Long Island Blues Society
Canadian roots run dark and Jim Byrnes channels the crossroads, the menace and the depth of fear. Covering blues to gospel to the Band, Jim gives new meaning to the realities. A double amputee thanks to a careless driver, Byrnes walks on through his amazing talent. Hailing from Vancouver now, Jim’s St. Louis origins make him a North of the border icon who wails with smoky grit and plays with conviction and truth. The covers are morphed into new worlds and Byrnes’ ability to recast familiar tales is unique. Check his version of the John Henry story in “Walk On Boy.” This album finds heart in the Gospel Sojourners as well as a superstar session band. The opener “Ol’ Rattler” captures desperation of a lifer waiting. The title cut makes good use of a Tango beat in a film noire ode of thanks to a stylish shillelagh. Django would’ve been appreciative as would the ever dapper Mr. Astaire. Sam Cooke lies at the heart of “Lookin’ For A Love”, Robbie Robertson’s “Ophelia” goes low, slow and mell-ow. Country brashness drives out of “Talk In Circles”, 50’s R&B Orbison or Elvis flows through “Lonely Blue Boy (Danny’s Song)” and “Drown In My Own Tears” is gospel hot and soulful a la Mr. Cocker. The disks keeps on with further exploration and brings it all to a halt with a totally satisfying listening experience.