One of the great things about music is that you never know when or from where your next good discovery will come. It might even come from an American-born Canadian singer-songwriter who has won six Juno awards and starred on television shows. On the new album Long Hot Summer Nights, Jim Byrnes shows that he just might be the next singer-songwriter you mention to all your friends.
The album begins with "Step by Step". This has an old-time soul feel to it - especially in the horns and organ. Meanwhile the guitar solo has a blues-rock feel to it. When you listen to Byrnes you might try to place why his vocals seem so familiar. The tone is pretty similar to Ray Wylie Hubbardalthough Hubbard has a little rougher edge to his voice than Byrnes.
"The Shape I'm in" is another song that catches the attention. This is a blues song - complete with harmonica - that blends some New Orleans sound in with the piano. Add to that a walking bass line and what you get is a song that makes you move. If you can find a dance partner for this song, you should do it.
If you like a slow-grooving blues song, "There Is Something on Your Mind" is the song for you. Yes, it has the very common theme This song is driven by the bass and the horns. The beat is slow and steady. Then comes the guitar solo, which is quite a treat. Like the rest of the song, this is more about the groove than trying to impress with the speed of playing. The solo includes enough bent notes to make B.B. King proud. This song also includes a saxophone solo that is irresistible. It's not a long song, but it will make you feel something below the belt.
This is a really good album - especially if you like blues and soul. The upbeat songs and happy sounds throughout the album should definitely help improve your day. Long Hot Summer Nights (Black Hen Music) was released on Nov. 3 and is available everywhere now.