Friday Blues Fix
Jim Byrnes has done a lot of living in his nearly 66 years. He lost both legs after being hit by a passing car while helping a buddy move a truck in the early 70's. He worked for years as an actor, notably in the 80's series, Wiseguy, and Highlander: The Series, and providing voices for several animated films and series. However, his first love was music and during that time, he has also won acclaim as a blues musician, releasing several award-winning albums since the early 80's for Canadian labels Stony Plain and Black Hen. His latest release pays tribute to the music of his hometown, mixing original songs and classic tunes by artists like Albert King, Chuck Berry, W.C. Handy, Lonnie Johnson, and Little Milton that are associated with St. Louis. Byrnes' own songs work really well with his reworking of the classic tracks, and his voice is a great, gravelly mix of blues and soul. He gets plenty of support from the extraordinary guitarist Steve Dawson (who also produced), John Hammond, and Colin James, who plays guitar on one track. This is a nice birthday card for the city of St. Louis, which is celebrating its 250th birthday this year.