Jim Byrnes

Jim Byrnes

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA

there arent many singers like Jim Byrnes around anymore No Depression
...smoldering intensity...deeply soulful... British Blues Connection
"a modern blues master." Acoustic Music.com
Jim Byrnes is the real deal as far as blues and roots music goes. Phoenix Blues Society


"The city streets of my boyhood; steam heat rising off the Mississippi; the railroad; grits and gravy; the Cardinals and the Dodgers on the radio; summers in Kentucky and the Ozarks; Jimmy Reed at The London House East, Bobby Blue Bland at the Cosmo Hall; Muddy at the Moonlight Lounge and Slicks Lakeside; the High Plains of east Colorado on a winter morning; the Charlie Company Boogie; all those nights in all those rented rooms; the wind off the ocean; the winter storms; the tough break and the heartache; the dust of Mexico; twilight on the Seine; the evening breeze, the distant thunder, the sweetness of the rain; the light and the laughter in my childrens eyes; the constant struggle and infinite joy of love." - Jim Byrnes.

Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri thats blues country. He grew up on the citys north side. One of the neighbourhood bars had Ike and Tina Turner as the house band. As a teenager going to music clubs, he and his buddy were often the only white people in the place. We never had any problems. We were too nave, and had too much respect for the music and culture they knew it, they could tell.

Starting piano at age five, by age thirteen, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in the summer of 1964. Over the years, he has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual whos who of blues history. From Furry Lewis and Henry Townsend to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Taj Mahal, Robery Cray and so many others, Jim has been on the blues highway for 40 years.

Byrnes moved to Vancouver, BC in the mid-70s after years of drifting, working odd jobs and playing music. In 1981 he put together a band that became a staple of the local music scene. In 1986 the Jim Byrnes Band played 300 nights.

Jim Byrnes fame as an actor has grown immeasurably from his too-numerous-to-mention TV roles, with highlights including Lifeguard in the CBS series Wiseguy, worldwide success in Highlander, and his nationally broadcast variety show, The Jim Byrnes Show.

As for highlights in his musical career, Jim mentions Sittin down in a room with Muddy Waters, just him and me, and he showed me a couple of licks on his guitar.

His greatest musical moment was the first time he saw Howlin Wolf. I was devastated. I was 17. Who could take the Rolling Stones seriously after watching Howlin Wolf down on his knees singing Little Red Rooster?

Jim has proven that a serious car accident in 1972 has done anything but hinder him. Despite two swipes with death and some pretty hard knocks, Byrnes has still managed to rack up an enviable string of credits, both on and off-screen.

Jims first love, however, is the blues. His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesnt come overnight. During the 80s, the Jim Byrnes Band released Burnin on Polydor, followed in 1987 with Ive Turned My Nights into Days and 1995s Juno Award winning That River on Stony Plain.


In Jims words, Early bluesmen were really songsters who interspersed their blues with spirituals, popular music, folk songs, anything to get the crowd to take note, and I suppose thats how I cast myself when I began my career. Steve Dawson approached me about the possibility of a collaboration and I leapt at the opportunity to create a musical dialogue with the very finest players of a whole new generation; sort of fathers and sons, you know? Its been a long, hard road and so Yahoo, thank the Lord, I thought, fresh horses.


The followup release was the highly acclaimed 'House of Refuge', a mostly gospel outing that marked Jim's first work with The Sojourners, a group that has gone on to considerable acclaim in their own right. The CD won the Juno Award for Best Blues Album, as well as two Maple Blues Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Awards.


My Walking Stick is the latest blood and guts, behind your knees, love, life, death, and after life release from the legendary multi Juno Award winning blues and roots artist Jim Byrnes. This is the third album from Jim in five years since he hooked up with one of North Americas most critically acclaimed roots music producers, Steve Dawson. Byrnes and Dawson put together another world class band and 'My Walking Stick' finds them building on the blues roots of 2004s Fresh Horses and 2006s gospel tinged Juno Award winning House Of Refuge as they continue exploring gospel, blues, rockabilly, country, and once again pull it all together in an original and unique way.

You know, since I first got in cahoots with Steve I knew I'd found a great ally in genre bending and eliminating the pigeon holes often foisted on musical creativity, says Byrnes. I've been at this professionally for more than 40 years and I really feel that I'm only now disc


On Black Hen Records:
I Hear The Wind in the Wires - 2012
Everywhere West - 2010
My Walking Stick - 2009
House Of Refuge - 2006
Fresh Horses - 2004

On Stony Plain Records:
That River - 1995
I Turned My Nights Into Days - 1987

On Polydor Records:
Burning - 1981

On compilations:
The Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Concert DVD - 2010
Things About Comin' My Way: A Tribute to the Music of the Mississippi Sheiks - 2009
20 Years: Saturday Night Blues - 2006

Set List

3 X 50 minute sets of original music or the equivalent thereof. Sets can be tailored to the event.


12 Questions
B's Blues
Bad Boy
Be Ready When He Comes
Big Bill's Blues
Black Nights
Bootlegger's Blues
Didn't It Rain
Drown In My Own Tears
East Virginia
For the Turnstiles
Fortify Me
Fresh Horses
From Four Until Late
He Was A Friend of Mine
Hot As A Pistol
I Can't Be Satisfied
I Want My Crown
I'm Living Off the Love You Give
I've Got Blood in My Eyes For You
Jailbird Love Song
Just A Pilgrim
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Just for a Thrill
Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Lay Me Down Sweet Jesus
Lonely Blue Boy (Danny's Song)
Lookin' For A Love
Love is Just a Gamble
Me and Piney Brown
My Walking Stick
No Mail Blues
Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid
Ol' Rattler
Postcard from Mexico
Running Out of Time
Storm Warning
Take Out Some Insurance On Me
Talk In Circles
The Beast In Me
The Death of Ernesto Guevara
The E