Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Jim Byrnes, long a Vancouver resident, hails from St. Louis. On St. Louis Times, he gives us what he calls songs from and about St. Louis, a city he feels is often musically overlooked.

On W.C. Handy's classic St. Louis Blues, Byrnes takes a run through various hometown musical styles, opening with slow blues, moving up to a sultry tango, rolling into an easy barrelhouse, back to tango, on to some happy ragtime, all the while bringing in saucy clarinet fills. As he sings of that old evening sun going down, he gives us the musical tour.

There's also the R&B of Albert King's I Get Evil, the slinky blues of Somebody Lied, with harp from John Hammond, the slowed down, classic rock of Chuck Berry's Nadine, and the fun and laughs of ragtimey The Duck's Yas Yas Yas, with its acoustic guitar and tuba. Great fun.

Byrnes gets Colin James in on a delightful acoustic guitar solo for Milton Campbell's That Will Never Do and rolls on out with Lonnie Johnson's slow piano blues Another Night to Cry.

After hearing this album, there should be no St. Louis doubters, only shouters.

Year: 
2014