Sometimes a performer needs to grow into their voice; sometimes, they need to unearth the right material to fit that voice, and sometimes, this may take quite some time. A perfect case in point: notwithstanding previous successes like My Walking Stick and Everywhere West, Jim Byrnes has never sung as impressively as he does here, perched on the cusp of his seventh decade. The songs are perfectly picked for his worn, smoky baritone, while the bluesy arrangements created with long-term producer/guitarist Steve Dawson brilliantly elucidate his unbowed character: The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” is taken at a weary slouch, while springy guitar gives “Everybody Knows” a jauntier, less bitter character than the Cohen original. Occasionally augmented with lowing, gospelly backing vocals and sepia-tint horns, the soul-funk settings recall the Seventies heyday of Little Feat, ingeniously applied to Byrnes’s originals like “Deep Blue Sea” and covers of such period classics as “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” and “Out Of Left Field”. An entirely pleasurable experience, recommended to Daptone fans everywhere.