Jim Byrnes - St. Louis Blues - 2014 Canada Blues 180 Grm Virgin Vinyl LP

In stock
Jim Byrnes - St. Louis Blues

Black Hen Music
180 Grm Virgin Vinyl LP
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Track Listing

1. I Get Evil
2. Somebody Lied
3. Nadine
4 . The Duck's Yas Yas Yas
5. You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)

7. The Journey Home
8. St. Louis Blues
9. Old Dog New Tricks
10. Cake Alley
11. That Will Never Do
12. I Need A Change

Internationally renowned Canadian blues artists from coast-to-coast were honoured by their peers at the 17th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto, as a full house of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.

As he has mutiple times in the past, Jim Byrnes was awarded the title of MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR. In a year dominated by winners from Ontario and Quebec, Jim was the only award winner west of the Ontario border.

Jim Byrnes lives and breathes music. For nearly fifty years he's crooned, drawled, belted, hollered and sweet talked more songs into a microphone than most people ever get to hear in a single lifetime. He's vibrated the rafters of saloons, pool halls and dance floors from one end of the continent with more styles of music than you could shake a stick at. It doesn't matter whether it's low down blues, gospel, R&B, old time, swing, country or good old rock and roll – when Jim Byrnes sings, it's the real deal.

Even so, he's never recorded an album like this one. 'St. Louis Times' is Byrnes' most personal record to date. Reminiscences of his childhood home of St. Louis are expressed through his original compositions as well as versions of songs he grew up with that were recorded by St. Louis musicians. By revisiting songs associated with Chuck Berry, Stump Johnson, Little Milton, Peetie Wheatstraw and more, Jim Byrnes takes us on an intimate musical journey through a world that has passed by just in time for the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of St. Louis and the 100th anniversary of the song 'St. Louis Blues.'

'St. Louis Times' is the sixth album that Jim Byrnes and Steve Dawson have recorded together and its release coincides with the tenth anniversary of their partnership. With that in mind, Dawson gathered some of the best roots musicians in Vancouver together for a super session to record the basic tracks for 'St. Louis Times' on vintage equipment in a big old studio blessed with brilliant ambience and acoustics. As usual Dawson's signature string work rides shotgun through 'St. Louis Times' and has never sounded more right for Jim's songs, while Darryl Havers' innovative keyboard work and the rock solid rhythm session of Jeremy Holmes on bass and the tireless Geoff Hicks on drums gracefully support every track. Horns from a host of legendary Nashville players provide depth and texture on many of 'St. Louis Times' best songs.

Jim's old friend John Hammond passed through Vancouver while 'St. Louis Times' was being recorded, which provided the perfect opportunity for the two veterans to duck into the studio and cement a forty year friendship in song. Hammond trades verses with Byrnes on 'Ducks Yas Yas Yas', offers some tasty National Steel on 'Cake Alley' – an ode to one of St. Louis' seedier neighbourhoods of yesteryear – and blows some serious harp on 'Evil' and 'I Believe That Was A Lie.'

Not to be outdone, the Canadian blues icon, Colin James stepped up to play an acoustic solo on 'That Will Never Do' that may very well be the best thing he's ever recorded. No Sinner's Colleen Rennison also dropped by the session to belt and snarl her way through 'Miss Me' the old Fontella Bass and Bobby McLure hit that will surely be remembered as one of the finest performances on 'St. Louis Blues.'

As spot on as Byrnes' choice of classic songs from St. Louis' heyday is, the thing that many of his fans look forward to hearing the most on a new album are Jim's original tunes. He's outdone himself this time with his first foray into spoken word with the emotive 'The Journey Home' that takes his listeners through the sights and sounds of the bustling St. Louis of Jim Byrnes' childhood. The slow blues of 'Old Dog, New Tricks' with beautiful clarinet accents from Tom Colclough and the spiritually uplifting 'I Need A Change' prove once again that Byrnes is an artist with a lot of depth and a huge vocal palette while 'I Believe That Was A Lie' is as fine an homage to Jimmy Reed as anyone could ever hope to hear.

The 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis and ten years of partnership with Steve Dawson may have had been the original motivation for recording 'St. Louis Times', but the sheer joy you can hear in the music Jim Byrnes and company create is the real reason to celebrate. Jim Byrnes is a living musical treasure and 'St. Louis Times' is his best record yet. And, that's saying something.

I'd never heard of Jim Byrnes before but this album that celebrates his hometown St. Louis' 250th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the song 'St. Louis Blues' is very good and really encourages me to dip into his back catalogue. The record contains original songs as well as songs by St. Louis musicians including Chuck Berry, Stump Johnson, Little Milton and Peetie Wheatstraw. There is lots of variety here from the traditional jazz of 'St. Louis Blues' to the rock and roll ballad "I need a change", from the down-home blues of opener "I get evil" to the uptown soul of "You'll miss me" - with Jim sharing the vocals with Colleen Rennison.

Canadian guitarist Steve Dawson leads the band which includes Darryl Havers on keyboards, Jeremy Holmes on bass and Geoff Hicks on drums, and other musicians from Nashville round out the ensemble. Old mate John Hammond stops by to trade verses with Jim on "Duck’s Yas Yas Yas", play some tasty National guitar on "Cake Alley" and add his Jimmy Reed-style harp to "Evil" and "I believe that was a lie." While another Canadian guitarist Colin James also plays his distinctive slide guitar on Little Milton's ‘That Will Never Do’. Jim's earthy vocals hold the whole thing together and provide continuity across the different genres, this is a really good set of songs that even breathes new life into an over-played song like Chuck Berry's "Nadine".

Jim Byrnes - I Need A Change

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Jim Byrnes - Nadine

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More Information
Condition New
Format LP
Label Black Hen Music