Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri and by age thirteen, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar.
Over the years, Jim has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual Who’s Who of the blues. From Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray, Jim has been on the blues highway for 45 years. Jim Byrnes’ fame as an actor has grown immeasurably from his too-numerous-to-mention TV roles, highlights including television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series, and his national variety show The Jim Byrnes Show.
Jim’s first love, however, is the blues. His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight. In 1981 he released ‘Burnin’’, followed in 1987 with I’ve Turned My Nights into Days and 1995’s Juno-Award winning That River.
Jim’s has produced four outstanding albums in six years since he hooked up with Steve Dawson, one of North America’s most critically acclaimed roots music producers. 2004’s Fresh Horses and 2006’s gospel tinged Juno Award winning House of Refuge set standards that aren’t often equaled.
Jim and Steve continue to explore the gospel, blues, rockabilly, and country genres, and once again pull it all together in an original and unique bluesy way. In 2012, Jim decided to record I Hear The Wind in the Wires, an album of songs from the golden age of country music – many of which he’s been listening to for all his life.
Steve Dawson is back in the saddle again as producer and multi-instrumentalist (electric, acoustic, slide, pedal steel and baritone guitar, banjo, ukulele). To hear these two men celebrate the music of Buck Owens, Ray Price, Hank Williams, Marty Robbins and other country music legends is a rare and exhilarating experience.
Jim Byrnes' Website (Website. New Window)
Over the past decade or so Steve Dawson has become such an indelible fixture on the Canadian musical landscape that it’s tempting to take him for granted.
In addition to working on his own music, he’s kept very busy producing memorable albums by such luminaries as Jim Byrnes, Kelly Joe Phelps, Old Man Luedecke, The Sojourners, and The Deep Dark Woods, as well as bringing the award winning Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Project to fruition (featuring Steve’s work with Madeleine Peyroux, Bruce Cockburn, John Hammond, and many more).
Add to that his session work and touring commitments and it’s amazing that this 2-time Juno award winning artist (not to mention 5 other Junos for his production work!) ever finds the time to create any new work under his own name.
Steve Dawson's Website (Website. New Window)