Entertainment

The legend that is Jim Byrnes comes to Quadra Island

Legendary blue singer Jim Byrnes will perform at the Heriot Bay Inn on March 8. - Photo submitted
Legendary blue singer Jim Byrnes will perform at the Heriot Bay Inn on March 8.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Legendary blues man Jim Byrnes is performing at the Heriot Bay Inn on Quadra Island.

His is a “voice that sounds like it saw creation and followed the devil down to hell,” wrote AmericanaUK.

Byrnes has been on the blues highway for over 45 years. Over this time he 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.

Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri – blues country. He grew up on the city’s north side. One of his 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.”

By age 13, Byrnes was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in 1964.

In the mid-seventies, after years of drifting, Byrnes moved to Vancouver. In 1981 he put together a band that became a staple of the local music scene. He also found fame as an actor, with too-numerous-to-mention TV roles, highlights including television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series. But Byrne’s first love is the blues.

“Jim Byrnes is the real deal as far as blues and roots music goes. He ain’t pretty-playin’, folks. He’s getting down and dirty,” wrote the Phoenix Blues Society.

Byrnes has a crate full of music awards and nominations, including multiple Juno Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards and Maple Blues Awards. Hear his “smoky, evocative” voice for yourself Saturday, March 8 in Herons at the Heriot Bay Inn. Tickets are $55 per person and include a tasty two course dinner: reservations highly recommended for this not-to-be-missed event. Call the Inn for reservations: 250-285-3322.

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