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Jim Byrnes plays music from the heart.
“I find a true story we all can relate to as humans,” he said.
He’s also drawn to heartfelt music created by other artists whether it’s jazz, blues, R&B or bluegrass.
Music is a special gift in his life. It has the ability to eliminate pain and to help people take themselves emotionally out of their world. He turned to music after he was involved in a serious car crash on Vancouver Island in 1972. He spent time in Nanaimo during rehabilitation and formed lasting friendships, said Byrnes.
“It took me out of grief and to deal with it emotionally. I picked up my guitar and started singing,” he said. “Without it I don’t think I would have survived.”
Every day he learns something new about music. Byrnes said there is “no end in sight” in terms of discovering new things about the art form.
Byrnes grew up in St. Louis Missouri and by age 13 was singing and playing blue guitar. He moved to Vancouver in the mid-70s. In 1986 he formed a house band and played 300 shows in a year. During that time Byrnes was also establishing himself as an actor. He has appeared on shows such as Sanctuary, Highlander, Andromeda and his own national variety show.
“Sometimes it’s pretty tough,” he said about scheduling all his commitments.
He plays at the Queen’s Friday (Nov. 30). He’ll play selections from his new album that harkens back to hits from the past.
“This is a real deal wagon wheel old style country record,” he said, adding it includes a lot of new material but also songs people are really familiar with.
Byrnes performs with special guest Babe Gurr, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance from the Queen’s or $30 at the door.