Blues legend Jim Byrnes rocked the house with the Soujourners to send off the North Island Concert Society’s 2018 season.
With a perfect blend of blues and soul, Jim Byrnes and the Sojourners, who include Marcus Mosley, Will Sanders, and Khari McClelland, performed a concert to remember.
The Jim Byrnes Band formed in 1981 and began playing dates throughout Canada, quickly becoming a staple in the Canadian music scene and winning a Juno in 1996.
A few years ago, Byrnes called up Vancouver based gospel singer Marcus Mosley to record some backup vocals with a few friends, and the Sojourners were born.
The April 14 concert saw Brynes and the Sourjorners bring traditional gospel hymns as well as classic rock and blues songs to a thrilled North Island audience at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.
“There is nothing I can say about these guys — these performers have been knocking ’em dead for decades,” said North Island Concert Society Chairperson Richard Starr who MC’d the evening. “It gives me great pleasures to present to you one of the finest acts we have ever had here.”
The concert was also peppered with anecdotes from Byrnes life and career that illuminated his long history in the music industry and experiences as a blues musician.
A legendary performance wasn’t the only thing to be celebrated that night, as Starr also announced that there has been interesting in carrying on the concert society with a new board of directors.
At the beginning of the year, the future of the concert society was up in the air as all the members of the current board of directors announced they would be either retiring or stepping down.
“I have some very, very good news,” said Starr, adding there are “Some very energetic folks who are hoping to carry this on, because you guys deserve it and have earned it.”
During the concert, Starr also thanked co-founder and treasurer Malcolm Fleeton for his years of hard work.
“Malcolm Fleeton, he has been with the concert society since the beginning — 20 years now,” said Starr. “Thank you so much, you have had an impact that you can’t measure.”
To officially wrap up the year and transition to a new board of directors, the concert society will be hosting their Annual General Meeting June 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce.
“The Concert Society would graciously like to thank the ‘Friends of the Concert Society’ (you know who you are!) for all their hard work and dedication in making each show happen,” read a note on the Jim Byrnes and the Sojourners concert brochure.
“Without our friends’ tireless support, the show would not go on.”