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Some fantastic music is making it's way to Hamilton this Thursday at The Pepper Jack Cafe.

Jim Byrnes Feat. Zubot and Dawson

9pm $12.00




Juno Award winning artist Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis Missouri – that’s blues country.

He grew up on the city’s north side. One of the neighborhood 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 naïve, too innocent, 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 who's who of blues history. From Furry Lewis and Henry Townsend to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray and so many others, Jim has been on the blues highway for 40 years.

Byrnes moved to Vancouver, BC in the mid-70’s 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.

Jim’s first love, however, is the blues. His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight. During the ‘80’s, the Jim Byrnes Band released “Burnin”’ on Polydor, followed in 1987 with “I’ve Turned My Days Into Nights” and 1995’s Juno-Award winning “That River” on Stony Plain.

February 2004 will see the release of Jim’s latest project, “Fresh Horses” on Black Hen Music. This new recording is the result of a musical meeting between Jim and Steve Dawson (of Zubot and Dawson). Jim and Steve realized they shared common tastes in music and realized that a collaboration between Jim and the Zubot and Dawson band would be a refreshing and exciting project.

In Jim’s 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 that's how I cast myself when I began my career. In the spring of 2003, 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? It's been a long hard road and so 'Yahoo, thank the Lord', I thought, ‘fresh horses'."

The goal of this project was to stay true to Jim’s roots and influences, but to take the music in some new and innovative directions, while keeping the sounds of the acoustic instruments front and centre.

The musicians holed up in a Vancouver recording studio for 3 days, and in that short time, “Fresh Horses” was born. They started with some of Jim’s original material (The soulful “Just a Pilgrim” and “12 Questions”), and then chose some blues standards (Muddy Waters’ churning “I Can’t Be Satisfied”), brought in some songs not usually associated with blues singers (notably Neil Young’s “For the Turnstiles” and Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”), threw in a couple of traditional country-blues tunes (The Mississippi Shieks’ “I’ve Got Blood In My Eyes For You” and the haunting “East Virginia”) and an instrumental of Steve’s written for Jim (“Fresh Horses”). The result is an exciting recording of deep soul, blazing musicianship, and a youthful spirit that brings Jim’s extraordinary talents to life.

Whether he is working solo or with a band he brings soul, intensity and total commitment to the music he loves. “Fresh Horses” is a new chapter in a successful and varied career that still has miles to go..

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when I was searching for pics of Jim Byrnes for the website I came across some pretty "hunky" wallpapers and such

apperently he's somewhat of a heart throb from his Beachcomer's days :)

should be a good show... apperently his association with Zubot and Dawson has a very "roots country/blues" feel

"... blues spirituals, mountain music, country & more blues, [are] all pursued on "Fresh Horses". These are the thoroughbreds Byrnes rides so well, the ones who add drama to a dozen covers and originals. … the CD is strong from start to end. Byrnes you can see is no one-track pony.”

- Globe and Mail

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Jim Byrnes is awesome,seen him before out in Vancouver,where I believe his TV show was also done,if anyone remembers that,set up like a bar and he usually always had a Canadian musician on (blues,R&B,rock & roll or the like) and finished it off with him kickin out a tune or two.Well known in Canadian blues circles.Great live performer in my opinion,liked to laugh if I remember right.

You could also have seen him on the highlander TV series for awhile where he owned & ran a pub style tavern.

[edit to add]

Guess it pays to read the posted bio before making a redundant reply.....doh.gif

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super sweet... totally worth getting out to if this show ends up near you

beautiful instrumentally (kinda Garcia/Grisman-ish, Beats is right... Zubot and Dawson are on) and a really fun selection of music... Jim Byrnes own songs are great and he tempers those with some really fine covers... Johnny Cash/Neil Young/Hendrix/more

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