Blues In Britain
...cont'd from review on Mississippi Sheiks Tribute DVD..."Jim Byrnes carries the same approach of melding traditional and modern into his own CD, “Everywhere West” … “dedicated to those who have gone before .. to those who taught me to take it like you find it or leave it like it is. It just be that way sometimes moving west”.
Byrnes is joined on this set by several artists who appear on the Sheik’s tribute – Steve Dawson, Keith Lowe and Daniel Lapp adding their talents to this highly impressive set.
Byrnes opens with his own “Hot As A Pistol”, a brooding, yet wistful blues that rides a “lonely Avenue” styled riff and melds elements of T-Bone and a little Muddy into the mix. Bobby Bland’s “Yield Not To Temptation” is a soulful blues with strong gospel overtones, hot slide (Dawson) and pumping Wurlitzer (Chris Gestrin) adding different textures to the mix – “Bootlegger Blues” is performed string band style as a tribute to the Sheiks, and features marvellous fiddle from Lapp – whilst “Black Nights” captures the essence of Lowell Fulsom’s blues with Byrnes proving what an accomplished blues singer he is, accentuated by Dawson’s slide and some great horn-work (Lapp, Bill Runge, Jerry Cook).
The traditional “No Mail Blues” updates the string band sound by adding electric guitar and Dixie styled trumpet – Lapp again to the fore as his grumbling trumpet and Dawson’s lowdown banjo complement the brooding intensity of Byrne’s vocals on his own “Storm Warning” – whilst Robert Johnson’s “From Four Until Late” is transformed into a Dixie masterpiece.
Add in a wonderful rendition of Jimmy Reed’s “Take Out Some Insurance On Me” with Keith Bennett excelling on harmonica – a Dixie/Tampa Red inspired rendition of Lonnie Johnson’s “You Can’t Get That Stuff No More” – and a wistful “Me And Piney Brown” with it’s meld of crescent City horns and Jay McShann styled piano, and you have a set I can wholeheartedly recommend."