Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jim Byrnes

Jim Byrnes - Fresh Horses - 2004 - Black Hen Music

An exceptional soul/blues roots album from Jim Byrnes. This music has integrity, soul, real meaning and the songs are sung from his heart. There are 12 superb soul blues tracks here. Jim wrote or co-wrote five of the songs. He covers Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", Neil Young's "For The Turnstyles", and Muddy Waters " I Can't Be Satisfied", among other great songs. A great vocalist, and guitarist, Jim's music is influenced by his early years growing up in St Louis, Missouri, where he also learnt piano. He has played with Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters, and like these great artists, Jim has an intense passion and love for the blues. Many people only know Jim Byrnes as a Canadian actor, but there is so, so much more to the guy. This album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. The world needs more bluesmen like Jim Byrnes. Buy his "Burning" album, and listen to his latest "My Walking Stick" album. They are both great albums, and you will enjoy them.


1. B's Blues - Jim Byrnes
2. Fresh Horses - Steve Dawson
3. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - Bob Dylan
4. For the Turnstiles - Neil Young
5. I Can't Be Satisfied - McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters)
6. The Embers - B. Cowsill, J.Hatcher
7. 12 Questions - Jim Byrnes, T.Keenlyside
8. Just a Pilgrim - Jim Byrnes, J.Hatcher
9. I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You - W.Vinson
10. Postcard from Mexico (Una Carda Postal de Mexico) - Jim Byrnes, T.Hearsey
11. Love Is Just A Gamble - Jim Byrnes
12. East Virginia - Trad.


Jim Byrnes - Banjo, Guitar (Electric), Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Slide Guitar, Guitar (Tremolo)
Steve Dawson - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Ukulele, Slide Guitar, Hawaiian Guitar,
National Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Guitar (Tremolo), Weissenborn
Andrew Downing - Double Bass
Chris Gestrin - Organ, Piano, Accordion, Sound Effects, Sampling, Wurlitzer, Radio
Elliot Polsky - Percussion, Drums
Jesse Zubot - Fiddle, Mandolin, Violin
Candus Churchill, Ted Pickett, Marcus Mosely - Vocals (bckgr)


Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri – that’s blues country. He grew up on the city’s 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 naïve, 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, 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.Jim’s first love, however, is the blues. His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight. During the 80s, the Jim Byrnes Band released “Burnin’” on Polydor, followed in 1987 with “I’ve Turned My Nights into Days” and 1995’s Juno-Award winning “That River” on Stony Plain.February 2004 saw 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 & Dawson). Jim and Steve realized they shared common tastes in music and realized that a collaboration between Jim and the Zubot & 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’.” © www.jamestbyrnes.com


A treasured actor and blues musician, Jim Byrnes began his love with acting and music when he was still a small child. In college he found acting jobs easily until the draft sent him to war instead of to Hollywood. Byrnes kept his dreams, and himself, alive, and returned to follow his original goals as best he could after his tour of duty was over. A car accident put his acting career on hold again, so he turned his full attention toward music. Over the next few decades, he recorded a number of albums, and even found his way back to acting, both in films and television. In 1995 he landed a well-deserved spot in the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame. James Thomas Kevin Byrnes was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1948. Byrnes started his musical training with piano lessons at the tender age of five. Even that early in his life, things were never easy for him. An illness almost ended not only his budding musical skills, but his life. By the time he entered high school, he had taught himself to play the guitar. He also gained an interest in acting around that time, and began taking drama classes that continued when he started college. Being drafted into the Vietnam War put a temporary hold on his career around the end of the turbulent '60s. Around 1970, Byrnes moved to Toronto, Canada, and launched into acting and music again. Just when he seemed to be getting a foothold in some kind of career, fate knocked him down again, this time with a serious car wreck that took almost any chance of acting away from him. He still had his music, and put his heart into it. He landed gigs wherever he could, touring with other bands through Canada and into the United States. Before the '70s ended, he put together a band of his own called the Jim Byrnes Band. It was while working with them that he recorded his debut album, Burning. It was released under the Polydor Records label in 1981. A year later, he received his first big music nomination for Most Promising Male Vocalist from the Juno Awards. Byrnes' sophomore album, I Turned My Night Into Day, didn't appear until 1987. That same year he landed his first recurring role in a television series; the name of the show was Wiseguy. He spent nearly four years working on the series. He also did a number of guest shots on other shows, and even some work in films. In 1993 he was cast as Joe Dawson on the popular Highlander television series and later in its spin-off, The Raven. With Highlander helping his fame, Byrnes recorded a third full-length album, That River. It was released under the Stony Plain Records label in 1995. In 1998, Stony Plain pulled his last two albums together and released them as a combination CD. Some of the electric blues tunes fans can sample from Jim Byrnes' recordings include "Bad Boy," "The Chill Is On," "Fire on the Bayou," "Shake Your Moneymaker," "Next Time You See Me," and "Just for a Thrill." © Charlotte Dillon, allmusic.com