Jim Garver

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Jim Garver
OriginConcordia, Kansas
InstrumentsGuitars, banjo, fiddle, piano, percussion, vocals
Years active1988–present
Associated actsGarth Brooks

James Garver is a country music guitarist. Garver is credited with naming the bar "The Oasis" (after a closed establishment in his hometown of Concordia, Kansas) in the song Friends in Low Places made famous by Garth Brooks.[1] Garver toured extensively with Brooks[2] and as of 2012, Garver has been credited with 25 different albums with roles ranging from musician to composer.[3]


Garver grew up in Concordia, Kansas with his parents, Don and Donna. Garver played in several bands, including the KFDI Ranchhouse Swing Band for about a year, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee. He was working full time as a bricklayer, and playing in a local band, in 1988 when he attended a writers' showcase one night at the Bluebird Cafe and met Garth Brooks. That same week, after learning that Brooks worked at a boot store, Garver went to the store and the two talked music again. Brooks invited Garver to join his band in May.[4] Shortly afterwards, Garver introduced Brooks to steel guitarist Steve McClure, a fellow Kansan, who also joined Brooks' band, now named Stillwater.[5] Within two months, Brooks signed with Capitol Records.[4] Garver recalled, "I originally started out as a fiddle player for him and he ended up liking my guitar playing better, so that's where I ended up." He added, "I was just happy to have a job."[5] In subsequent years, Garver provided backing vocals and played lead electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, and percussion.[6]

Mr. Garver has not performed as a musician since 2000. He and his wife Lana now own and operate Garver Builders, LLC, a commercial and industrial building contractor and developer, in Gallatin, Tennessee.[7]



  1. ^ "On the Road with Green River Ordinance" (PDF). Washburn University Center for Kansas Studies. Fall 2010. p. 6. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  2. ^ Cox, Patsi Bale (2009). "Chapter 13: It's a Once-in-a-Lifetime Thing". The Garth Factor: The Career Behind Country's BigBoom. Hachette oDigital. ISBN 978-1-599-95275-8. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "James Garver". Allmusic. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Samms Rush, Diane (November 15, 1997). "Kansans Love Having Garth as Their Boss: He Acts Like One of the Guys, They Say, But He Doesn't Spoil People, Either". The Wichita Eagle. p. 9A.
  5. ^ a b Bates, Michael (October 18, 1992). "Kansans Find Success Playing for Garth Brooks". The Daily Union. Associated Press. p. 22.
  6. ^ Bale Cox, Patsi (2009). The Garth Factor: The Career Behind Country's Big Boom. New York: Center Street. ISBN 978-1599950990.
  7. ^ "Garver Builders, LLC partners". Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-08.

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