in the 90s, and everything that came after. Vulnerably revealing Sonefeld's own experience with addiction and recovery, the book is both a fascinating insider account and an uplifting redemption story. Don't miss your chance to meet Jim in person!
This event is free and open to all, and will take place in-person at Hub City Bookshop.
RSVP at the link below to let us know you're coming, and don't forget to buy your copy of the book from Hub City!
The ultimate front-row seat to the rise, fall, and rebirth of a band that was—for a time—the biggest in the world, Hootie & the Blowish, and Jim Sonefeld’s shattering and redeeming spiritual path from addiction to recovery and a more fruitful life
For a time, there was no bigger band in the world than Hootie & the Blowfish—rock & roll’s unexpected foil to the grunge music that dominated the early ’90s airwaves. In Swimming with the Blowfish, Jim Sonefeld, drummer and one of the band’s principal songwriters, reveals the inside story of the band’s humble beginnings, meteoric rise, sudden fall, and ultimate rebirth—and in the telling he opens his heart to readers about addiction, recovery, and faith.
Hootie became ubiquitous in the ’90s—their debut album Cracked Rear View was one of the best-selling in the history of rock music; they won two Grammy Awards; their live performances were played alongside the Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., and even Willie Nelson and Neil Young; and they appeared at the biggest venues in the world. Though Jim enjoyed the perks that came with fame—the parties, the relationships, the money, the drugs and alcohol—eventually it all became a camouflage that hid a deeper spiritual malady. As his life was careening toward disaster, he reached out his hands to seek relief in twelve-step recovery, eventually settling into a loving, but by no means uncomplicated, homelife.
A book that encapsulates a band still beloved by legions of fans, Swimming with the Blowfish is much more—an unpretentious, emotional story of one man’s spiritual path to a more fruitful life. Jim’s journey is shattering, redeeming, and ultimately as comforting as your favorite flannel shirt.
Jim “Soni” Sonefeld has had a prolific career spanning from touring musician in one of the top-selling rock bands of all time, to award-winning songwriter, to solo artist. As Sonefeld gears up to release his fourth faith-inspired EP, Remember Tomorrow,
he’ll be adding the title of author to his list of achievements. His memoir, “Swimming With The Blowfish – Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride,” published by Diversion Books, will be released in late June of 2022.
The Hootie & the Blowfish drummer grew up dreaming more of sporting victories than becoming a successful musician, but after that dream came to a close, he immediately began writing songs, performing, and chasing a music dream. With the unsuspected success of Hootie & the Blowfish’s 1994 debut release, “Cracked Rear View”, he and his bandmates found themselves traveling the world to support what would become the 9th best-selling album of all time in the United States.
The first single, “Hold My Hand,” a tune Sonefeld brought to the band early on, helped thrust Hootie & the Blowfish into its great success, and likewise showcases his songwriting ability. In the years to follow, the band would record six more studio albums and receive numerous awards, among them, two GRAMMYS®.
In the early 2000s Sonefeld began relying on drugs and alcohol to feed an emptiness growing inside of him and would struggle to control his substance use. It wasn’t until late 2004 that he finally accepted he was powerless over drugs and alcohol. It was there he made a turn that would save his life and eventually alter his spiritual path.
With a sober mind and new clarity, he began writing about his transcendent experience and the journey into healthier, happier living. Since his first full-length solo album Snowman Melting (2008) was released, under the name James Sonefeld, he has delivered a trilogy of EPs coined, Found In Love.
The gift of recovery is what leads him to help others by sharing his powerful story and his music with groups around the southeast. Sonefeld is thrilled to be stepping out from behind the drum kit again to play his latest single ‘Bow To Him,” stating, “This song celebrates a full submission to love. It acknowledges God as a true liberator.”
Other tracks from his new EP, including the rocking “Unafraid,” and sentimental “I See Heaven On Earth,” fall in line with themes of acceptance, transformation, and victory over life’s difficulties. These days, Sonefeld enjoys his coffee, an obsession with Liverpool Football Club, and being part of his blended family of seven, never taking for granted the blessing of the far-reaching audience he has garnered through his career with Hootie & the Blowfish. But, no matter the size of the audience before him, Sonefeld is grateful to be performing music and spreading the positive message that’s always inspired him.