Globe And Mail
A wincing God looks down at a crazy world and can't help but catch a case of the blues. He has no problems with JimByrnes, who sings tunes that are sacred and secular, side by side, in a voice that is worn, wise and sweater-comfortable. (Byrnes, a Vancouver-based American -- he is "St. Louis Jimmy B." -- sounds a bit like old song-and-dance man Scatman Crothers, if obscure references do it for you). God forgot his galoshes, so on the fat backbeat of churchy traditional Didn't It Rain, heaven is raised -- at least until the water lowers and the rainbow rises. On the jaunty, acoustic Big Bill's Blues, a pushed-down soul eventually gets up. Aided by the triumphant gospel trio the Sojourners and the chafed fiddle of Jesse Zubot, Byrnes does great songs of hope. As for mixing blues and gospel, the doors of the House of Refuge are always open.