How do you define ‘Blues’? I always liked Little Junior Parker’s observation “The blues is based on somebody’s life, it hits ’em in the heart, and the love comes out.” Judging by this emphatic, seasoned collection of well-chosen songs from Jim Byrnes, he’s been aiming for the heart throughout his 50 year career and he’s right on target. As Jim says, “What breaks or makes a song is the singer,” and that’s what Jim certainly is. Only talented musical maturity can give you the radar to spot the right song, and what fits next to it, so at the age of 69, Jim Byrnes knows what he’s doing. The title track and the infectious Van Morrison-flavoured Deep Blue sea are his own compositions. Recorded in Vancouver, this album has a superb horn section, Steve Marriner on harmonica and heart-warming harmonies from The Sojourners. Every track suits Jim’s warm voice perfectly; he shines on The Band’s The Shape I’m In, surprises you with Leonard Cohen’s moody Everybody Knows, and polishes his blues credentials with stirring renditions of Elmore James and Willie Dixon. This CD is a fine example of musical taste and talent and aged 69, Jim Byrnes proves that youth doesn’t have it all its own way. Hugely satisfying.