Since he began to moonlight seriously as a musician a dozen years ago, the Voorhees resident, who gives his "showbiz age" as 45, has put out a half-dozen CDs; opened for blues-rocker George Thorogood in Atlantic City and performed in South Jersey clubs; and developed a sweet niche penning and performing songs about poker.
He's been helped along the way by respected Philly music producer David Ivory - who engineered the Roots' epic CD, Things Fall Apart - and from the poker diva known as Hot Aussie Chick.
Wiener has benefited from a personal intensity as dazzling as the choppers he flashes when we meet at Starbucks in Haddonfield.
It's a rainy midmorning, and the signature Jimmie Lee shades are in his pocket, but within seconds he's tapping my arm, rapping his tune "Let's Go" and believing every word:
I am a rock-and-roll singer,
Gonna give it one last go,
Reached for the stars, slept in bars,
'Cause music's all I know,
Takin my last shot, ready or not,
Baby, here I go . . .
"I go out onstage, and the band starts playing the riff from 'Let's Go,' which is our opener," Wiener says. "I've got my Jimmie Lee outfit, my bandito girls, the glasses go on . . . and I'm ready to go."
Growing up on the Jersey Shore, in Atlantic City and Longport, Wiener had some music lessons but mostly taught himself to play guitar and piano. He was in a band called the Gashouse Gang at Mainland Regional High, but gave up music while at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.
He began practicing dentistry in 1985 and started playing again a decade later.
"I've written hundreds of songs, and I've probably sold only a couple thousand records," he says. "But I'm passionate about it. I'd do it for nothing."
I take his word for it, but decide to call up his producer.
"You know what he's got? Tenacity is what he's got," Ivory says from his studio in Gwynedd Valley.
"Is he Kenny Chesney? No. But he's original, and he has a focus and a drive like no other."
Gary Rooney, who lives in Audubon, has been Wiener's patient for 15 years.
"I've got a rock-star dentist and I like it," says Rooney, 56, a retired New Jersey Turnpike toll-taker.
"He's an excellent dentist and he's very personable. And, even while I'm more of a blues fan, I like talent."
Many patients "love hearing his music," says Janet Ymer, who handles insurance and billing at Wiener's Audubon office. "One patient wants to write a song about him."
His audience is mainly "middle-aged, blue-collar guys," says Wiener, whose website is jimmieleesongs.com.
The party girls on his CD covers, the trucker anthems, and the good ol' boy vibe of his music are part of what he calls the "mythical" Jimmie Lee persona.
"I'm a doctor," says the married father of two. "I don't drink. I don't smoke. I'm in the office at 8:30. I'm on a low-fat diet."
The musical life isn't just glamour, either.
"There are disappointments all the time," he says. "Shows get canceled, and I've had things promised to me by booking agents that didn't come through."
A ceaseless self-promoter, Wiener does "20 things in a day when most people do five." Is it worth it? Of course.
"When I die, nobody will know I was a dentist," Wiener says. "I want them to remember that I had some good music."
James Wiener as Jimmie Lee performs his best-known poker song, "I'm All In":
Contact Kevin Riordan at 856-779-3845 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @inqkriordan. Read the metro columnists' blog, "Blinq," at www.phillynews.com/blinq.